ANTaR ACT Newsletter – November 2021

Thanks everyone who came along to our annual David Hunter Memorial Lecture in September. It was great to hear from our guest speaker Bhiamie Williamson reflecting on how we can heal Country, following the NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country, Heal Our Nation. You can watch the lecture, and read a summary, on our website at: DHML 2021 – How Can We Heal Country – video link .


This year, ANTaR ACT committee members have been meeting with, and writing to, ACT ministers and shadow ministers to raise issues around incarceration of First Nations people in the ACT. One of our members, Vivien, wrote this article covering issues around raising the age of criminal responsibility: Raising the Age – ACT Government report released.

At our November committee meeting, we were pleased to have Lance Waters from Yeddung Mura (Good Pathways) join us to talk about the work they do delivering Aboriginal prison services. We will be taking up the issues Lance raised in our future advocacy, and also looking at how we can support the amazing work they do.

Our last meeting for the year will be Monday 6 December. If you would like join us, please email us on and we will send you the details.

ANTaR National News

ANTaR National will be having their 2021 National Forum on Friday 3 December, held online via Zoom. Register to attend. The National Forum will include:

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Tony McAvoy QC: We welcome Wirdi man and Native Title lawyer, Tony McAvoy QC as key note speaker who will be discussing the state of First Nations affairs in Australia as we head towards the next Federal election.

ANTaR IN 2021: On the cusp of our 25th anniversary year and at a time when real change and progress is within reach, hear from ANTaR’s President, Dr Peter Lewis, and National Director, Paul Wright regarding the important work we do to advocate for justice, rights and respect for First Nations Peoples.

AIATSIS Songs of Australia appeal

This #AusMusicMonth (1-30 Nov 2021), ANTaR ACT is supporting the AIATSIS Songs of Australia appeal.

Songs and songlines have criss-crossed this great continent for thousands of years, carrying with them legal, kinship, ecological and cultural knowledge. Since colonisation, 98% of Indigenous Australian song traditions have been lost (

The AIATSIS Foundation aims to raise $2m over 10 years to record the most at-risk songs in 16 regions across the continent through the Songs of Australia Fund. During #AusMusicMonth, join with us to ensure that we can all keep hearing the first sounds of this land. Your support will ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can record their song traditions, teach us about looking after Country and inspire future generations of performers.

What’s happening in Canberra & online

Namarag is a new nature space on the banks of the Molonglo River, just opened in Canberra by ACT Parks and Conservation Service, with Ngunnawal art, language and storytelling woven into the landscape. Find out more in this video, also see information about visiting.

Women’s Voices, Action for Change, Wednesday 24 November, 1pm, online
A powerful discussion about achieving First Nations gender justice and equality, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO, in conversation with Professor Marcia Langton AO, Fiona Cornforth, Teela Reid and Charlee-Sue Frail, and facilitated by Patricia Karvelas (ABC).
Register for your free ticket.

AIATSIS Indigenous Art Market #IAM, 26 Nov-5Dec 2021 online.
Provides a good opportunity to buy ethically sourced authentic Indigenous art and jewellery from 33 art centres around the country. 100% of sales go directly to art centres and artists.
Register to win a beautiful art work: Indigenous Art Market | AIATSIS

50th Anniversary Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Canberra, 26 January 2022
Join Indigenous communities from across Australia as they converge in Canberra to celebrate and commemorate the longest ongoing permanent protest site in the world.

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was first established in 1972 as a protest against the then McMahon Government’s approach to Indigenous Australian land rights. The targets of protests at the Embassy have changed over time, and include not only land rights but also Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. The Embassy, has become a place of congregation for anniversaries, significant events and a place to gather for Indigenous people and their allies.

The celebrations for 26 January 2022 consists of song, dance, performance, story-telling, food, jumping castles for kids and remembering the importance of the events that led to the creation of this important site.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering for the event, please contact Billy T Tompkins on

Talking Blak to History, National Museum of Australia
See extraordinary works and hear the voices of Australia’s first peoples in Talking Blak to History. This exhibition in First Australians, on the lower ground floor, features powerful objects that speak to the aftermath of colonisation and explore issues including land rights, sovereignty, the Stolen Generations and deaths in custody. Find out more.

hand/made/held/ground, Canberra Museum and Gallery
is a major body of recent work by Brenda L. Croft, a proud Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra woman whose background also includes Australian/Chinese/English/German/Irish heritage. The mixed media installation metaphysically maps Croft’s patrilineal relationship to Country, reimagining customary objects jimpila (spearhead) and kurrwa (stone axe) originally created on Gurindji homelands. The contemporary representations reflect ancestral journeys – those undertaken on traditional homelands, and those returning home. Find out more.

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