ANTaR ACT Newsletter – Reconciliation Week update – May 2023

A second edition of our newsletter this month, with National Reconciliation Week days away – 27 May to 3 June. The theme is Be a Voice for Generations. The theme encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.

There is lots happening in Canberra for Reconciliation Week, exploring First Nations culture and experience in a variety of ways. A number of events focus on the Voice to Parliament, and our newsletter starts with an update on these.

ANTaR ACT will have at stall at the ACT Reconciliation Day (Monday 29 May) event at the Arboretum. Please come and say hello and find out more there.

Voice to Parliament Referendum

Book launch: The Voice to Parliament Handbook
Launch of The Voice to Parliament Handbook with the book’s authors, Indigenous leader Thomas Mayo and acclaimed journalist Kerry O’Brien. The Voice to Parliament Handbook is a clear and simple guide for Australians who want to better understand what a Voice to Parliament actually means.
* National Library of Australia and online – Wednesday 24 May at 6pm
* For more information and bookings to attend in person: Book launch: The Voice to Parliament Handbook | National Library of Australia (

Voice To Parliament Forum
Federal MPs Alicia Payne, Andrew Leigh, David Smith and Senator Katy Gallagher invite you to a special interactive community forum, along with special guests Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney, Professor Peter Yu and Aunty Violet Sheridan to learn more about the upcoming Voice referendum. This meeting is open to all community members.
* Kambri Cinema, ANU, and online – Monday 29 May at 6pm
* For more information and bookings: Voice To Parliament Forum, Acton, Mon 29th May 2023, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm AEST | Humanitix

Our next committee meeting will be on Monday 5 June at 6pm via Zoom. All are welcome to join us to discuss updates on the referendum campaign, as well as (postphoned from last month) hear committee member Michaella talk about on her Research Project into the experience of formerly incarcerated women in the ACT. Please RSVP to for a meeting link. 

As debate increases around the referendum, people are raising various issues and concerns. Here are some articles responding to recent issues – we have added these and other resources to our web page: Learning about the Uluru Statement and 2023 Referendum – ANTaR ACT.

Reconciliation Week 2023 events

Reconciliation Concert, 7pm on Sunday 28 May 2023, at the Canberra Theatre. Legendary band Yothu Yindi will share the stage with host Tahalianna Soward-Mahanga, and powerful young Canberran First Nations artists Alinta Barlow and Stewart Barton, in a celebration of their voices, stories and music.
* For more information, see: Reconciliation Concert 2023 | Canberra Theatre Centre.

The sixth annual ACT Reconciliation Day event is on Monday 29 May 2023 at the National Arboretum Canberra – 10am to 3pm. ANTaR ACT will have a stall at this event, with information about the referendum and more.
* For more information, see Reconciliation Day | Events Canberra.

In Queanbeyan, the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is hosting their annual Reconciliation Walk on Tuesday 30 May 2023. Meet at 9.30am at Marj Christian Park on Trinculo Place, walking to to Reconciliation Place, Queanbeyan Park, finish at 12.
* For more information, see 2023 Reconciliation Walk – Queanbeyan-Palerang (

National Reconciliation Week at CIT 2023: Events across CIT campuses include a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony, student yarning circles, Indigenous performances and snacks with Indigenous themes. There is a forum on Copyright and First Nations Art on Tuesday 30 May 1-2pm. CIT campus events will be on: Tuesday 30 May 12-2pm – CIT Bruce outside Café Yala; Wednesday 31 May 12-2pm – CIT Reid Quadrangle; Thursday 1 June 9-10:30am – CIT Fyshwick outside Café Yala.
* For more information, see: National Reconciliation Week at CIT 2023 : Canberra Institute of Technology.

Reconciliation Place Public Walk: Join Maiawali woman and storyteller, Roslyn Hull in a celebration of our shared heritage, cultures, and accomplishments with a tour of the captivating artworks along Reconciliation Place. Wednesday 31 May at 1pm.
* For more information and bookings, see: Reconciliation Place Public Walk | National Capital Authority ( You can also view this tour online.

Incarceration Nation – National Reconciliation Week 2023 Screening: Come along to the ACTCOSS National Reconciliation Week screening of Incarceration Nation, made possible by the NFSA. “Incarceration Nation is a story of strength and resistance in the face of racism and oppression. The film lays bare the story of the continued systemic injustice and oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on their own land, told by Indigenous Australians.” Wednesday  31 May at 4pm at Arc Cinema McCoy Circuit Acton.
* For more information and bookings, see: Incarceration Nation – National Reconciliation Week 2023 Screening Tickets, Wed 31/05/2023 at 4:00 pm | Eventbrite.

Reconciliation Week Screenings at ANU Film Group: Narrative features include the latest from acclaimed arthouse director Rolf de Heer (THE SURVIVAL OF KINDNESS – Friday 2 June 7.30pm), and a spellbinding anthology film featuring eight interwoven tales by Indigenous Australian and Māori filmmakers (WE ARE STILL HERE – Saturday 3 June 7.30pm). And on the documentary side, we have a beautiful concert film featuring the late Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter (WASH MY SOUL IN THE RIVER’S FLOW – Saturday 3 June 5pm), as well as the Canberra premiere of COUNTRYMAN (Thursday 1 June 7.30pm), followed by a Q&A with the film’s director and subject, Peter Pecotić and Joseph Williams.
* For more information, see ANU Film Group – News Archive – Reconciliation Week Screenings at ANUFG: June 1–3 and ANU Film Group Screening – Countryman Tickets, Thu 01/06/2023 at 7:30 pm | Eventbrite.

Native Plant and Traditional Tools Workshop with Dreamtime Connections: Celebrate Reconciliation Week with Dreamtime Connection’s Aaron Chatfield for a talk on indigenous plant use, looking at the edible and medicinal uses of native plants used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years. Saturday 3 June, Mugga Mugga Education Centre.
* For more information and bookings: Reconciliation Week – Native Plant and — ACT Historic Places.

First Nations Experience of Democracy Tour: Hear stories of how First Nation Australians and their supporters have taken different pathways to fight injustice and bring about change in Australia. This special 45min tour will be held daily from Saturday 27 May – Saturday 3 June at 12.45pm during National Reconciliation Week at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.
* For more information and bookings, see First Nations Experience of Democracy Tour – National Reconciliation Week 2023.

On Becoming: Jessika Spencer at the COX Gallery Jessika Spencer is a Wiradjuri woman from the Sandhills of Narrungdera, New South Wales. For over the past decade she has resided on beautiful Ngunnawal country, where she currently creates her art. “This exhibition is about growth, evolution, shedding and transforming. Each piece has been made during a heavy transitional period in my life that caused severe upheaval. The weaving and creating of each piece of fibre art was my anchor, keeping me grounded and safe.” Open now to Friday 16 June, 9am-5pm, COX Gallery, 1/19 Eastlake Parade, Kingston.
* For more information, see: On Becoming: Jessika Spencer at the COX Gallery — COX (

Also in Canberra

Audrey Napanangka – movie screening
The story of a Warlpiri woman, Audrey, and her Sicilian partner Santo as they navigate through colonial systems to keep the children they care for together. Audrey Napanangka was born at a time when the world was changing for the people in the Central Australian Desert. Settler colonisation was permeating the desert and forced changes and the fusion of two worlds shifted Audrey’s life forever. Today, Audrey raises young people to walk in many worlds, by centering culture, language, and Law in their lives alongside mainstream education. The intimate footage filmed over 10 years in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Yuendumu and Audrey’s Warlpiri country Mount Theo, showcases a heartwarming story about the power of kinship and family in what is known as Australia.
* Palace Electric – Wednesday 7 June at 6.30pm
* Hoyts Woden – Thursday 8 June at 6.30pm
* For more information and bookings: Audrey Napanangka – Demand.Film Australia.

Looking back, moving forward: The many facets of fire
During the third event in the 2023 Public Speaker Series, hear from Mr Dean Yibarbuk and Dr Jeremy Russell-Smith as they discuss fire from a range of perspectives. Fire has been a crucial force in Indigenous communities throughout Australia for thousands of years—for many, it is a sacred element representing a connection to their ancestors, land, and traditional way of life. Indigenous peoples have used fire as a land management tool for centuries, and Indigenous knowledges continue to inform practice today.
* The Shine Dome and online – Thursday 13 June, 5.30 – 7.00pm
* Bookings essential, cost involved for in person attendance: Looking Back, Moving Forward: The many facets of fire | Australian Academy of Science.

In conversation: Grinding Grains
Join Tina Baum (Gulumirrgin (Larrakia)/Wardaman/ Karajarri), Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, in conversation with Uncle Bruce Pascoe (Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian), Beatrice Murray (Wiradjuri), Lowana Murray (Wiradjuri), and artist Jonathan Jones (Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi), followed by damper around the campfire in the Sculpture Garden. This special event is part of the public program for Jonathan Jones’ exhibition, untitled (walam-wunga.galang), which features large-scale sandstone grindstones combined with a soundscape in Wiradjuri language.
* National Gallery of Australia – Wednesday 14 Jun at 10.30am – 1pm
* Bookings essential, for more information: In conversation: Grinding Grains – National Gallery of Australia (

ANU Reconciliation Lecture 2023 in partnership with UC: Professor Tom Calma AO
Professor Tom Calma AO is a Kungarakan Elder, a member of the Iwaidja people, 2023 Senior Australian of the Year and the Chancellor of the University of Canberra. As Australians prepare to vote on whether to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution, join us to hear from one of the lead architects of the proposal.
* Llewellyn Hall, ANU – Thursday 22 June at 6pm
* For more information and bookings: ANU Reconciliation Lecture 2023 in partnership with UC – ANU.

Walanbaa Yulu-Gi – Burn the Floor featuring Mitch Tambo
World renowned Australian ballroom dance company Burn the Floor collaborates with Indigenous star Mitch Tambo to create a brand-new dance production. Mitch Tambo’s appearances performing in his own language, with storytelling, receive rave reviews.
* Canberra Theatre – Wednesday 9 August at 7.30pm
* For more information and bookings: “Walanbaa Yulu-Gi” Burn The Floor featuring Mitch Tambo | Canberra Theatre Centre.

ANTaR ACT wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which Canberra is situated, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We would also like to acknowledge other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may visit this area.

1 thought on “ANTaR ACT Newsletter – Reconciliation Week update – May 2023”

  1. As a suggestion, John Farnham’s song “The Voice” might be good catch cry for the Yes campaign (you may have already considered that).

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