ANTaR ACT – November 2017 update

Thanks to everyone who came to the David Hunter Memorial Lecture. It was a very interesting discussion – thanks in particular to all the speakers (Aunty Agnes for her welcome, Janet Hunt for MCing, Tristan Ray, David Cooper, Shannan Dodson, Chris Bourke and Jennie Gordon) for sharing their experiences and hopes.

You can see a brief account here. A more detailed account will follow in the not-to-distant future on the ANTaR ACT website.

We set up a small Sea of Hands (more of a puddle) beside the ACCC to coincide with the lecture, and based on an artwork by Matthew Joseph, shown here with some of the volunteers.

There are plans for another Sea of Hands at the end of November, the 20th anniversary since the major Sea of Hands installation at Parliament House. We will be looking for volunteers to help install a Sea of Hands on Sunday 29 November, to coincide with this anniversary, and the ANTaR National meeting in Canberra that weekend. If you can help, or would like to know more about the ANTaR National meeting or the installation, please email and we can give you more details.

Events in the ACT – November/December

There are a lot of events to cover in this bulletin. Unfortunately, the Our Mob in Arts – Market, which was to be held on Saturday 18 November at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre on Yarramundi Reach, has been postponed. However, there are several other opportunities coming up where you will be able to buy artworks directly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, in time for Christmas.

Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters
The exhibition continues to 25 February 2018
National Museum of Australia, Temporary Gallery, Costs apply
Take a journey across the Australian desert in this Aboriginal-led exhibition about the epic Seven Sisters Dreaming. See stunning artworks, immerse yourself in our state-of-the-art digital dome and visit the vibrant art centre.

Artists in residence program
23–25 November: Artists from Maruku Arts demonstrate the practice of traditional punu (woodcarving).
7–9 December: Warakurna Artists create a large-scale canvas that represents the vibrant colours of the land and reflects their individual styles.

More details

Deadly Funny: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Comedy Competition
Entrants will take part in a private workshop with a professional comedian to refine their acts, followed by a public live performance. Special guest judges will decide which acts go through to perform in the National Grand Final during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival where $2000 is up for grabs.

Canberra Heat: Friday 17 November, 4-6pm (workshop), 7pm (performance)
Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 137 Reid Street, Greenway
Register at:

Tribute 2017: An art exhibition by members of the Kemarre Arts Indigenous Women’s Group
Belconnen Arts Centre, Main Gallery – Friday 17 November – Sunday 3 December
Artists > Michelle Bedford, Lyndy Delian, Kayannie Denigan, Jenni Dries, Alana Garwood-Houng, Ronnie Jordan, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Lyn Talbot and Tahlia Kring.

In Tribute, the artists give intimate, personal and profound recognition to the traditional cultures, families, communities and places that have given us heritage and identity. As contemporary, urban-based Aboriginal artists, we also pay tribute to our traditional responsibilities of taking care of land, environment and the passage of knowledge for future generations. We transform found urban culture objects rescued from landfill into contemporary vehicles for Aboriginal cultural expression through the application of traditionally based skills and practices.
For more information see:

Designs Within Country – Walking Together Fashion Show
The Canberra City Uniting Church Reconciliation and Multicultural Action Group presents Designs Within Country – Walking Together Fashion Show on Friday 24 November from 6pm to late at Albert Hall.
For more information, see:

Annual Alice Tay Lecture in Law & Human Rights 2017
Assoc. Prof. Asmi Wood on “Constitutional Recognition: What Options Do We Have Left?”
Monday 27 November – 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Conference Room 1.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU
All are welcome to attend this free event.
Please RSVP:

An Expert Panel appointed by Parliament in 2010 examined the issue of Constitutional Recognition. Their recommendations did not get to a Referendum as planned and the subsequent Parliamentary Committees did not appear to advance the cause very much. The recent ‘Uluru Statement From the Heart’ was perhaps a cry from what its authors described as a helpless position asking Parliament for a Voice (an advisory, non-binding voice, which Parliament could ignore at its will). Even this muffled voice was described by the government as ‘radical’ bringing a whole new (watered down) meaning to this term! This talk will briefly examine the history of how we got to this point in Indigenous affairs, suggest some ways forward and put a proposed referendum question to this audience of lay Australians.

Namatjira: Painting country
National Gallery of Australia, until 3 April 2018
This display celebrates the donation of Gordon and Marilyn Darling’s collection of watercolours by the critically acclaimed Western Arrarnta artist, Albert Namatjira. It also features works by the Hermannsburg artists who continue his legacy.

Namatjira Project (2017, 127 mins, documentary)
Thursday 7 December, 6.30pm
A powerful story of Namatjira’s life, the future of the Central Desert watercolour movement and the Namatjira family’s quest for justice. Followed by a Q&A with producer Sophia Marinos from Big hART, and chair of the Namatjira Legacy Trust.
Venue: James O Fairfax Theatre, Price: $8 to $10

Art Marketplace
Friday 8 December and Saturday 9 December, 10am-4pm
Purchase genuine watercolours and meet artists from the Iltja Ntjarra/Many Hands Art Centre, who paint in the tradition of Namatjira. Presented by the NGA in partnership with Iltja Ntjarra/Many Hands Art Centre, the Namatjira Legacy Trust and Big hART.

For more information see:

Indigenous Art Market 2017
Friday 8 December, 12pm-8pm and Saturday 9 December, 10am-3pm
On the lawns of Acton Peninsula (opposite the National Museum of Australia)

Now in its 4th year, this is the largest Market yet with community art centres travelling from around the country to sell direct to you! Come along and buy authentic art, crafts, fashion and jewellery from some of Australia’s most remote regions and support the artists and their communities.

For more information see:

ANTaR ACT – final meeting for the year

A change of plans. We were going to have a meeting on Monday 20 November before the ANTaR National meeting the following weekend. However, we will now just focus on supporting that event, and are looking at a dinner in December to end the year. Please email us at if you would like to join us to mark another eventful year, and we’ll let you know the details.

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