ANTaR ACT – Sept 2017 update

This month we welcomed Clinton Pryor, at the end of his long walk from Perth to Canberra. Next we are focussing on our major event, the annual David Hunter Memorial Lecture. Please join us on Tuesday 31 October, 5.30 for 6pm, to reflect on where we’ve come from and the next steps coming up – more details coming soon.

Clinton Pryor’s walk from Perth to Canberra

Clinton set off from Perth in September 2016, and arrived in Canberra just under a year later. We waited at the tent embassy, sharing reports of his current location and expected arrival, as well as stories of his journey so far. It was exciting how his journey bought people together and focussed attention on the many issues that underlie the continuing disadvantage experienced by Australia’s first peoples.

As Clinton approached the tent embassy, he was surrounded by supporters, there was cheering and triumph. He then sat quietly by the fire, Aunty Agnes welcoming him to Ngunnawal country, followed by a corroboree.

Over the next few days, there were reports of his meetings with politicians and the frustrations that the prime minister would not listen. Still waiting for change, but there is a momentum that cannot be ignored, a journey that cannot be forgotten.

Healing Farm update

ANTaR ACT have been closely watching the slow process of building and then commissioning the Healing Farm, as a facility for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to help young people find a new path and reconnect with culture. It was a surprise to hear that the Healing Farm finally opened, and disappointing that it will only offer a day program, not residential for now. We will continue to ask questions of the ACT Government and hope it may eventually fulfil the original vision.

Events coming up

Collaborating with Children on Country to Improve Literacy, Dr Anita Heiss
Tuesday 19 September, 6pm – 8pm
Ann Harding Conference Centre, University of Canberra, 23 University Drive South, Bruce
This seminar will focus on Dr Heiss’ collaborative project with artist Leecee Carmichael and the Year 6 students at Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School. Among many outcomes, the students produced the picture book Apmere Atyenhe Ltyentye Apurte (Our Home Santa Teresa). Published by Gilimbaa this project demonstrates not only success in community outreach and engagement in bringing children into the creative process of storytelling, but the capacity of skills development for young people in book production.

2017 Ray Mathew Lecture: A Paradox of Empowerment
Thursday 21 September, 6pm
National Library of Australia, Theatre, free (includes refreshments)
Novelist Kim Scott reveals how reclaiming Aboriginal language and story may offer a narrative of shared history and contribute to social transformation.

kanalaritja: An Unbroken String
To 3 October 2017, Free
National Museum of Australia, First Australians Focus Gallery
Celebrate the unique practice of Tasmanian Aboriginal shell stringing in kanalaritja: An Unbroken String. This national touring exhibition features stunning shell necklaces created in the 1800s, alongside necklaces from acclaimed makers of today and a new wave of stringers who learnt the tradition at cultural renewal workshops.

A Month of Saturdays presented by ‘The Saturday Paper’
Saturday 30 September, 2–3pm
National Museum of Australia, Visions Theatre, Free but bookings essential
A Month of Saturdays is a free talk series that brings together the country’s brightest minds for key policy conversations, hosted by The Saturday Paper’s chief political correspondent, Karen Middleton. Join Indigenous lawyer and academic Mick Dodson AM as he and Karen discuss ‘On recognition beyond Uluru’.

Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters
15 September 2017 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 our vibrant art centre.
21-23 September: Join the Tjanpi Desert Weavers as they demonstrate the use of natural fibres and weaving them into works of art that celebrate life, creativity and country.

Gudirr Gudirr
Saturday 30 September, 8pm, $45-$55
The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre
An intimate solo dance and video work performed by Dalisa Pigram, daughter of Broome, Gudirr Gudirr is the breathtaking choreographed piece which poses the question: what does it take to decolonise Aboriginal people’s minds, to unlock doors, and to face cultural change?

ANTaR ACT events

We have a tour of northern Canberra sites with Richie Allan of Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation on Saturday 16 September, 9 – 11.30am, $50 per person, including lunch. Please email us at if you would like to join us – still some space available.

The next ANTaR ACT monthly meeting will be held on Monday 2 October 6pm, at King O’Malleys, in the Snug Room behind the bar. Please email us at if any enquiries. All are welcome to our monthly meetings. Come along and help us in planning the David Hunter Memorial Lecture and mark the 20th anniversary of the Sea of Hands.

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