NAIDOC NSW Celebrations


National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) celebrations are held around Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Aboriginal communities but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, your colleagues and the arts sector.

The National NAIDOC theme for 2015 is ‘We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate’

This year’s theme highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. The theme is an opportunity to pay respects to country; honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture and to share the stories of many sites of significance or sacred places with the nation. This year’s theme was also chosen specifically to highlight and celebrate the  anniversary of the ‘Handback’ of Uluru, one of these sacred sites, to its traditional owners on 26 October 30 years ago.

There will be an array of NAIDOC events taking place around Sydney next week, here are some main events:

Sydney’s popular annual showcase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, NAIDOC in the city, will return to Hyde Park for a 4th year on Monday 6 July. 11am to 3pm. As part of the celebrations, artist Suzy Evans from the Kamilaroi people of Moree in NSW, has created City of Sydney’s featured artwork ‘Night Skies’. The National Aboriginal Design Agency (NADA) was approached by the City of Sydney to provide a hero artwork for NAIDOC Week. Night Skies was one of three artworks presented by NADA and finally chosen by a small panel to be used as the hero design for this year’s NAIDOC. NADA is the commercial arm of Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance. Suzy’s work has also featured in the pop up retail space for First Hand Solutions.

Blak markets on Bare Island (Co-ordinated by First Hand Solutions), La Perouse this Sunday July 5 with a day action packed with activities to celebrate the beginning of NAIDOC week around Australia. This Blak market provides the opportunity to be part of the learning with a traditional smoking ceremony and Aboriginal dance performances along with spearmaking, shellwork, plant and artefact and weaving workshops.

Klub Koori is hosting a special evening with the legendary Bart Willoughby and a line-up of his favourite artists and friends; as they sing up their connections to land and country and give honour to the NAIDOC theme – ‘sacred ground’. Featuring Microwave Jenny, Leah Flanagan and more. Thursday 9th July 7pm Tickets $10.

Many of the cultural institutions and other key arts organisations also have events and we encourage you to check their websites and share with colleagues.

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Published: 3 July 2015