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Croc risotto on the menu for NAIDOC Week


Zoe Satherley
23 July 2008
Take the time during NAIDOC Week at Southern Cross University from Monday, July 28, to “really connect with your Indigenous brothers and sisters”. This is the message event co-organiser Bilyana Blomeley wants to highlight.

“This year we are offering the general public real ‘lived’ experiences of being part of the Indigenous community and sharing the fun, knowledge and spirit of life,” he said.

“People can book to take part in the bush tucker workshop, for example, to discover the plants and trees that were used in traditional everyday life. Participants will learn from Dhinawan, a descendent of the Gamillaroi Bigambul tribes, about the many different uses and benefits of native plants and how they can still be used today.

“Then they can join in with our bush tucker cooking afternoon with Lismore’s Indigenous caterers, GunnaWannaBe, to cook up a storm of traditional tucker including wallaby crostini and croc risotto.

“There are opportunities to join field trips where you will be welcomed to Kuntri - while standing on Kuntri - to sacred places like the Nimbin Rocks and Arakwal lands near Byron Bay.

“Practical, hands-on workshops will run daily on a wide variety of topics from Indigenous language and culture, to the didgeridoo, visual arts and even how to decorate a boomerang, all under the guidance of Indigenous leaders.

“For men there is a workshop titled ‘Learning From Each Other’ facilitated by Darmin John Cameron and for women ‘Sharing Stories Through Creative Expression’ facilitated by Helen McWilliam and Robyn Davis.”

On top of all that, there is a feast of song, dance and activities happening from Monday, July 28 to Friday, August 1, at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus and in the courtyard under the sails at the Tweed Gold Coast campus on Wednesday, July 30. Activities were held at the Coffs Harbour campus on Tuesday, July 22.

The NAIDOC Week opening ceremony on Monday, July 28, will begin with a welcome to Kuntri and what promises to be a lively panel discussion ‘Advance Australia Fair?’ in the Whitebrook Theatre at the Lismore campus. Participants on the panel are Koori Mail editor Kirstie Parker, Bundjalung man, CEO of NTSCORP (Native Title Services Corporation) and former boxer Warren Mundine, and Widjabul Custodian Elder Aunty Irene Harrington.

Later there will be a community and Elders lunch in Bundjalung Square at Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples. Everyone is welcome for a gold coin donation.

To book and pay for the field trips and workshops, or to get more information about the week-long program, contact Bilyana on [email protected] or phone 02 6620 3472 or 1800 816 676 or visit

The NAIDOC Week project has been made possible by the Australian Government’s regional arts program, the Regional Arts Fund, which gives all Australians, wherever they live, better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts. It has also been proudly co-sponsored by Southern Cross University and Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples.

Photo: Bilyana Blomeley is encouraging members of the University community as well as the general public to come along and join in with the NAIDOC Week festivities next week.