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NAIDOC week a celebration for all generations


Zoe Satherley
13 July 2009

‘Honouring our Elders, nurturing our youth’ is the theme of this year’s NAIDOC week celebrations at Southern Cross University.

Southern Cross University's Indigenous Events Coordinating Committee (SCUIECC) has organised activities at all three campuses at Lismore, Coffs Harbour and at SCU Riverside, Brett Street, Tweed Heads.

Highlight act will be Indigenous comic genius, Sean Choolburra, whose deadly sense of humour is set to delight audiences at all three campuses.

At the Lismore and Coffs Harbour campuses, NAIDOC week will be celebrated from Monday, July 27 to Friday, July 31. At SCU Riverside it will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 29.

Planned activities across the three campuses include Indigenous music, dance, films and an art exhibition, guest speakers and a talking circle, live entertainment including the Elders’ Choir, traditional games, hip-hop workshop and an Indigenous language class.

Lismore campus

At the Lismore campus, the week will open with a Welcome to Country ceremony in Goodman Plaza at noon, on the Monday.

There will be a Black Tie & Barefoot fundraising dinner at 6pm on Tuesday, July 28, in the Zest function room at the Lismore campus, hosted by Sean Choolburra.

The night will raise funds for the Gnibi Black Swans, a group of SCU Indigenous students who are attending the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Games being held in Canberra in September.

“We are very excited and looking forward to this year’s games,” said team member Leearna Williams.

“As this is the first time Southern Cross University will be participating in these games, we see this as an opportunity to create history within our University and history for our future Indigenous students to build on.

“We see this event as an opportunity to meet other Indigenous students from other universities and build friendships across our great nation.”

All proceeds from the night will go towards financially assisting the Gnibi students to attend the games.

Leearna said Sean Choolburra was a dynamic and versatile comedian, rap singer, dancer, storyteller, actor and hip-hop didge player who, in conjunction with the University’s School of Contemporary Music, will be shooting a pilot for a new stand up comedy DVD.

He promises to engage and enthral his audience with his energetic and vibrant skits, so don’t miss his Lismore campus performances at Studio One 29, D-block, at 12.30pm on Monday, July 27 (when you can be part of the audience for the filming of his new DVD), and at the fundraising dinner, which will also mark the opening of the Indigenous art exhibition.

The Indigenous art exhibition will run Wednesday to Friday at Zest from 10am to 4pm daily.

On Wednesday, from noon to 2pm, people are invited to attend the ‘Pathways to learning within the sacred’ lecture with Professor Stephen Neyooxet Greymorning, followed by a talking circle and lunch, in the Zest function room.

Lunchtime on Thursday in Goodman Plaza sees live entertainment and an open mike while the evening from 6pm to 9pm will feature the Indigenous film night.

Friday is children’s day – a day for the next generation - with a full day of fun activities, performances and traditional games being held in Goodman Plaza.

Coffs Harbour campus

At Coffs Harbour, the Gumbaynggirr Elders’ Choir will be part of the Welcome to Country ceremony at the Osprey restaurant at 9.45am on Monday, July 27.

Tuesday features Sean Choolburra’s Live and Deadly comedy performance in the D-block theatre at noon.

Wednesday is Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander film day from 9am to 2pm in the D-block theatre.

Kulai Preschool will give a performance on Thursday at 11am, in the O-block theatre, followed by a Gumbaynggirr language workshop.

Friday will feature a hip-hop expression workshop with a Gumbaynggirr hip-hop artist.

SCU Riverside campus

At SCU Riverside, Brett Street, Tweed Heads, NAIDOC activities will be concentrated on one day, Wednesday, July 29.

At noon Sean Choolburra will perform his Live and Deadly comedy routine, followed by a community lunch.

As not all times and venues have been finalised, check for program updates at:

You must RSVP to Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples on 6620 3955 if you wish to attend the filming for Sean Choolburra’s DVD.

Tickets for the fundraising dinner must be paid for and collected in person at Gnibi, H-block, Lismore campus, during office hours. (Tickets $20 and $25.)

Photo: Indigenous comedian Sean Choolburra will entertain staff, students and members of the public on all three campuses of Southern Cross University during NAIDOC week.