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Time to celebrate NAIDOC Week


Zoe Satherley
29 June 2010
Members of the public, staff and students are invited to join in NAIDOC Week celebrations at Southern Cross University’s Lismore and Gold Coast campuses next week – a great way to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Organised by the University’s Indigenous Events Coordinating Committee, on-campus celebrations will begin with the ‘CitizenBelongingCountry’ art exhibition in the University library at the Lismore campus, on Monday, July 5, at 5.30pm.

The exhibition will feature paintings from Indigenous Australian Aranda artists from Hermannsburg in the MacDonnell Ranges region of the Northern Territory, all of whom are family members of renowned Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira.

The iconic landscape painting style, taught to Namatjira by water colour artist Rex Batterbee, led to Albert becoming Australia's best known Aboriginal painter and saw his first exhibition in Melbourne in 1938 sold out. Albert's fame meant that he and his wife were the first Aborigines to be granted Australian citizenship, at a time when Aborigines had few rights. This exhibition is a rare chance to see major works by some ‘unsung heroes’.

'Unsung Heroes - Closing the Gap by Leading Their Way' is the national theme for NAIDOC Week 2010 and recognises that many unsung Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made huge contributions to Australian society.

'Unsung heroes' recognises the part played by the quiet achievers in the Indigenous community, both now and in the past. These heroes lead by taking their own paths, and in doing so, helping other Indigenous people set their own direction for the future. The theme asserts Indigenous ownership of 'closing the gap'. The gaps that need to be closed include gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and gaps in knowledge and understanding.

At Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast campus, a NAIDOC family day will be held on Wednesday, July 7, from 10am-2pm. The campus address is Southern Cross Drive, Bilinga (access via Terminal Drive, Gold Coast Airport).

At the Lismore campus, a NAIDOC family day will be held on Friday, July 9, from 10am-2pm, on the sports oval. The address is Military Road, East Lismore.

Both family days will feature bands, arts and crafts, information stalls, face painting, hip hop and didgeridoo workshops, cultural performances, a jumping castle, sausage sizzle and kids’ activities.

The hip hop workshops will be led by ‘The United Nations of Hip Hop’, a group of 30 young people from Coraki, Box Ridge, Lismore, Yamba and Federal, who recently took out first place in Stylin’ Up, Australia’s biggest Indigenous-run hip hop festival.

Ash Dargan, from the Larrakia people of the Northern Territory, one of the world's premier performers on didgeridoo, will also perform. Ash’s lyrical craft of storytelling, multi-media and live musical performance transports audiences on an epic journey into the heart of the Australian dreamtime. His music has been described as the ‘soul of the Australian landscape’.

At the Coffs Harbour campus, there will be an Aboriginal flag-raising ceremony and barbecue lunch at a later time to be advised (not next week).

The art exhibition at the Lismore campus library, in A-block, will run from July 5 to July 23.

Please note that while entry to the family days and barbecue is free, an RSVP would be appreciated for catering purposes. To RSVP reply to [email protected] or phone Gnibi on 02 6620 3955.

Media are invited to attend any of the events.
Check the website
for full program details.