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The Voice of Indigenous Australia

NAIDOC Week 2020

The National NAIDOC Committee has confirmed the new dates for this years NAIDOC week will be from the 8-15 November.

The new national dates come as a result of the original dates being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This years NAIDOC poster winner is Noongar and Saibai Islander man Tyrown Waigana, who is an artist and designer based in Perth.

The winning artwork, depicting this years NAIDOC theme ‘Always was, always will be,’ is titled – Shape of Land. The design features the Rainbow Serpent coming out of the Dreamtime to create this country and how we are strongly connected to it.

For more information on National NAIDOC, including the national focus, events around the country, NAIDOC grants and a more detailed description of the poster (including downloads), please visit: www.naidoc.org.au

Latest News Stories

Gunbalanya kids learn lessons by following paths of their ancestors

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 12:09 pm

TRADITIONAL knowledge was imparted to 11 Gunbalanya School senior students during a trek along the Bininj Manbolh — the walking trails of their ancestors. 

The years 7 to 9 students were accompanied on the two-day 18-kilometre Learning on Country trip by Elders and five Njanjma Rangers.

Learning on Country teacher Daniel McLaren said the primary purpose of the excursion was to show the cultural knowledge transferred is “living and relevant”. 

“The students listened to the Elders’ Dreaming stories and were introduced to sand palms, green plum trees, yams, and mankung (native sugarbag honey),” he said. 

“They were taught traditional place names, how to make and fix bamboo fish spears (djalakirradj), prepare and bake damper, and cook bush meats in a ground oven. 

“The students learned how paints were made from orchid sap mixed with ochre, and learned to interpret art in two rock-shelters that included fish, kangaroos and mimih (spirit figures).” 

Mr McLaren said the hike was useful in building teamwork skills and aptitudes in safety and readiness for wilderness travel…

Dingo fights racist slur

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 12:02 pm

ACTOR, television presenter and mentor Ernie Dingo has weathered racist slurs his whole life. And a couple of weekends ago when someone called him a ‘F***ing Abo’, he finally reacted.

Dingo, 63, was waiting for passengers to get off a train in Perth when he noticed a white man aged in his 30s watching him.

“He says ‘F****** Abo’ and walks off,” Dingo is quoted on a Ngaarda Media social media page.

Dingo chased the man and “scruffed” him, then told him to say it again.

“He is scared now and I whack him on the right side of his head,” Dingo said.

“He slips and falls trying to get away, his foot falls between the platform and the train.

“I drag his arse away from the edge. As he is laying there, I ask again ‘Say it again, give me an excuse to whack you.’ He doesn’t.

“I’m not a hero for what I did, and I don’t see myself as one,” Dingo told NITV.

“I’m reading about George Floyd in America, about Black Lives Matter protests and I’m watching AFL players take a knee before the game.

“I’ve walked away for 60 years, 50 years plus from a lot of (racism). You would think people have a little bit more sense nowadays, but no.”

He says the focus of his attention is back in the community he started out from, running programs on Country for kids from the Midwest…

Corey delivers STEM resources to schools

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 11:58 am

KAMILAROI brother Corey Tutt was shocked to learn that a school in a remote part of Australia had only 15 books in their entire library. And that’s why he created Deadly Science, which aims to ensure all Aboriginal kids in remote areas have access to quality educational resources. 

While working full time as an animal technician at the University of Sydney, Mr Tutt was at home after hours googling remote schools to talk to their teachers and students about their science resources and materials.

He told the Koori Mail that teachers and students said they were heavily under-resourced in educational materials, and any resources and equipment they did receive were often related to sport or art and not literacy or science.

“That’s not to say schools don’t appreciate these types of resources, but not every kid wants to be a sportsperson or artist and, given the chance, we know that Aboriginal kids are extremely interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM),” Mr Tutt said.

“So I packed up all the books I had in my home and sent them to my first school, and the rest has just snowballed.

“That first school said to me, ‘Hey, we have another school down the road, do you think you could help them out too?’, and those schools turned into four schools, which turned into 20, to where we are now with over 100 schools as members of Deadly Science.”  

So far Deadly Science has sent more than 4000 donated books, 70 telescopes and 80 other resource kits to Indigenous kids at over 100 schools around the country since launching less than a year ago…

Speaker and Deputy are proud to be first

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 11:53 am

THE Northern Territory now has an Aboriginal Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

Labor MPs Chansey Paech and Ngaree Ah Kit were elected to the roles last week, after the previous Speaker, Kezia Purick resigned after the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption found she had engaged in corrupt conduct.

Mr Paech, who holds the seat of Namatjira, said it was an honour to  be elected as the first Aboriginal Speaker of any Australian parliament and he hoped it would inspire young Aboriginal kids growing up in remote communities across the NT to chase their dreams.

“It sends a strong message for our young kids, growing up, you have to believe in yourself and know that these are options for you in the future,” Mr Paech said.

“Regardless of your race, regardless of your orientation — the possibilities are endless in the Northern Territory.”

Mr Paech, who has Eastern Arrernte and Gurindji heritage, said the NT was always a leader in many ways

“And we’ve got so many things to be proud of,” he said.

“And we add to that list today that we are proud of have a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker who are Aboriginal…

AFL stars stare down racist attacks as they move to educate the footy world

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 11:47 am

CARLTON’s Eddie Betts hurts deeply when he is racially vilified, but is prepared to keep fighting to help other Aboriginal people feel safe as AFL players.

Last month the veteran Carlton forward called out the latest in a long and constant line of racially motivated attacks directed at him.

Playing in his 16th AFL season, Betts says he has been racially abused every year of his career and the persistent attacks hurt deeply.

The 33-year-old considered whether to address a Twitter post, which depicted him as a monkey, but felt it was his duty as an Aboriginal role model to call out despicable behaviour.

“I was really angry and I wanted to put something up that was aggressive, but that’s not my nature. I’m kind and I always like to give people a second chance and I always like to educate people,” Betts told Fox Footy.

“I’ve got to set up barriers every day when I leave the house, thinking I’m going to get racially abused when I’m driving or when I go to a supermarket. 

“All I want to do is rock up to training, play and enjoy the game of footy.

“I’m sick and tired of it but I want the AFL to be a safe platform for young Aboriginal kids to come and enjoy and play footy…

Arts hub is first for Mirarr-led Jabiru

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 11:24 am

THE Mirarr people have started to realise their vision of a revamped Jabiru.

When the Kadadu Bakery building became vacant earlier this year, Mirrar traditional owners decided it would be a perfect venue for a new arts centre.

The Marrawuddi Gallery, owned and managed by Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation on

behalf of the Mirarr traditional owners, will relocate in September.

The Mirarr have envisioned Jabiru as the main arts hub for all visitors entering Kakadu.

Marrawuddi is the first business to move into new premises as part of the post-mining transition of the town of Jabiru.

In August 2019, the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments, and mining company Energy Resources Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation as part of the post-mining transition of the town of Jabiru.

Marrawuddi manager Katie Hagebols said the team has been working closely with artists from the region to develop their art space for quite some time, coordinating local and interstate artists to paint a stunning mural on the external walls of the old bakery building. 

“The bigger spaces at this new site will mean we can offer welcoming areas for

artists to work as well as a larger retail area,” Ms Hagebols said.

“When the bakery became vacant we knew it was the perfect location for Marrawuddi Arts…