2019 NAIDOC Week Celebrations

Between July 7-14, the Sydney Environment Institute will be celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a series of events engaging with the 2019 NAIDOC Week theme of Voice. Treaty. Truth.

Bush Toy and the Southern Sky; film still from We Don't Need A Map (2018), courtesy of Warwick Thornton.

Running annually in early July, NAIDOC Week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year, between July 7-14, the Sydney Environment Institute will be running a series of events to celebrate the 2019 theme, Voice. Treaty. Truth

These events, from film screenings to yarning circles, will bring together a diverse range of community leaders, Indigenous scholars and academics, as well as welcoming the general public to explore and celebrate the rich contributions of Indigenous knowledge and ultimately, to continue learning how we can best advocate for true justice and inclusivity.


Monday July 8 — Culture in Conversation: Creating Inclusive Food Communities

Sydney Environment Institute and FoodLab Sydney have partnered with YARN Australia to bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander with non-Indigenous communities for an evening of ceremony, performance, meaningful conversation and the sharing of food and stories.

The evening will include a light dinner (soup and damper), a smoking ceremony, performance, and a circle yarn, where the audience will be invited to participate in a cross-cultural conversation about respect, community resilience, environmental justice and enabling inclusivity in food cultures.


Tuesday July 9 — Film Screening: We Don’t Need A Map

The cultural significance of the Southern Cross has been co-opted and defined by European colonisers, but for Aboriginal people the constellation is a deeply significant spiritual totem.We Don’t Need a Map (85 mins), by Warwick Thornton, one of Australia’s leading film-makers, explores the political and cultural history of these stars.

The film will be followed by a discussion lead by Wiradjuri astronomer Kirsten Banks and Dr Christine Winter.


Thursday July 11 and Friday 12 — The Re-(E)mergence of Nature in Culture II

This two-day workshop will bring together a diverse group of experts, from Indigenous community leaders and scholars to political activists to explore the consequences of loss of agency, culture and identity for Indigenous peoples, both as a result of historical and ongoing dispossession of territories and, more recently, climate change.

Ultimately, these discussions will go on to motivate government action, influence planning and design, and begin to acknowledge and repair the discrepancies in our valuing of the lived experiences of past, present and future losses in a changed climate system.