Antar Victoria Newsletter May 2018


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“Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Make reconciliation part of your story, and your future.”

– Reconciliation Australia,
NRW 2018

First launched in 1996 by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Australia’s National Reconciliation Week is a fantastic opportunity for all Australians to focus on a commitment to achieving reconciliation, to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievements, cultures and histories, and to be inspired to get involved in community activities. Reconciliation Week begins at the end of May and as every year, there is an extensive range of engaging local and national events to participate in.The theme of Reconciliation Week 2018 is ”Don’t Keep History a Mystery”, urging all Australians to take the opportunity to ”Learn, Share, and Grow”, to explore and truthfully examine our past, discover more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and to develop a greater understanding and awareness of our shared history. “Don’t Keep History a Mystery” is a timely and significant theme, linking to the Uluru Statement of the Heart‘s calls for a Makarrata Commission “to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history”.

We encourage all to seek out truthful information about the histories and cultures of Australia’s First Nations peoples and to reflect on the historical, political and social significance of the National Reconciliation Week dates (May 27 – June 3) which commemorate two milestones in the reconciliation journey — the successful 1967 referendum to amend the constitution to include Aboriginal people in the census and allow the Commonwealth to create laws for them, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

In line with this year’s theme, Reconciliation Australia has created a “Recommended Reading List” of books and research focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures. To access the full list, click here.

Similarly, SBS has compiled some great films directed, produced by and starring First Nations Peoples. Find it here.


Human Rights Arts and Film Festival
The HRAFF includes a number of films and art collections about Australia’s First Peoples including the highly acclaimed The Song Keepers, After the Apology,  and The Canoe Project  which will be open to the public at the Koorie Heritage Trust.Click here for more details.

Mission Songs Project
May 4th, 7-9pm at Rumbalara Football Netball Club, Shepparton
Curated by Jessie Lloyd, the Mission Songs Project is an initiative to revive and present a rare collection of early Australian First Nations contemporary songs that were composed and performed between 1900 to 1999.The Mission Songs Project faithfully explores the musical journey of First Nations music, as Jessie Lloyd connects the traditional with contemporary and reveals the continuation of cultural practice and oral traditions into the twenty first century. These songs, largely hidden from the outside world, offer a unique window of life on the Christian missions, native settlements and the fringes of townships where Aboriginal and Islander people were displaced.To book tickets to this event, click here.

 Image result for whispering in our hearts
Whispering in our Hearts screening
Monday 7 May, 7:30-9:30pm at Ivanhoe Uniting Church
Members of the Aboriginal Community reflect on the execution which took place at Australia’s north west Mowla Bluff  in 1916 by local police and pastoralists. With family members gathering at Mowla Bluff, the film intertwines the oral account of Elders (whose parents were alive at the time of the events) with white archival records from the period. This screening is hosted by Reconciliation Banyule.Click here for more information.


Black Wallaby Indigenous Writers’ – Dreaming Inside
Tuesday May 8th, 6pm-8pm at Booranga Writers’ Centre, Wagga WaggaJoin Booranga for the Black Wallaby Writers’of the South Coast Writers’ Centre, presenting the book launch of, and readings from, Dreaming Inside – Voices from Junee Correctional Centre.For the past six years, the Black Wallaby Writers’ have conducted creative writing workshops with Aboriginal inmates at JCC and published the proceedings in their annual anthology, Dreaming Inside – Voices from Junee Correctional Centre.The launch will feature readings from Black Wallaby Writers’ Aunty Barbara Nicholson, John Muk Muk Burke and Sharon Twyford as well as guest writer Lachlan MacPherson.

All are welcome and entry is free. Click here to register.

Talkin’ Treaty
Tuesday 15 May, 6-7:30pm at Northcote Town Hall, Rooms 2A and B

Hear directly from this land’s First Peoples about their expectations of what makes a fair and just Treaty process. We’ll also be discussing the historic Clan Elders Council Treaty Gathering and its resolutions/recommendations.The panel will feature Elders, Koori youth and Northcote MP, Lidia Thorpe.

Click here to read about the Clan Elders Council Treaty Gathering.

Click here for more information about the event.

Nara Dreaming Exhibition
May 19th – June 3rd, 10am-4pm at Bill’s Shed, Lockwood near Bendigo, VIC

Come along to the 9th annual Nara Dreaming Exhibition. The Nara Dreaming Exhibition is the manifestation of an ambition held by a small group of Central Victorian visual and performing artists to bring together a cross-cultural exhibition featuring various mediums including painting, photography, sculpture and craft work.

The exhibition includes paintings by Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Artists, sculpture, craft work, woodwork, photography, jewellery, ceramics and weaving.

Nara Dreaming exhibition will be open Saturdays and Sundays (or weekdays by appointment). Entry is by donation in support of Phoenix FM.

Click here to find out more.


Introducing Victorian Aboriginal Archaeology
Saturday May 19, 11am-12pm at Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre, South Melbourne

Across Victoria there are remains of thousands of years of past Aboriginal activities. They vary widely in form, function, providing evidence of great diversity of Aboriginal life in different parts of the state.

In this talk archaeologist, David Frankel, will introduce the complexity and variety of ancestral sites, discuss their significance of understanding the past and raise issues of preservation and land management.

This event is free and all are welcome to attend. Click here for more information and to join the waiting list of this popular event.


4 Brothers Rocks Walk
May 20th, 9am-3pm at Bunyip State Park, Gembrook

According to the Aboriginal people, the Bunyip or “Buneep” (as spelt on early maps which show the river, first cattle run and township) is a spirit that punishes bad people. Local Aboriginal people believed the Bunyip lived in the swamps of the Bunyip River, and therefore avoided the area. Many early settlers, believing this story, never pitched their tents near a ‘Bunyip hole’. People were also careful not to make ripples when collecting water. This upset the Bunyip.

Come along and visit this magical place located on Melbourne’s doorstep. You will discover natural delights, and discover a mysterious side of Aussie folklore.

This is a Grade 3 walk, 14kms in length with a steep climb then descent back down in the middle. Mainly open forest tracks with some walking trails.

Tickets are essential. To book, click here.

Sorry Day Lunch
May 25th, 12.30pm – 2.30pm at South Melbourne Community Centre

Come along to the Sorry Day community lunch with Aboriginal Elders, members of the community, the City of Port Phillip Mayor, politicians and friends. Hosted by Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation (PPCfR), the event will feature a Welcome to Country, singer/story teller Dave Arden, MC Dennis Fisher aka Den the Fish and lucky door prizes.

All are welcome to attend. For more information, click here or contact Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation by clicking here.

Reconciliation in the Park

May 27th, 10am-3pm at Johnstone Park, Geelong

In its 9th year, Reconciliation in the Park provides interactive Aboriginal history & culture activities, music, performance, art exhibition at Geelong Gallery and food created by local Aboriginal women. The intention of the event is to engage the broad community and create a space for learning, growing relationships and creating commitment to reconciliation locally based on an understanding of Djillong (Tongue of Land) history, culture, society and people. Winner of the 2016 HART awards.

. For more information, click here. Find out more about Geelong One Fire here.


Reading the stars: The science of Aboriginal astronomy
May 28th, 7pm-8.30pm at Brunswick Library, Brunswick

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples developed a number of practical ways to observe the sun, moon and stars to inform navigation and calendars, predict weather, and inform law and social structure.

Learn about the science that is encoded in these oral traditions and material culture with Dr Duane Hamacher – an astronomer and Senior Research Fellow at the Monash University Indigenous Studies Centre – who specialises in Indigenous astronomical and geological knowledge in Australia and the Pacific.

Registration is essential. To register, click here.


Reconciliation on the Rooftop: “Don’t keep History a Mystery”
May 28th, 12pm-2pm at Fitzroy Library, North Fitzroy 

Aboriginal Housing Victoria and SNAICC are partnering with Yarra Libraries to deliver Reconciliation on the Rooftop as part of Reconciliation Week at Bargoonga Nganjin.

This will include a Welcome to Country, Traditional dancers, a Keynote speaker to speak on the theme of Don’t Keep History A mystery, along with speeches from the CEO’s of Aboriginal Housing Victoria and a speaker from SNAICC.

Bookings are essential. For more information and to book, click here.


Reconciliation Week Film Screening: We Don’t Need a Map 
May 30th, 7pm-10pm at Wonthaggi Library, Wonthaggi

We Don’t Need a Map, a film by one of Australia’s leading filmmakers, Warwick Thornton, examines the way the constellation of the Southern Cross has been claimed, appropriated and hotly-contested for ownership by a radical range of Australian groups since colonisation and how the constellation is an integral part of the spiritual and practical lives of Aboriginal people.

We Don’t Need A Map is an epic telling of Australia’s history, told through our collective relationship to one famous constellation. It is a challenging, poetic essay about who we are as a nation.

This is a free event. Click here to register.


Blakwiz 2018
May 30th, 6.30pm-8.30pm at The Reading Room, Fitzroy Town Hall 

This annual event is filled with laughter and entertainment. Get a team together to enjoy the night of trivia and music. The evening will feature quiz master extraordinaire Jason Tamiru and a performance by Shauntai Batzke.  The evening will be supported by an Auslan interpreter from Vicdeaf.

This is a free event. Bookings are essential and tickets are limited. This is an alcohol free event.

To book tickets, click here.


Letter to my Mum: I want to talk about our Aboriginality
Wednesday May 30th, 6.30pm-7.30pm at Williamstown Library

Monique Grbec is a Wiradjuri woman living in Melbourne. As a child of the stolen generation, she explores the generational effects of  institutionalisation, and the White Australia Policy. Abandoned at 14, she shares her journey to claim the precious identity taken from her.

To book, click here or phone 1300 HOB LIB.

Who would you believe? William Barak or John Batman?
Wednesday 30 May 2018, 7.30-9.30pm at Room 14, Pines U3A, 2/520 Blackburn Rd Doncaster East 3109, Melways 34 D5

Local author and historian, Jim Poulter, will host a talk on his groundbreaking discovery about Batman’s 1835 meeting with the Wurundjeri. Jim has uncovered a little known eye-witness account from 1888 by Wurundjeri Headman William Barak. RSVP via

Aboriginal Astronomy
Thursday 31 May, 6:30-8pm, at Ballarat Library

Hear from astrophysics student, Krystal De Napoli, as she shares the ways Indigenous Australians encode scientific information in their traditions and how this knowledge is passed to successive generations.

Features videos of dances, songs and interviews with Elders. This is a free community event; bookings essential.

Click here for more information.


Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service
Thursday May 31st, 11am at Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne

This event is held to honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service Men and Women. The 13th annual Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service will be at Shrine of Remembrance Forecourt, at the Eternal Flame. There will be a wreath laying on the Forecourt with Shrine Representatives, Shrine Chairman of Trustees Air Vice-Marshal Chris Spence AO (Retd) and Shrine Trustee Colonel John Wertheimer AM RFD.

Members of the public are welcome to attend any of the commemorative services held at the Shrine of Remembrance. All are welcome to lay a wreath or a poppy at the conclusion of the service.

Please direct further enquiries to or 1800 762 003.

The Long Walk
June 2nd, 2pm-6pm at Federation Square, Melbourne

Join thousands of people in a march for reconciliation from Federation Square to the MCG. Hosted by Michael Long, the Long Walk Foundation and the AFL.

The event will meet at Federation Square, Melbourne for stalls and performances, before proceeding on a walk to the MCG.

For more information, click here.

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News You Might Have Missed

Apr 30, 2018 03:15 pm | Antar Victoria

Reconciliation’s best hope is within the Uluru Statement.  Article written by Galarrwuy Yunupingu, published in The Australian July 31st, 2017.  We have come to a time in our nation’s history when the Australian people have an opportunity to decide whether or not to deal with the relationship between my people and those that came after us and changed our way of life. Either a real process of settlement, or makarrata, will now start, or the nation will turn its back on these issues, leaving these challenges for the next generation.

Nov 06, 2017 02:47 pm | Antar Victoria

In their recently revealed 10 year drafted plan, the City of Boroondara has failed to mention the traditional owners of the land, the Wurundjeri people, in any aspect of the Council’s future. They have since said that the reason being is that Acknowledgement of Country and Cultural support for the Wurundjeri people was not brought to the attention of Council. The Wurundjeri Council have not been consulted.

Oct 02, 2017 12:38 pm | Antar Victoria

A new Victorian council has been created to give Aboriginal people influence over decisions relating to issues such as health care, housing, education, and steps towards Aboriginal self-determination.

Esme Bamblett, who is the chief executive of the Aborigines Advancement League, hopes the council will ensure money spent on Aboriginal programs is more effective. Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins said that this step will give Victorian Aboriginal people more decision-making power, going on to say that the government is also committed to a treaty with Victorian Aboriginals.

Oct 02, 2017 12:25 pm | Antar Victoria

A team of archaeologists and forensic scientists from Flinders University have traveled to north WA in order to prove the 1922 Sturt Massacre. The scientists examine bone fragments in order to corroborate stories told by local Aboriginal elders, which have been the subject of political debate for decades.

Sep 14, 2017 01:43 pm | Antar Victoria

Gunnai Gunditjimara woman Lidia Thorpe has been preselected as the Greens candidate for the Victorian seat of Northcote and stands a good chance of taking the seat from Labor if past voting trends repeat themselves. If elected Ms Thorpe, who is the chair of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee, could be the first Aboriginal woman elected to parliament in Victoria.

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