In the first week of July, Naidoc Week celebrates the culture, history, heritage and accomplishments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It’s a chance for all Australians to learn more about the oldest continuing living culture in the world and become better allies.
This year’s theme is “For our Elders”, to honour those who’ve held and passed down their knowledge, experiences, traditions and Blak pride to newer generations, and enacting change to build a better future.
Naidoc Week events are taking place across the country, but here’s how you can participate in Melbourne.
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One Song: The Music of Archie Roach
Soul singer Emma Donovan, roots-rock artist Dan Sultan, singer-songwriter Jess Hitchcock, Archie Roach Foundation Award recipient Kee’ahn, rapper Radical Son and plenty more are paying tribute to the late, great Uncle Archie Roach at a moving concert, conducted by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Wed July 5 & Thu 6, mso.com.au
Naidoc in the City
The annual Victorian Naidoc March is on again this year, and culminates in a free day of First Nations culture and talent at Fed Square. Shauntai Sherree, Bumpy, Mitch Tambo and more are taking to the main stage, after a Welcome to Country. Plus, stalls selling Aboriginal-owned products, food and merch. Fri July 7, fedsquare.com
The film museum’s First Nations Film Club is screening the documentary Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow as a tribute to Uncle Archie Roach and Aunty Ruby Hunter. Plus, ongoing exhibition Two Girls From Amoonguna – which uses animation to explore the visual arts practices of Arrernte and Southern Luritja artist Sally M Nangala Mulda and Arrernte and Western Arrarnta artist Marlene Rubuntja – is still open daily. Tue July 4, acmi.net.au
Koorie Heritage Trust
Make a necklace made of murnong daisies or colourful earrings, learn the art of coil weaving for making baskets, take your little one to a children’s workshop for making animals, join a community tour at NGV (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members only) and more. Sat July 1 to Sat 8, koorieheritagetrust.com.au
Mabu Mabu Big Esso
Tickets to the Victorian Naidoc Gala Ball have sold out, but you can still attend the after-party at Torres Strait Islander chef Nornie Bero’s restaurant. It kicks off at 10.30pm with native-ingredient cocktails, tapas and a DJ set by Jazz Collins. Sat July 8, @mabu_mabu_aus
The Finders Keepers
Australia’s biggest design market returns, with an expanded line-up of First Nations and Indigenous stallholders among more than 270 local and interstate makers and designers selling clothing, fine jewellery, ceramics and art. Fri July 7 to Sun 9, thefinderskeepers.com