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 Sydney.
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Naidoc Up Late: Trailblazers
A free music festival and street basketball event at Barangaroo’s The Cutaway, featuring First Nations hip-hop and R’n’B artists Barkaa, Tasman Keith, A.Girl and more. There’s also basketball competitions like a three-point shootout and slam dunk contest in the afternoon, plus food trucks and a pop-up bar. Sat July 1, barangaroo.com
Proud Erub singer-songwriter and bedroom pop artist Sycco is headlining a special edition of Carriageworks Nights, the contemporary arts organisation’s artist-led after-dark program running every Thursday. She’s joined on the musical line-up by Murrawarri hip-hop artist Dobby and violinist Eric Avery, with spoken word and poetry by Jazz Money and Kirli Saunders. Aboriginal-owned cafe Indigiearth is also serving food and drinks throughout the night. Thu July 16, carriageworks.com.au
National Indigenous Art Fair
A weekend celebrating Indigenous art, design, food and culture from around the country. Sample Australian bush food, watch live dance performances and buy artworks directly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Sat July 1 & Sun 2, niaf.com.au
Naidoc in the City
Hyde Park is transforming into one big hub of First Nations music, storytelling, dance, games, markets and culture. It’ll be divided into different zones on the day, depending on what you want to see. There’ll be a Welcome to Country ceremony, a dedicated space for children and their families, a games area suitable for all ages, and market stalls from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses. Sat July 8, cityofsydney.news.gov.au
Royal Botanic Garden
Kids can learn all about the indigenous plants used and grown by the local Gadi people at a special tour that ends with tea made from native ingredients. They can make their own blends and take them home, plus grandparents and elders can join for free. Tue July 4 to Thu 6, rbgsyd.news.gov.au
Heart in Art
A free one-day exhibition at Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf, showcasing more than 40 works from artists representing the Ampilatwatja, Pirlangimpi, Wingellina, Kaltukatjara, Yuendumu, Yawuru Country, Gunbalanya and Angurugu communities, among others. It’s also a satellite venue for the National Indigenous Art Fair. Sat July 8, woollahra.nsw.gov.au