2021 NAIDOC Week | Heal Country, heal our nation - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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2021 NAIDOC Week | Heal Country, heal our nation

5 Jul 2021

NAIDOC Week is held across Australia in July each year to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's achievements, their culture and history. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

This year's theme, 'Heal Country, heal our nation,' calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.

Country is inherent to the identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It sustains every aspect of their lives – spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and culturally. It is more than a place it is a person. Country is family, kin, lore, ceremony, traditions and language.

USC would like to encourage you and your families to learn more about this year’s theme and take part in the many NAIDOC activities happening across the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay/Caboolture, Fraser Coast, and Gympie regions as well as the wider Southeast Queensland area during the week of 4-11 July.

Please note: To do the evolving coronavirus situation, some events in the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Caboolture and Fraser Coast areas have been postponed.

Check out events in your area:

Sunshine Coast

7 May–31 July: Country In Mind – USC Art Gallery 

The art of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a modern vibrant expression of many Indigenous nations. Representation of Country is full of associative information connecting the past, present and future which always begins with Country In Mind.

Drawn from the USC Art Collection, the Country In Mind exhibition focuses on work from the central desert, the Kimberley to the northwest, Arnhem Land and the offshore islands in the far north and explores the continuum among communities who make work about Country while also delving into the idiosyncrasies of individual artistic expression.

22 September (10am–3pm): Wan'diny NAIDOC Family Fun Day (Nambour)

The Wan'diny NAIDOC Family Fun day is the only event of its type and size in the region. This is a significant date for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on the Sunshine Coast and surrounding areas. The event provides an opportunity to come together to share in culture, knowledge, and goodwill. Particular emphasis is of course placed on the NAIDOC theme each year, with 2021 being "Heal Country."

Although the Family Fun Day has been postponed, we are offering our free online workshops again this year and you can still join in. Visit the Wan'diny NAIDOC Cultural workshops website for more information.

Moreton Bay/Caboolture region

17 April–19 June: Montages: The Full Cut, 1999–2015 – Caboolture Regional Art Gallery

Montages: The Full Cut, 1999–2015 presents the full suite of eight montage films by artist Tracey Moffatt and her long-time collaborator Gary Hillberg. Exhibited all together for the first time, these works span 16 years of their collaborative practice, from the first montage work created in 1999 to the latest in 2015.

1 May–17 July: IDEN-DEFY – Pine Rivers Art Gallery

IDEN-DEFY brings together a collection of portraits by First Nation artists that engage in the discourse around individual and communal identity. Portraits of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are inherently political, the act of identifying as such defies the last 200 years of forced assimilation and asserts the living continuum of bloodlines of the Traditional Owners of our continent.

IDEN-DEFY explores the threads that connect us to our ancestors, to country, to history and to inherited responsibilities. Together they represent the diverse community discourse around defining what modern indigenous identities are.

22 May–18 July: Country Connects Us – Somerset Regional Art Gallery

In the Country Connects Us exhibition, Jinibara artists and community members have created artworks including sculpture, prints, paintings and multimedia works that tell the story of the deep and continuous connections that are guided by their country.

3 July (10am–3.15pm): Mindle Bygul Aboriginal Corporation 2021 NAIDOC Family Fun Day (EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)

This NAIDOC Family Fun Day is a free event, and all are welcome. It will be held in Barujugan Park (Cnr Endeavour and Captain Cook Parade) in Deception Bay (Behind Deception Bay Library).

There will be a Traditional Welcome To Country, catered Elders tent, traditional dance, workshops, interactive children's activities, sideshow alley, and live entertainment.

7 July (9.30am-2pm): Elders Acknowledgement Lunch 2021 (EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)

Join us for refreshments as we help celebrate and acknowledge our Elders in our community and thank them for being there to guide, support and nourish our families. It will be held at the USC Caboolture campus pavilion and there will be free kids activities.

Guest Speaker - Aunty Ruth Hegarty

MC - Lyn Chapman

RSVP by 25th June due to numbers. Email dena@doddugle@cofcqld.com.au or nadine@dbcyp.org.au 

Please advise of any dietary requirements

Fraser Coast

4 July (10am–12pm): Fraser Coast Annual NAIDOC church service (EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL 18-24 SEPTEMBER)

The service will take place in Dayman Park, Urangan and there will be a free BBQ. For more information, contact Alissa on 0437 079 340.

5 July (8–10am): Fraser Coast NAIDOC free breakfast and flag-raising ceremony

The free breakfast and flag-raising ceremony will take place at Kalang Respite Care Centre. Contact Bec on 0403 141 649 for more information.

22 September (10am–2pm): Dhaanban Birrbam Djali (Hervey Bay Family Fun Day)

This free family event will take place at the Seafront Oval in Hervey Bay. For more information, contact Mark on 0436 420 599.

7 July (from 10.30am): Fraser Coast NAIDOC tree-planting ceremony (EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL 18-24 SEPTEMBER)

The ceremony will take place at Lupton Park Community Gardens (on Aberdeen Ave) in Maryborough. For more information about this free event, contact Mary on 0419 688 008.

7 July (5–7pm): Hervey Bay Ghundus Disco (EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL 18-24 SEPTEMBER)

The free disco for children ages 5-13 will be at the PCYC Hervey Bay in Pialba. Contact Mark Staib on 0436 420 599 for more information.

8 July (9–10am): Flag-raising ceremony, morning tea and official NAIDOC photo (EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL 18-24 SEPTEMBER)

These free events will take place on the Maryborough City Hall Green. For more information, contact Sonny on 0411 081 966.

8 July (10.30am–5pm): Dhaanban Birrbam Djali (Maryborough Family Fun Day) (EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL 18-24 SEPTEMBER)

This free Family Fun Day will be held at Queens Park in Maryborough. Contact Sonny on 0411 081 966 for more information.

24 September: Annual NAIDOC Golf Day

Time: 7am Breakfast for a 7.30am Tee off at the Hervey Bay Golf Club
Cost: $75 per person (includes Shirt, Cap, BBQ Lunch and 18 Holes) Contact Les on 0429 303 077 or Mark on 0436 420 599 for more information.


The Ball will be at the Maryborough RSL and feature a Headline Performance by Coloured Stone.
Cost: $100 per ticket (includes buffet dinner, photo booth and more)
Contact the event organiser Sonny on 0411 081 966 for more information.
Tickets Available from Mark via email at mark.staib@pcyc.org.au.

Gympie region

5 May – 26 June: Songlines, Lines of Connecting, Dreaming and Remembering – Gympie Regional Gallery

Songlines - Lines of Connecting, Dreaming and Remembering brings together new and existing work from established and emerging First Nations artists within the wider Gympie region, exploring and expressing their stories of connection to country and community, shared songlines and lifelines.

These contemporary iterations of shared stories and community connections reflect the deep history embedded within culture. Showcasing the continuity of these stories and lived expressions, each artist responds to and explores what Songlines mean to them.

Artists, elders, and traditional owners from the region: Fiona Foley, Bianca Beetson, Uncle Russell Bennett, Aunty Beverly Hand, Kane Brunjes and Stevie O’Chin come together to explore their shared connections.

Other exhibitions throughout Southeast Queensland

The Connecting Stories Creative Arts Alliance supports a First Nations-led approach to our work with Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander peoples. Connecting Stories has been developed in partnership with Blaklash Creative and is delivered through the engagement of First Nations creatives, cultural leaders and businesses.