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Celebrating NAIDOC Week on the Gold Coast: Immerse yourself in Indigenous culture this July

Kellie Warner | July 4, 2022

Kalwun NAIDOC launch

Gold Coasters can get up, stand up and show up this NAIDOC Week 2022 with our comprehensive list of events and activities.

From 3 to 10 July, Australia celebrates NAIDOC Week 2022. The theme for this year is Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! With an underlying message that we all need to go beyond words and token gestures, and genuinely move towards reconciliation.

Justine Dillon, Project Manager at Ngarang-Wal Gold Coast Aboriginal Association and a proud Kombumerri descendant, explains the importance of NAIDOC Week:

“I think it helps everybody build acknowledgement and awareness, especially on the Gold Coast because we have such a hidden history. We’re feeling a cultural shift the last few years where our culture is welcomed… and people want and are valuing us and paying us for our knowledge and time for the first time ever.”

So, if you want to show up for reconciliation, then the Gold Coast has plenty of events celebrating the rich and diverse culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during NAIDOC Week.

Can’t make an event? There are still plenty of ways you can show your support. Let’s go:

NAIDOC Week Community Launch | Monday 4 July
Kalwun Community Care, 118 Bogin Road, Bonogin.

The Kalwun community is involved in a range of community services and resources on the Gold Coast, including childcare and medical services, with the goal of ensuring that Indigenous people live long, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Join them from 9:30am for a 10:00am start to celebrate NAIDOC Week. Just some of the offerings of the morning will include a moving flag-raising ceremony, guest speakers and live performances. Light refreshments will be available.

Under 8’s Play Based Fun | Tuesday 5 July
Kalwun Early Learning Centre – 9 Jowett St, Coomera

A great event for the kids! Take your little ones from 9:30am to 11:30am. Activities include beloved favourites of most kids; bubble makers and a jumping castle.

Gold Coast Titans NAIDOC Event | Tuesday 5 July
Viney Park, Coomera

Since 2015 the NRL Titans have celebrated and acknowledged the Gold Coast Indigenous community by holding an event each NAIDOC week. This year is no different and you can join them from 10:00am – 2:00pm for some education from members of over 50 organisations, as well as loads of fun.

Enjoy performances from Indigenous groups in between wandering through the information stalls and grabbing food for the kids, when they aren’t participating in the activities being held.

Embracing Stories from First Nations Authors | Wednesday 6 July
Bond University Library

Bond University Library are holding a book reading event to introduce books and Indigenous authors to a wider audience.

They are fundraising for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, an organisation that provides books to help improve literacy levels for indigenous people.

For more info and to register click here.

NAIDOC Community Panel | Thursday 7 July
Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre

This Community Panel promises to be a highlight of the week. Join local members of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community as they explain what this year’s theme means for them personally. It promises to be an emotional event, but spaces are limited. RSVP via naidoc@kalwun.com.au

Gold Coast Community NAIDOC Street March | Friday 8 July
Corner Marine Parade & McLean Street, Coolangatta

To top off an amazing week of celebrations there will be a street march going from Queensland over the border into New South Wales.

Meet at 9:45am for a 10:15am start and march proudly to the border. After the march a Corroboree will be held in Chris Cunningham Park.

The perfect way to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

Tweed NAIDOC Dinner Dance 2022 | Friday 8 July
Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club

The doors of Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club open at 6:00pm for a sensational night of food, entertainment and dancing.

For more info and tickets click here.

Gold Coast Suns v Richmond Tigers. Round 17 AFL | Saturday 9 July
Metricon Stadium – Nerang Broadbeach Road, Nerang.

Gates open at 2:45pm for the round 17 match. There will be carnival rides for the kids for this special NAIDOC round. Plus, if you purchase an adult ticket then you get two junior tickets for free! Purchase tickets here. 

Luther Cora during the Jellurgal Cultural Centre walking tour

People viewing artwork ‘Common Ground’ by artist Bianca Gardiner-Dodd at Art Lovers Australia

Kalwun NAIDOC Launch

ART EXHIBITIONS

Zowie Aboriginal Art Exhibit
Australia Fair Shopping Centre, Southport

Zowie is combing with Retail First to display her art for NAIDOC Week. Next time you head to Australia Fair for your retail therapy, you can catch this exhibit of stunning art.

Art Lovers Australia Gallery | 10 – 31 July
Unit 14 Brickworks annex, 19 Warehouse Rd, Southport

The launch of the NAIDOC “Here, Hear!” exhibit celebrating indigenous artists will be on the 9 July in both the Gold Coast and the Melbourne Galleries. You can RSVP via Eventbrite.

Then from 10 July, the Gold Coast exhibit features works by talented Indigenous artists expressing their connection to country and displaying their proud heritage. The art can be purchased in-store or online.

Plus, later in the month on Saturday 23 July join Aunty Erica Eurell for a Yugambeh Weaving Workshop. You can learn traditional weaving and make your own basket while having a yarn. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. 

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

Donate To Charity

The Indigenous Literary Foundation does incredible work providing books and increasing literacy levels in remote communities.

ANTaR is a national organisation that campaigns for justice and rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Sisters Inside is a Queensland based independent charity that advocates for incarcerated indigenous women and children and their families.

There are many more worthy charities you could donate to. Here is a list of some.

Purchase Ethically Sourced Aboriginal Art and Products

There are so many talented Indigenous artists, fashion designers and creatives that a quick google search will show you dozens. But here are some of our favourites.

Young Indigenous artist Ryhia Dank won the competition to design this year’s NAIDOC poster. She currently has a sale on prints on her website, here. Other artists to check out include Libby Harward, and Rachael Sarra.

Gallery One at Brickworks in Southport often feature Indigenous artists, including the Ken sisters. Have a look at their website.

Art Ark is a website that ensures fair payment, and ethically source all the artworks they sell. They have paintings as well as traditional weaving work.

Or try Japingka Aboriginal Art, who are also dedicated to selling only ethically sourced art and have a long list of talented artists to choose from.

If you want to show your NAIDOC colours through t-shirts, scarves, water bottles etc then you can head to Yarn or BWTribal. Or go to Clothing the Gaps, a fun indigenous fashion label who have their own NAIDOC collection.

Prefer actual fashion? There are some incredible indigenous fashion designers on the Australian fashion scene. See here and here for lists of just some of the best. 

Get Educated at Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre
1711 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

 The Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is the place to go to learn all about our local Indigenous history.

You can purchase all manner of Indigenous art and can examine a wide range of cultural tools and instruments like boomerangs and didgeridoos.

Best of all you can embark on a picturesque, guided walk and stroll through tropical beachside rainforest while learning all about Aboriginal history and stories of the Dreamtime.

Please note the writer, who is non-Indigenous, is donating 10% of her payment from this article to Sisters Inside.

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