Celebrating NAIDOC Week

Decal inside the Fisher Library

In 2020, NAIDOC Week (8–15 November) is dedicated to the theme ‘Always was, always will be’, celebrating the 65,000+ years of Indigenous custodianship of this continent.

If you’d like to get involved in this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, why not explore some of the Library’s First Nations resources? Below are some highlights. Keep an eye on our social media (Facebook and Twitter) for other NAIDOC Week activities.

First Nations voices in the Library collection

Our Aboriginal Studies Guide is where you will find books, news, journals and video featuring Aboriginal languages and culture, as well as links to websites and other resources with Aboriginal perspectives.

Earlier this year, Nathan mudyi Sentence, the Library’s Wingara Mura Librarian, put together a reading list of books and articles written by First Nations authors, with an emphasis on history, truth-telling, and self-representation.

Jazz Money

Throughout NAIDOC Week, the Library will be showcasing video works by Jazz Money, a Wiradjuri artist commissioned by the Library through a Wingara Mura grant for a Digital Placemaking Project to develop a series of artworks for Library spaces.

These pieces from Jazz’s collection are a response to the devastation of the bushfires that closed 2019 and heralded in the new decade. Titled ‘living landscape’, ‘burnt’ and ‘slow water’, these videos on display in Fisher Library reflect the artist’s grieving for Country and kin, as they seek out hope amidst the helplessness of mass destruction.

Wajarra from Wave Hill

On the Library website, you can watch and listen to performances of wajarra, public songs sung by the Gurindji people of the Northern Territory. Gurindji stock workers including Vincent Lingiari famously led the 1966 Wave Hill walk-off, a major victory in the Indigenous land rights movement.

The wajarra performances on the Library’s website include the ‘Freedom Day song set, which commemorates and celebrates those events. These recordings accompany the book Songs from the Stations, part of the Sydney University Press Indigenous Music of Australia series.

The series has also featured wangga singers from north-western Australia; you can hear their voices and learn more about wangga in the Library’s digital collections.

Indigenous languages

The Library is working to make it easier to search and discover items in our collection that feature Indigenous Australian languages, by adding AUSTLANG codes to relevant catalogue entries.

For example, whether your preferred spelling is “Kamilaroi”, “Gamilaraay” or Gamilaroi, you will now be able to find resources like Gagan = Colours, a picture book written for Gamilaraay language learners by Suellyn Tighe, a Gamilaraay woman and University of Sydney graduate.

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