Aboriginal Elder and actor, Uncle Jack Charles and Aboriginal comedian, Sean Choolburra are among participants of City of Port Phillip’s first virtual celebration of NAIDOC Week, which runs from the 8 to 15 of November 2020. Online events catering to all ages will be streamed throughout the week, as Port Phillip Council celebrates and recognises First Nations people.
Uncle Jack Charles, in partnership with Smiling Mind, will narrate a guided meditation, available to stream from Monday 9 November, while comedian Sean Choolburra will be serving up hot takes in his ‘Comedy Cooking Spectacular’, streaming on Friday, 13 November.
Uncle Jack Charles said it was important as ever for the community to come together for NAIDOC Week 2020.
“There have been a lot of disruptions to our lives this year due to the COVID-19 health crisis, but I’m thrilled NAIDOC Week will go ahead virtually. The Port Phillip Council program will encourage a deeper understanding of Australia’s shared history as we journey towards truth and reconciliation,” Mr Charles said.
‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, the theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week, signifies the strength of the spiritual and cultural connection of First Nations people to Australia, and their ongoing relationship with the land.
Traditionally held in July, this year’s NAIDOC celebrations were moved to November in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of Port Phillip CEO Peter Smith said it was important for Council to continue its long tradition of marking NAIDOC Week. “The Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung have a timeless connection to the land we call Port Phillip. It’s a privilege to work closely with them throughout the year, and I’m proud, that despite the challenges of COVID-19, we are delivering a rich cultural program for our community”, Mr Smith said.
Council’s NAIDOC Week program features a traditional ceremony, musical performances, a gardening workshop, a comedy cooking show, and a mindful meditation, with N’arweet Carolyn Briggs officially opening proceedings with a Welcome to Country on Sunday 8 November.
Other highlights of NAIDOC Week include:
- Port Melbourne’s Bili Nursery will present a workshop on growing edible plants Indigenous to the Port Phillip area (streaming from Wednesday 11 November).
- Musicians Allara and Brent Watkins (aka Culture Evolves) will unite for a special performance of loop pedal storytelling, featuring double bass, spoken word and didgeridoo, alongside a conversation about the healing power of music (streaming from Thursday 12 November).
- Online music festival Isol-Aid, which has a line-up of live-streamed performances from First Nations artists on Saturday 14 November.
- Primary school students in years Prep to Grade 2 are invited to celebrate with a colouring in competition featuring illustrations by First Person artist Rubii Red of animals native to the area. Older students (grades 3—6) will be asked to create a new work that expresses what they’ve learnt during NAIDOC Week.
For more information and the full NAIDOC Week program, go to NAIDOC Week.
Image: Aboriginal Elder and actor, Uncle Jack Charles recording his Smiling Mind meditation