This week is being recognised as NAIDOC week for truth and reconciliation across the land now known as Australia. In recognition, we invite you to spend time discovering and learning about our First Nations people and their rich and awe-inspiring culture through a list of books, music, podcasts, films, fashion brands and arts curated by our Performing Lines WA team.
Celebrating NAIDOC Week with a curated list of First Nations Art and Culture
This boldly illustrated work from First Nations creator Helen Milroy celebrates the birds in our backyards. From laughing kookaburras to prancing mudlarks, this is a fun and lively read for the very young.
Lies, Damn Lies
Acclaimed author Claire G. Coleman, a proud Noongar woman, takes the reader on a journey through the past, present and future of Australia, lensed through her own experience. Beautifully written, this literary work blends the personal with the political, offering readers an insight into the stark reality of the ongoing trauma of Australia’s violent colonisation
The Biggest Estate on Earth
The Biggest Estate on Earth will forever change the way you look at every piece of Australian bushland. Written by historian Bill Gammage, it tells a fascinating story about the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people in pre-settlement Australia. And what we think of as virgin bush in a national park is nothing of the kind.
Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse
Discover or re-discover award-wining duo Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse as they launch their latest album, KOORT (Heart), a live offering that was recorded at the 2021 Perth Festival. Told in both Noongar and English, KOORT follows Gina’s bittersweet journey as a product of the Stolen Generations and how she grew up to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and become a champion in our community.
Ziggy Ramo’s SOH session
Listen to Ziggy Ramo Burrmuruk Fatnowna’s debut album Black Thoughts commissioned by the Sydney Opera House as part of their From Our House to Yours weekly program – a live-streamed hip-hop reckoning through love, compassion, dispossession and systemic racism envisioned for listeners from all walks of life.
CAN’s Ngaluk Waangkiny series
Ten respected Elders from Boorloo (Perth) have collaborated with CAN to share their life journeys as part of this legacy project. Their stories are poignant, powerful and at times heartbreaking and harrowing – but they have been laid bare so that future generations are aware of Australia’s often hidden black history. Hosted by Noongar performer and storyteller, Phil Walleystack, their stories reveal powerful and at times heartbreaking accounts of what it was like growing up Aboriginal in Australia, treated like outsiders and second-class citizens on their own land. Get clued up with all the episodes here.
Debutante: Race, Religion and Girl Power
Australia’s most celebrated young playwright Nakkiah Lui and actress Miranda Tapsell travel the world talking to other indigenous women and to other debutantes. They are angry, young, vocal, Aboriginal and very, very funny. Join them on their journey, starting with a lesson on teatime etiquette in London where it all began, as they follow the debutante trail and discover that First Nations women across the globe have made this tradition their own.
Unapologetically Blak’is brought to listeners by Gomeroi, Gamilaraay woman Ginny (also founder and designer of Ginny’s Girl Gang) and her amazing mate AJ, a proud Barkindji, Latje Latje and Wakka Wakka woman. Through the podcast they seek to place Indigenous voices at the front and centre of tough conversations to show Australia a new narrative of First Nations’ experiences in contemporary society. The pair laugh and cry as they discuss topics that have long been put in ‘too hard a basket’ such as black identity, mental health and heartbreak. Bless your ears right here.
Take It Blak
Take It Blak is NITV’s leading podcast that explores the stories behind the news, hosted by Goori journalist Jack Latimore and Wiradjuri STEM journalist Rae Johnston. This incredibly informative and insightful podcast discusses important Indigenous events, news and profiles of First Nations people that are doing amazing things within their communities. Listen to Take It Blak here.
Black Magic Woman
Hosted by Mundanara Bayles, put Black Magic Woman to the top of your list. Featuring open and uplifting conversations with First Nations people, creating a better understanding of First Nations people’s culture and history—this podcast is an absolute treat. Bayles yarns with everyone from Wiradjuri elder Uncle David Bell, founder of Young Spirit Mentoring Program, Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia and Dr Anita Heiss. Have a listen here.
If you’re after a solid LOL-fest, then bless your ears with Broriginals. Hosted by brothers Texas and Travis De Vries, the duo draws on their 80,000 years of cultural heritage to give advice to listeners on how to be a better Aboriginal and maybe a better human being in general. In each episode, the brothers will feature bad answers to questions from audience members, questions from the Deadly Questions portal and other strange oddities from the internet. Give the podcast a listen here.
Preppers is a six-part ABC comedy series with a stellar cast that follows Charlie, a young Aboriginal woman who, after suffering her own personal cataclysmic event, finds herself at the centre of a mismatched community of ‘preppers’ planning for the apocalypse at Eden 2.
Evonne Goolagong Crawley on ABC
Don’t miss David Wenham’s interview of Evonne Goolagong Crawley screening this week on ABC TV. Her incredible career as a world-champion tennis woman also inspired the play Sunshine Super Girl written and directed by Yorta Yorta/Gunaikurnai theatremaker Andrea James and produced by Performing Lines.
Clothing The Gap
Clothing The Gap is an Aboriginal-owned organisation that gives 100% of profits to Indigenous health and education programs across Victoria. Playing on the phrase “Closing the Gap”, the unisex brand sells a range of empowering slogan tanks, tees, and accessories.
Ngali translates to ‘we’ or ‘us’ in a number of Australian Aboriginal languages, and it’s this very sentiment that forms the core of this mindful label. Dedicated to creating sustainable clothes that unite people with Country and one another, Ngali’s garments are considered and comfortable, crafted through the lens of Yindayamarra—fashion that shows respect, is polite, mindful, gentle to Country and honours cross-country collaborations with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives.
Established by proud Warumungu / Wombaya woman Jessica Johnson, Nungala Creative draws on their Indigenous heritage to create eye-catching jewellery and designs.
The Tjanpi Desert Weavers are famous for making colourful baskets and animal sculptures using native grass. They are also known for their life-sized sculptural groups and installations.
Bush Magic Metal
Founded and created by self-taught silversmith Lydia Baker, a proud Indigenous woman descending from both the Mununjali and Butchulla Tribes, Bush Magic Jewellery began from a passion for the Australian bush. Inspired by “culture, the stories, our ancestors being custodians of the land”, Baker’s hand-made designs centre sterling silver and the Australian opal to create pieces that are uniquely captivating.
GALUP VR Experience
WA Museum – on until July 17th
Noongar theatre-maker Ian Wilkes and artist/filmmaker Poppy Van Oorde-Grainger have created a VR experience of their sold-out 2021 Perth Festival performance Galup produced by Same Drum and Performing Lines WA.
Nih! Yeyi Yorga Waangkiny
Fremantle Arts Centre – on until July 31st
Nih! Yeyi Yorga Waangkiny features a small but considered collection of works by Nyoongar women, or yorga, each at different stages of their lives and creative careers, as well as those no longer with us, including:
- Sharyn Egan
- Bella Kelly
- Ilona McGuire
- Lola McKickett
- Laurel Nannup
Jila Kujarra: Two Snakes Dreaming
Fremantle Arts Centre, Aug 13 – Oct 23
An exciting cross-cultural collaboration between Warnman artist Desmond Taylor and Boorloo-based textiles practitioner Mariaan Pugh. Taylor and Pugh have worked together to transform Taylor’s Niminjarra paintings, usually seen on canvas or paper, into highly tactile textile works, animating the important Niminjarra Jukurrpa (Dreaming).
Take a FREE online Noongar language course with Curtin University or tune into Word Up to learn about Aboriginal languages around Australia. Spanning from Anmatyerre to Arrente to Yankunytjatjara and Yorta Yorta, Word Up is the podcast bringing these languages back to life, so to speak, and is hosted by Bundjalung and Kullilli man Daniel Browning. You’ll learn about important words, stories from elders and songs too.
Go on a Bush Tucker Walk with Bindi Bindi Dreaming and explore Noongar Boodja with Aboriginal guide Marissa. See bush tucker and medicinal plants in their natural environment, handle artifacts and tools and gain a full understanding about the Noongar six seasons.
Join local Nyungar guides Walter and Meg McGuire on an authentic walking tour at Elizabeth Quay, Yagan Square, King Park or Rottnest Island and learn about the rich local Aboriginal history and culture.
Hero image of GALUP VR Experience Launch by Rah Studios courtesy of Sharon Wood-Kenney.
Galup VR Experience is created by Ian Wilkes and Poppy van Oorde-Grainger with an oral history from Doolann-Leisha Eatts.
Produced by Same Drum and guided by a team of supportive Noongar Elders
Presented by WA Museum in association with Perth Festival
Assisted by Australia Council for the Arts and Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Supported by project partners Town of Cambridge, City of Vincent, Viewport XR, Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, Community Arts Network and Sandbox