UQ NAIDOC Festival 2019 a Success!

9 August 2019

The University of Queensland celebrated this year’s NAIDOC week with a host of events, music, culture and art across three campuses.

This year’s theme was Voice. Treaty. Truth. “Let's work together for a shared future.”

The NAIDOC theme of of Voice Treaty Truth - Let’s work together for a shared future, which reflects the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. If you are not familiar with the Uluru Statement, see https://www.1voiceuluru.org/

The Herston and Gatton campuses celebrated with Indigenous dancing, arts and food stalls for their inaugural NAIDOC events.

While the NAIDOC event at St Lucia had workshops, panels, films, along with daners, art and stalls and was topped off by a concert headlined by the talented and inspirational Yirrmal, The Merindas, Ziggy Ramo and Emily Wurramara.

Food and drink stalls gave the opportunity for all to taste Indigenous foods, including crocodile, emu and kangaroo, along with non-alcoholic beer infused with native fruit and spices.

Workshops at the St Lucia campus celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and traditions that included (a men’s only) Didgeridoo & clapstick making, with Kamiliroi man and skilled didgeridoo artisan Josh Brown. The weaving workshop for women was led by Quandamooka weavers Sonja and Elisa Jane Carmichael and was a popular event at the Festival.

A student panel drawn from Alumni undergraduate and postgraduate students discussed treaty. Francis Nona, Emily McConnochie, Mark Gillard and Murrawah Johnson engaged with the NAIDOC theme and focused specifically on concepts of Voice, Treaty, Truth. 

Professor Anita Heiss delivered a Deadly Writing workshop while Gaja Kerry Charlton the "Yari Goori" (Aboriginal talk) workshop introducing the Jandai-Yuggera language.

During the afternoon, the UQ Art Museum showed several films including the ABC Television series Blue Water Empire produced by Aaron Fa’Asoso. This three-part documentary series highlighted the history of the Torres Strait Islands. Following the screening, a panel discussed the series and other issues facing Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit Director, Professor Bunda said she ‘was very pleased and proud of all students and staff that participated in the NAIDOC celebrations across the three campuses for UQ.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Bronwyn Fredericks said “Voice Treaty Truth is a powerful NAIDOC theme and offers an opportunity to bring students, staff and the broader community together to talk about the Australian Constitution, possible changes and ways of working towards a shared future.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Bronwyn Fredericks.


NAIDOC at Herston campus.
NAIDOC at Gatton campus.