On campus or online, you can celebrate the UQ NAIDOC Festival

11 August 2020

National celebrations of NAIDOC Week may have moved to November but UQ is marking the event during a period (11-15 August) when all students are able to get involved.

With free entertainment, workshops, panels, films and food across three campuses - and a supporting online program - there are plenty of ways to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This year’s theme of Always Was, Always Will Be. recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

St Lucia’s Great Court was the place to be on Tuesday 11 August (12-8pm) for performers, panel discussions, weaving and bush tucker lolly workshops, arts and crafts, and food stalls.

The day also featured an Elders’ tent and tours of the UQ Anthropology Museum’s exhibition, Queensland Aboriginal Creations: Agency and Legacy.

Family-friendly entertainment was presented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians and performers, including Ben Barker, Digi Youth Arts and Chris Tamwoy.

In her speech to launch the Festival, UQ’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Bronwyn Fredericks remarked that “NAIDOC 2020 invites us all to embrace the true history of Australia – a history which dates back thousands of generations”.

“NAIDOC 2020 is also an opportunity for us to look to the future and talk about the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culture and knowledges in the nation and in this institution at UQ. It is my sincere hope that this will be a role of leadership, respect, trust and friendship – one that is true to the principles of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.”

Professor Fredericks made a special mention of Baidam Solutions, an Indigenous-owned IT business based in Brisbane which has established an endowed scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at UQ. She also acknowledged UQ’s new Vice-Chancellor Professor Debbie Terry, saying “we are looking forward to working with you to make UQ a national and global leader in Indigenous excellence and reconciliation”.

Gatton (12 August) and Herston (13 August) are having their own on-campus celebrations, including food and market stalls, a Ben Barker didgeridoo performance and cultural workshops.

Celebrations are also featuring online throughout the week, with virtual panel discussions, a virtual bush tucker garden tour, an online poetry workshop, an art workshop hosted on Facebook, an online watch party for the In My Blood it Runs documentary, a Garret Lyon live music watch on Instagram, and virtual tours of UQ’s Anthropology Museum. Wednesday evening’s program features a live Murri Trivia night via Zoom.

Check out the UQ NAIDOC Festival website for the full program, brought to you by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit in partnership with UQ Life.