Variety of NAIDOC Week events planned

The City of Cockburn encourages the community to participate in a variety of local activities it has planned to commemorate NAIDOC Week 2020 (8-15 November).

Events include a flag-raising at the City, an author event with Aboriginal writer Stephen Kinnane, a Nyungar language singing workshop with award-winning Aboriginal performers Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, and Bush Tucker BBQ and Aboriginal Astronomy Night events for local youth.

The City will begin the week with an annual flag raising ceremony and Welcome to Country at its Coleville Crescent centre at 10am on Monday 9 November.

It will be followed by a free morning tea where local businesswoman Marissa Verma of Bindi Bindi Dreaming will speak about this year’s National NAIDOC Week theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.

For people aged 12-18 who live, work or study in Cockburn, Cockburn Youth Services will host a free Aboriginal Astronomy Night at the Gravity Discovery and Observation Centre in Gingin on Friday, 13 November.

It will include an astronomy night tour, Aboriginal storytelling, kangaroo stew with damper and home drop-offs in the Cockburn area. 

Young people are also invited to Cockburn Youth Centre on Thursday, 12 November for a free BBQ 6.30-8pm. The centre, at 25 Wentworth Parade, Success, will host 3-on-3 basketball, craft activities, face painting and a photo booth.

On the same night, a one-off event sure to prove popular, is a Nyungar language singing workshop with three-time winners of the WAMI Indigenous Act of the Year Award, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse.

The workshop is a modern take on ancient Aboriginal traditions, merging acoustic guitar with vocals.

It also includes catering by Bindi Bindi Dreaming, showcasing native herbs and spices. With a cover fee of $5 pp, this event will be held at Success Library at 6.30pm.

While the Nyungar language is spoken by fewer than 400 people today, workshops like Gina and Guy’s celebrate its entrancing natural rhythms, encouraging more people to learn about and revive the language for future generations.

Nyungar is the language of the traditional owners of the South-Western region of Western Australia and the workshop will explain the four Balladong principles or Koort (heart), Moort (family), Boodja (land) and Koorlangka (children/legacy).

Cockburn Libraries will also host award-winning Aboriginal author Stephen Kinnane in conversation with fellow author and researcher of Aboriginal history, Dr Chris Owen.

This free event will be held at Spearwood Library on Tuesday, 10 November at 6.30pm and bookings are essential.

The University of Western Australia research fellow will talk with Kinnane, a Marda Marda man from the East Kimberley, who has been a writer for more than 25 years.

Kinnane’s award-winning book Shadow Lines, first published by Fremantle Press in 2003, is a biography of his maternal grandparents, Mirriwoong woman Jessie Argyle and Englishman Edward Smith.

The powerful, lyrical love story honours two remarkable people and a vibrant Aboriginal community that flourished against the odds in the heart of Perth.

It won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Melbourne University Publishing Award for Non-fiction in 2003 and the AIATSIS Stanner Award and the WA Premier’s Award in 2006.

Kinnane co-wrote and produced The Coolbaroo Club (1996), an ABC TV documentary awarded the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Human Rights Award for the Arts, and collaborated with Lauren Marsh and Alice Nannup on When the Pelican Laughed the story of Mrs Alice Nannup (Fremantle Press, 1992).

Dr Owen has been researching Aboriginal history for over 20 years, and his published articles have received research and archive awards.

His first book, It’s Still in My Heart, This is My Country: The Single Noongar Claim History, co-written with John Host, won the 2010 Australian Human Rights Award for Nonfiction and the Margaret Medcalf Award.

Dr Owen is also the author of Every Mother’s Son is Guilty: Policing the Kimberley Frontier of Western Australia 1882-1905, published by UWA Press in 2016.

Photo of Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse by Jarrad Seng.

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City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaditj boodjar kep wer kaadidjiny kalyakool yoodaniny, wer koora wer yeyi ngalak Birdiya koota-djinanginy.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.