Keep the fire burning - What's on during NAIDOC Week 2024

Published on 17 June 2024


NAIDOC Week celebrations are being held across the country from Sunday 7 July to Sunday 14 July 2024, to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. You can support and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities through activities and events held across the week.

Welcome to Country

Woollahra Council acknowledges that the first people of this area are the Aboriginal people of the Eora Nation. Council is committed to working together with all members of the community to support reconciliation and encourage acceptance and respect for a diverse range of cultures.

Ray Ingrey, Chairperson of the Gujaga Foundation, explains the significance of Welcome to Country and showcases a traditional Aboriginal dance performed by the Gamay Dancers.

2024 NAIDOC Week Theme

This year’s theme is Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud.

The theme honours the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture - with fire a symbol of connection to Country, to each other, and to the rich tapestry of traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week events

Recommended Reading

Our library team have put together a NAIDOC Week-themed collection of books and e-books that are available to borrow from our eCollection or off the shelf.

Have a read here.

Don't Miss these Woollahra Gallery Exhibitions

We are excited to be showcase three new exhibitions, running from Wednesday 19 June until Sunday 21 July at the Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf. Entry is free.

Mangarri for the table

John Prince Siddon

The work of John Prince Siddon is a physical experience as much as a visual one, where the traditions of Indigenous and Contemporary art are challenged and transformed into unique motifs, stories and mark-making that transport us into the artist's world. His work is a poetry of visuals that challenges the way we see the Australian landscape. Often painting while watching the news, his work depicts the latest in culture, current affairs and global concerns, interwoven with desert iconography and the Narrangkarni (Dreamtime).

Image Courtesy of Arthouse Gallery, Sydney, Cement Fondu and Mangkaja Arts Centre

Pinampi (listen to remember)

Virginia Keft

Pinampi (listen to remember) was fashioned through the acts of learning, listening, and engaging with Culture. Drawing inspiration from the suburban and the domestic, Dr Virginia Keft seeks to override assumed knowledges of these spaces to shed light on narratives of Country, truth and healing.

Dr. Virginia Keft is a Murriwarri Woman; artist, performer, and researcher. Virginia lives and works on Dharawal and Gadigal Country. Her practice includes painting, drawing, weaving, sculpture and sound art. Her work is a powerful statement on the resilience of tradition, the persistence of cultural memory, and the strength of Aboriginal identity. Her work celebrates connections to place, community, and language. Weaving features in her practice, physically and symbolically. Language is woven into the works - in letter, sound, symbol, line and pattern, reflecting its scattered but persisting presence.

Virginia Keft

Kara Mir Giz (My Story)

Toby Cedar

Kara Mir Giz (My Story) presents an installation of masks, headdresses and sculptural works, showcasing artist Toby Cedar’s signature blend of traditional forms and material innovation. Throughout, Cedar shares his totems, history, and creation stories, celebrating the deep interconnectedness of art, culture, and community.

Toby Cedar

Find out more about current and upcoming exhibitions at the Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf.

Learn about the Dharawal language with the Gujaga Foundation and the Gujaga App

Did you know the word “Naggangbi” means “Hello” in the Dharawal language (the language spoken by the traditional owners of Coastal Sydney).

Discover more about our local Aboriginal culture by downloading the Gujaga App.

We have been offering Dharawal language classes at Woollahra Preschool, to give children the opportunity to learn the Dharawal language and their feedback and enthusiasm has been fantastic.

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Dharawal language classes at Woollahra Preschool

Our visit to IndigiGrow

Council staff and Bushcare volunteers headed out to IndigiGrow in La Perouse to hear about their work.

Indigigrow is a social enterprise that sustains Indigenous people and culture through the propagation of native plants, including bush foods and endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub.

The idea is to give local Aboriginal people employment and education opportunities; preserve traditional knowledge; and promote sustainability and biodiversity. It’s great for us as a Council, because we can source native plants for our parks and reserves from an organisation that cares about the area, its history and its people. They also run a retail nursery, and it’s a great place to get your own plants.

"Everyone has a role in preserving endemic species," says founder Peter Cooley. "That might be as simple as planting a native plant in your garden or on your balcony."

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IndigiGrow Founder, Pete Cooley

Woollahra Aboriginal Heritage Study and our Reconciliation Action Plan

As part of ongoing commitment to reconciliation we’re working with Reconciliation Australia on a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for Council. In 2022, we adopted the Woollahra Aboriginal Heritage Study in consultation with the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The final Reflect Reconciliation Plan is now available. Read the plan here.(PDF, 3MB)

The next step in Council's reconciliation journey is the development of the Innovate RAP, which outlines actions for achieving Council's vision for reconciliation.

Innovate RAP commitments will allow Council to gain a deeper understanding of our sphere of influence, and establish the best approaches to advance reconciliation. An Innovate RAP focuses on strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and piloting strategies for further reconciliation commitments and to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Council has commenced discussions with our cultural partners, the La Perouse LALC and the Gujaga Foundation to develop the new Innovate RAP.

Visit our Stingray at Woollahra Council Customer Service Centre

Next time you are in the Woollahra area, be sure to pop by the Woollahra Council Customer Service Centre to admire our Nawarlah (Stingray) 2022 artwork by indigenous artist Philomena Namundja. The artwork was purchased by Council during the Heart in Art exhibition in June/July 2022 held at the Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf.

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Philomena Namundja - Nawarlah (Stingray) 2022