Australia boasts of having the world's oldest recorded culture.
The Indigenous peoples of Australia have inhabited this land for 60, 000 - 80, 000 years and have extensive spiritual, cultural, social and physical connections to it. These connections are so deep that non-Indigenous Australians, like me, can never fully understand them— but we can celebrate and admire them. Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! is this year's theme for Australia's Annual NAIDOC Week. The theme acknowledges the resilience of Indigenous Australians who continue to stand strong in the face of the systemic racism that has been ingrained in Australian society since colonisation. NAIDOC week gives all Australians, Indigenous or not, the chance to celebrate this rich culture. It is a time to listen to, learn from and celebrate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.
At Woven Threads we focus on sharing real stories from people whose voices may go unheard. Our aim is to tell these stories so that they simultaneously enlighten and enthral our audiences. Our recent and upcoming work is all about Indigenous stories; however, we believe that though these stories are of our land, they are not ours to tell. This is why we are so excited to be working alongside an incredible team of Indigenous Australians in our third instalment (stories of First Nations peoples) Woven Threads: Stories from Country. Through Keenan and Carly’s (Deadly Connections) continued to support, time and knowledge, we have already learnt so much. Recently, we collaborated with 13 YARN to share founder Andrew Bacon's story of endurance; yet another powerful Indigenous story about the establishment of an essential crisis support centre for First Nations peoples. We could hardly believe our luck when we were able to engage the infinitely talented and creative Tony Briggs to direct the series. We are delighted to have him on board. Tony wrote and directed the iconic play, The Sapphires, a beautiful story of 4 young, Indigenous women who tour Vietnam to sing for the troops during the war (made into a film in 2012). And finally, our excitement and joy surrounding this series just keeps building thanks to the engagement of the amazing Indigenous artist Kiara Rodreguez-Hextell, who will be creating some of the artwork. We all know that Art is essential to Indigenous storytelling so we look forward to weaving a rich tapestry with this series.
To Watch Keenan's story click here.
We had the pleasure of hearing from Frances Rings during our VIVID panel, the artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre. In the spirit of celebration I implore you to have a look at Bangarra Dance Theatre and maybe even book a show this NAIDOC week, you won't regret it.
Australia always was, and always will be Aboriginal land, so let's unite this NAIDOC week and celebrate our astounding Indigenous culture. We are all so excited to bring these stories to light, and cannot wait to share them with our audience. NAIDOC week is a time for us all, Indigenous or not, to embrace the beautiful native culture of Australia.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
To speak to a 13YARN Crisis Supporter, call 13 92 76
For an Indigenous run and led support service please contact Deadly Connections on 18004USMOB or 1800487662
If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.
Have something on your mind? You can reach out to BeyondBlue at 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.