Issue 9
Monday, 02 November 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
CDU NAIDOC celebrations showcase Indigenous culture through food, music, dance and art
CDU NAIDOC celebrations showcase Indigenous culture through food, music, dance and art

CDU celebrates NAIDOC in 2020

By Leanne Miles

Charles Darwin University students have immersed themselves in Indigenous culture at an event filled with hands-on workshops and performance as part of NAIDOC celebrations.

The unique experience gave participants the opportunity to learn traditional cultural practices from Larrakia Elders, artists and dancers.

Indigenous Student Support Officer and Larrakia man Charles Briston said that the celebrations had been altered this year due to COVID-19 restrictions in July when NAIDOC events were normally held.

“NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” he said.

“We wanted to ensure we marked NAIDOC Day in 2020 despite the delay.”

He said the NAIDOC’s 2020 theme of “Always was, Always will be” was an opportunity to promote inclusivity and unity, and to showcase Indigenous culture through food, music, dance and art to students.

“It is important to bring people together, to showcase Indigenous culture to students, especially international students who may not have had the chance to experience our culture.

After the smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country students were invited to join the Larrakia dancers, led by Lynette Fejo in the ceremonial space at CDU’s Indigenous Leadership and Regional Outreach precinct.

Mr Briston said he wanted the event to be an immersive learning experience for the students, giving them the opportunity to attend workshops in clapstick painting and playing, canvas painting, pandanus weaving and stringybark painting. 

“We wanted the students to not only see and experience our culture but to also take something away to keep and show their family and friends,” he said.

Mr Briston said the two-hour event culminated in a traditional Indigenous food and bush-tucker tasting.