Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program

Past events and activities

NAIDOC Week 2010 with William Barton

William Barton

On 7 July 2010 the Department celebrated NAIDOC Week (4–11 July) with a performance by William Barton and Friends during a reception before the Hon Peter Garrett MP, the diplomatic corps, invited guests and DFAT staff.

NAIDOC Week 2010 at Australia's Overseas Missions

DFAT also celebrated NAIDOC Week 2010 throughout Australia's overseas network of Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates. Showcasing Indigenous Australian visual arts, music and performance and providing information on the message behind NAIDOC Week and Indigenous political developments in Australia.

Dubmarine groove in The Hague

Dubmarine groove in The Hague

Wayne Quilliam in Jakarta

Wayne Quilliam in Jakarta

Spreading the word in Bangkok

Spreading the word in Bangkok

Indigenous art takes Beijing by storm

Indigenous art takes Beijing by storm

Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) 2010

DFAT spreads the word on Indigenous Reconciliation and Repatriation

On 28 May 2010 the Department celebrated Reconciliation Week 2010 with a seminar series on Indigenous Australia – Closing the Gap.

The seminars were launched by the Department's Secretary, Mr Dennis Richardson, and presented in association with the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

They explored topical Indigenous issues in Australia today, including developments in the reconciliation movement in Australia since the Prime Minister's Apology in February 2008 and the repatriation of Indigenous remains and its significance to Indigenous Australians.

Key speakers included:

  • Mr Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
  • Mr Russell Taylor, Principal of the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Dr Kerry Arabena, Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
  • Mr Jolyon Rimmer Welsh, British Deputy High Commissioner

For more information on Reconciliation: Reconciliation Australia

For more information on Repatriation: FAHCSIA - International Repatriation

National Reconciliation Week 2010 poster

‘BALGO: Contemporary Australian Art from the Balgo Hills’

A riot of colour and energy, BALGO explores the stories, lives and history of the Kukatya language speakers in the Balgo Hills, Western Australia. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in conjunction with the Commonwealth art repository, Artbank, is proud to tour this exciting exhibition throughout its global network of diplomatic missions.

More information on the BALGO Exhibition

Artwork from the Balgo exibition
Artwork from the Balgo exibition

'Songs of Indigenous Australia: A Compilation of Music by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People'

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has continued its collaboration with Darwin-based independent recording company, Skinnyfish Music, in the production of a second Indigenous music compilation: "Songs of Indigenous Australia: A Compilation of Music by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People".

Following on from the success of "Listen Up – Music of Black Australia" launched in 2002, the new music compilation features well known Indigenous artists, such as Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Dan Sultan and Tom E Lewis, and will be distributed to the department's overseas posts to feature during NAIDOC Week 2009.

Songs of Indigenous Australia CD cover front and back, various artists
Songs of Indigenous Australia CD cover front and back, various artists

'Gelam Nguzu Kazi – Dugong My Son'

'Gelam Nguzu Kazi – Dugong My Son' completed the final leg of its international tour, visiting seven cities in North and Latin America. Concluding in Buenos Aires in June 2009, this striking collection of artistic works from the Kubin community of Mua Island, located in the Torres Strait north of Australia's mainland, continued to attract strong audiences and extensive media coverage. More than 2000 visitors saw the exhibition on its first day in Mexico City, with 13,000 visitors seeing the show during its entire run.

In New York, the exhibition was launched at the UN in the margins of the annual United Nations Economic and Social Council meeting. Attended by more than 250 Permanent Representatives, other diplomats and members of the Australian artistic and business communities, the event generated excellent television and print media coverage, drawing attention to the Prime Minister's National Apology and the Government's moves towards closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

More information about Gelam Nguzu Kazi – Dugong My Son

Gelam Nguzu Kazi – Dugong My Son