Big day out for NAIDOC Week

Big day out for NAIDOC Week

Multi-award winning hip-hop group Street Warriors will take centre stage at the City of Sydney’s free NAIDOC in the City event at Hyde Park North next month.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the event – part of a major opportunity to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture organised by VIBE Australia – will help launch NAIDOC Week on Monday 8 July.

“NAIDOC Week is an incredibly important recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Sydney has a strong Indigenous community and we’re proud to be working on projects, such as the Eora Journey, designed to acknowledge their significant history, celebrate their culture and to promote reconciliation.

“This event is an open, free and fun way for people to take part in NAIDOC Week and I hope people from around Sydney join us in Hyde Park.”

Newcastle-based Street Warriors will appear on the main stage from 1pm, performing songs from their debut album, Unstoppable Force, which includes their cover of the hit song, Solid Rock with Shannon Noll.

The brothers, Abie Wright (aka Predator) and Warrick Wright (aka Wok), will be fresh from shooting a music video in New York for their upcoming single, Champion.

“NAIDOC Week has always been important and we’ve always made sure we’re a part of community events,” Abie said.

“NAIDOC is a celebration of our culture, and how important it is to have community input, whether it be through music or song and dance, Aboriginal people make a very important contribution to Australian society and we want to celebrate that.”

Abie was working as an Aboriginal tour guide and his brother as a youthworker, when they started performing over a decade ago as a way to inspire young people around them. They were the first Aboriginal band to perform on Triple J’s Live at the Wireless and began touring across the country.

“We saw many young people who needed more positivity in their life and we found they connected really well with hip-hop and that’s a great tool to encourage and inspire them,” Abie said.

“It was a time when hip hop was new to Australia, and there were groups like the Hilltop Hoods who were pioneers. It was an exciting time, because we were really young and getting right into it.

“Now, we feel we’re just fortunate to be at that point where we’re doing things that we’ve always wanted to do.”

VIBE Australia executive producer Gavin Jones said NAIDOC in the City was an opportunity to not only experience our oldest living culture in one of Sydney’s well known locations, but for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together and celebrate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity of Sydney.

“NAIDOC Week offers everyone the opportunity to support their local Indigenous community. It’s a very special week on our national calendar, and the celebrations planned for NAIDOC in the City will showcase the best of our culture, traditions and achievements,” Mr Jones said.

“Importantly, through this year’s NAIDOC theme, we are remembering the vision, strength and commitment of our early activists the Yolngu people to protect their land; and how the legacy of these incredible people continues today.”

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2013 is We Value the Vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963, which will mark the 50th anniversary of this important turning point in traditional rights and ownership.

The two bark petitions were sent by the Yolngu people, of Yirrkala in northeast Arnhem Land, to the Australian House of Representatives in August 1963, protesting the Commonwealth’s granting of mining rights on land excised from Arnhem Land, and to recognise the land as belonging to the Yolngu people.

The petitions were the first traditional documents to be recognised by Australian law and set into motion a long process of legislative and constitutional reforms for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as the nation’s acknowledgment of their land rights.

NAIDOC Week, from 7-14 July, celebrates the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, which grew from the first political groups of the 1920s.

Other NAIDOC in the City activities include a dedicated Kidzone and basket weaving workshops, with more performers and activities to be announced in coming weeks.


NAIDOC in the City

11am-3pm, Monday 8 July

Hyde Park North


Other NAIDOC Week events hosted by the City:


Redfern flag raising ceremony

9.30am, Monday 8 July

Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern

The City of Sydney’s annual flag raising ceremony at Redfern Community Centre will include refreshments and transport to the NAIDOC in the City, Hyde Park event.


Aboriginal Photography Exhibition

1 July-31 August

Newtown Library, 8-10 Brown Street, Newtown

In conjunction with Amnesty International and Demand Dignity NSW, Tali Gallery Rozelle has curated a travelling exhibition of photos showing cultural practices and art creation in remote communities.


Torres Strait Islander artist talk

6-8pm, Tuesday 9 July

Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre, Level 1, 405 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Artist Glen Mackie discusses how his Torres Strait Islander heritage inspires his intricate linoprint artworks, on show in the library from 1 July-31 August. Patricia Adjei, the Copyright Agency’s Indigenous legal officer, will also discuss copyright for Indigenous artists, resale royalties, and cultural intellectual property rights.

Free; bookings essential on 02 9265 7576


Indigenous youth linoprint workshop

2-4pm, Wednesday 10 July

Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre, Level 1, 405 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Zenadh-Kes artist Glen Mackie, from the Torres Strait, hosts a printmaking workshop for young people.

Free; bookings essential on 02 9265 7576


Aboriginal watercolours talk

6-7pm, Wednesday 10 July

Customs House Library, Level 2, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay

Di Stevens, curator at Tali Gallery, talks about Ngurratjuta Arts Centre in Alice Springs, which supports over 300 Aboriginal artists, with a special focus on the Hermannsburg school artists that continue the watercolour landscapes tradition. There are about 15 artists that paint in the watercolour style, being descendants of Albert Namatjira. Arrive early to see an exhibition of their works on level one, from 1 July-31 August.

Free; bookings essential on 02 9265 7576

NAIDOC Week events supported by the City:

Sunday 7 July, midday–4pm: Family Fun Day and Aboriginal History Tour

Glebe Public School, 9-25 Derwent Street, Glebe; phone 02 9566 1285.


Friday 12 July, 9am–5pm: Inner City NAIDOC Family and Sports Day

National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, 180 George Street, Redfern; Phone 0412 206 205.


Saturday 13 July, 10am–4pm: Woolloomooloo NAIDOC Family Day 2013

Forbes Street Reserve, Woolloomooloo; phone 02 9368 1381.


For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jodie Minus, phone 0467 803 815 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin on 0477 310 149 or email