NAIDOC Week

12 July 2019

NAIDOC Week

Each July, Australians across the country join together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as part of National NAIDOC week. Like National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week has a theme each year which recognises our nation’s First Peoples.

This year’s theme is ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s Work Together for a Shared Future’. 

As part of NAIDOC Week celebrations, our Head Office gathered to view and discuss some culturally relevant changes we have made to the office, which is on Kaurna land.

We have named our meeting rooms after the four Kaurna seasons and the Kaurna wording for “Hello, how are you?” (Ninna marni). We also now proudly display some beautiful artwork from Indigenous artists. Each artwork has a different story relating to Indigenous peoples relationship with the land. To find out more about the paintings read below:

Artwork pictured: Tjintitia Tjukurpa, Rita Watson.

Kunga Kutjara (Two Sisters)

Artist: Nami (Unurupa) Kulyuru

Region: APY Lands

This painting depicts the story of two women travelling around Australia on foot, from Western Australia to Wamitja (Birthday Creek), near Ernabella on the South Australia – Northern Territory border. They have digging sticks to look for mai (bush food) and travel through sand hills and mountains on their long and treacherous journey. At Wamitja they face conflict but continue on their journey.

Tjintitia Tjukurpa

Artist: Rita Watson

Region: Pitjantjatjara

This painting depicts the story of the woman ‘Linga’ (lizard people) drinking water from the rockhole Tjintita. All the Wati Wanambi (army of watersnakes) see her drinking from this water and decide to kill her and place her body in the hole at Wanambi ngura Nigultu. The marks depict the spear marks of her death. The Pitjantjatjara people don’t drink the water as it’s too dangerous; only dingos drink the water. This side of Ilurpa in Western Australia is known as sandhill country. This is the country from where the artist originates.

Walka (Meaningful Marks and Patterns)

Artist: Anyupa Stevens

Region: APY Lands

Anangu are the people of the APY Lands in the north west corner of Australia, notably Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language groups. They often paint dreaming stories that are related to their family, country and ancestors. Stories also relate to particular parts of country, land forms that have been created during the dreaming, by the ancestral beings and their lives and adventures. These stories are related by Anangu in songs, stories, sand drawings, naming of landmarks, body painting and ceremonies, and in modern times are shown in paintings on canvas.

Nganampa Ngura

Artist: David Miller

Region: Kalka

This painting depicts a representative of Anangu meeting a representative from the government. He talks about Anangu country and asks for support to protect the land and culture. Anangu requires help to stop copyright violations and other fraud. In the words of the artist, ‘We want our story to stay in our land!’