NAIDOC Week – Our Languages Matter

2017 National NAIDOC logo

NAIDOC Week runs from the 2-9 July and celebrates the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. This year’s theme is ‘Our Languages Matter’ and hopes to emphasise the vital role Indigenous language plays in the cultural identity, spirituality for Indigenous Australians and in linking them to their land and water.

Today only about 120 languages from over 250 are still spoken and many are at risk of being lost. Each unique language carries with it stories, rites and knowledge so it is important they each one is preserved and maintained. Ms Anne Martin, National NAIDOC Committee Co-Chair has said,

“Each language is associated with an area of land and has a deep spiritual significance and it is through their own languages, that Indigenous nations maintain their connection with their ancestors, land and law.”

This NAIDOC Week why not learn about the languages that shaped Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Here are some of the resources available at QUT Library that can get you started on your language journey.

Hermannsburg Pottery Display


Hermannsburg Pottery on display at QUT Kelvin Grove Library.

QUT Library has been honoured to display some of the beautiful Hermannsburg Pottery at Kelvin Grove Library. Hermannsburg Pottery is a unique collection produced by some of Australia’s most significant Indigenous artists. These pieces of art are from the western Arrernte community which is located west of Alice Springs. The Arrernte community creates pottery as a way to capture significant community events.

Eliza Tee, the Curator of Artisan Gallery, Brisbane, explains the importance of the pottery –

“Their stories’ are the voice of the individual sharing a community occurrence – it is the Arrernte people telling you how it is, how it was and what is important.”

Currently, we have the following artists work available for you to see –


Hermannsburg Pottery on display at QUT Kelvin Grove Library.



Elaine Kngwarria Namatjira

Rona Panangka Rubuntjia

Elizabeth Kngwarreye Moketarinja

Clara Ngala Inkamala

Irene Mpetyane Entata

Rahel Kngwarria Ungwanaka

Noreen Ngale Hudson

Judith Pungarta Inkamala




This inspiring display will be on level 5 at Kelvin Grove Library until the end of the year. Make sure to pop in to the library and feast your eyes on the beautiful pottery.


Our Dreaming: Animating Country

QUT Library is lucky enough to be hosting the Our Dreaming: Animating Country exhibition. It is currently on display at Kelvin Grove Library on Level 4, within the Curriculum Collection, until the end of March.

Our Dreaming: Animating country allows you to experience the colourful culture and history of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities. It focuses on the cultural medium of storytelling which has been used for generations to develop a multitude of enduring connections from past to present, people to place and to each other. As their traditional storytelling is transferred to modern communication it is preserved for future generations so that they can. Our Dreaming retells Queensland people’s stories through interactive displays and games which you can explore to your heart’s delight!

This display helps you to understand yourself and your place in the world through the cultural channel of story. So make sure you pop into see it at Kelvin Grove Library before the end of March!

Our Dreaming: animating country display at QUT Kelvin Grove Library

Our Dreaming: animating country display at QUT Kelvin Grove Library

Reconciliation Week in the Library

National Reconciliation Week 2015 Logo "It's Time to Change It Up"

Before you get too caught up with end of semester exams and assessment, take some time this week to join in awareness raising activities as part of National Reconciliation Week at QUT.

National Reconciliation Week commemorates both the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision in 1992. You don’t need to be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander decent in order to participate, National Reconciliation Week offers all Australians the opportunity to express their commitment to reconciliation and to get involved in reconciliation activities in the community.

'Aboriginal Colors' by Michael Loke (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

‘Aboriginal Colors’ by Michael Loke (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

QUT Library at Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove will be hosting a TEDx Lounge Event every day from Wednesday May 27 – Wednesday June 3 showcasing a range of inspiring talks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speakers.

No RSVP is necessary! All you need to do is bring your ears to listen, your friends to share with and your lunch to eat up to level 3 of Kelvin Grove Library from midday to 1pm. If you’re at Gardens Point, head to the newspaper area of the Library.

More information about the importance of reconciliation and National Reconciliation Week events is available from the National Reconciliation Week website or you can follow #NRW2015 on Twitter.


Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond by Harry Alfred Pitt –

July 6th is the start of NAIDOC Week, a time to celebrate Indigenous arts and culture. This year’s theme is Serving Country: Centenary & Beyond. Events include art exhibitions, award ceremonies, family fun days and more! The full event schedule is available on the NAIDOC website.

QUT will hold a special celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in week 3 of second semester. Murri – Ailan Way will run from August 5-7 with a variety of events across all three campuses. QUT Library will be holding a BlackWords promotion on the 6th of August featuring author talks. Watch this space for more information.

About NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week developed from the movement to promote awareness of the treatment of Indigenous Australians. In the 1940s, a day of mourning was held on the Sunday before Australia Day. This was known as Aborigines Day. It was moved to July in 1955, and was extended to include a celebration of Indigenous arts and culture. The National Aborigines Day Observance Committee was formed and when Torres Strait Islander culture was included in 1991, the committee became the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC). The new name has become the title for a whole week of celebration.

A nationwide poster competition, held since 1972, is a highlight of NAIDOC Week. Harry Alfred Pitt is the winning designer for 2014 with his beautiful image celebrating this year’s theme. All the posters can be viewed on the NAIDOC poster gallery.


QUT celebrates National Reconciliation Week, 2014


In May we commemorate National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week.

In recognition of these two important events, Kelvin Grove Library will be screening a curated collection of TEDx talks presented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speakers and performers. Everyone is welcome! Bring your lunch and settle into a comfy bean bag to watch this collection of inspiring talks. Some coffee and refreshments will be provided.

National Reconciliation Week TEDx Lounge

  • Tuesday, 27 May – Monday, 2 June
  • 12 – 1pm
  • Level 3 of KG Library

At the end of the week, join us for a yarn about the issues raised in the talks. We promise a thought-provoking discussion.

Journey for Recognition and Reconciliation’ Yarning Circle with Uncle Bill Buchanan (Co-Chair, Reconciliation Queensland)

  • Tuesday, 3 June
  • 12 pm
  • Level 3 of KG Library

QUT also has many more free activities planned during National Reconciliation Week including a Bush Tucker Walk in the Botanic Gardens. Find out more at the QUT Events Page.


Expanding the ANZAC story

While we take a moment on ANZAC Day to remember those who sacrificed for their country, let’s make sure we don’t forget ALL those who contributed.

Why not complement the more traditional ceremonies by learning more about the Indigenous contribution to our defense at home and overseas. Reconciliation Australia has some excellent information and suggestions to commemorate ANZAC Day. Or experience history live and in person at Black Diggers, a new play directed by Wesley Enoch and written by Tom Wright. Opening in September as part of the Brisbane Festival.

Find out more about Indigenous Australians at war through a fascinating collection of photos and other resources provided by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies. Some items included are available right now from QUT Library including Defending whose country?: indigenous soldiers in the Pacific war  by Noah Riseman and Indigenous service: investigating the wartime experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the First World War to the present: a resource for primary schools by Jennet Cole-Adams and Judy Gauld.

If you are at QUT Library at 11 a.m. this ANZAC Day please join us for a minute of silence to honour all the diggers.





BlackWords and AustLit talk to QUT Grad Ellen van Neerven

QUT Creative Writing graduate Ellen van Neerven was recently interviewed by Dr Anita Heiss as part of the insightful series “In Conversation with BlackWords.” Ellen is an up-and-coming author who won the David Unaipon Award in 2013 which honored the unpublished manuscript of her novel Heat and Light.

Read other conversations in this fascinating series with authors such as Melissa Lucashenko and Bruce Pascoe on the AustLit database.

BlackWords is available via AustLit and hosts the most comprehensive record of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander publications.


NAIDOC: A week of celebration

Dates: 7-14 July, 2013

Theme: We value the vision – Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963

NAIDOC stands for the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s who sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.

Today, NAIDOC is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.

The 2013 NAIDOC theme marks the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions to the Australian Federal Parliament. Find out more at the NAIDOC website.

Activities take place across the nation during NAIDOC Week in the first full week of July. QUT encourages all staff and students to participate in community celebrations, to find an event near you visit the NAIDOC events calendar.