NAIDOC Week is an annual observance celebrating and recognising the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Held across Australia from the first Sunday of July each year, NAIDOC Week celebrations give every Australian an opportunity to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.
NAIDOC Week 2023 will be held from Sunday 2 July to Sunday 9 July.
This year’s theme – For Our Elders – pays homage to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders who play an important role and hold a prominent place in Indigenous communities and families.
We’ve put together a list of NAIDOC activities and events happening near you this year.
NSW | VIC | QLD | TAS | WA | SA | NT | ACT
Inner City NAIDOC Family Fun Day
Head to Carriageworks in Eveleigh to experience NAIDOC Family Fun Day – a day of celebration, commemoration and protest. Witness spellbinding performances from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers, singers, musicians and bands. Visit the Elders Tent, feast on a barbecue lunch, wander market stalls and take part in Jarjum activities.
The Inner City NAIDOC Family Fun Day is coordinated by the Eora NAIDOC Community Group, who have held annual NAIDOC events since 2019. The Group is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Group organised by an Aboriginal Volunteer Committee from Inner Sydney.
Bundjalung (Byron Bay)
17 June — 22 July
Lone Goat Gallery in Byron Bay will be hosting the Cavanbah Exhibition by Anthony J. Walker, a Yiman, Ghungalu, Gurreng Gurreng artist, long-time Byron Bay resident and former Indigenous park ranger. This free, solo art exhibition revolves around ‘caring for Country’, with vibrant paintings reflecting the artist’s impression of the Northern Rivers region and offering a unique view through a First Nations lens.
The exhibition invites guests to reflect on their own relationship with the area’s land, sea and waterways and asks observers to actively safeguard the ancient landscapes we inhabit. Opening night runs from 5pm to 7pm on 16 June, with the not-to-be-missed Artist In Conversation: Anthony J. Walker with Robert Appo at 2pm on 24 June.
Anthony J. Walker, Untitled (3), 2023, acrylic on canvas, 95 x 125cm, image courtesy the artist.
NAIDOC in the City
Head to Hyde Park for NAIDOC in the City, a free celebration of food, song, art, dance and stories in the heart of the city. Visitors can wander the Fig Tree Markets, where you can buy local and authentic art, craft and produce from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. Or take place in the Bilarra (spear) Games, traditional games from various First Nations communities and peoples.
Complete with a Bayumi (music) Hub, hosting a celebratory program of talented First Nations artists, a Dangura (dance) ring for connecting to Country and Gunyahs (hut/home) dedicated to children, NAIDOC in the City is the ideal day out for the whole family.
Sing, dance and appreciate the culture in Hyde Park north. (Image: NAIDOC in the City)
NAIDOC Debutante Ball
The NAIDOC Debutante Ball will be held in the rural NSW town of Tamworth this year, giving young, local Aboriginal men and women the opportunity to make their debut in the Tamworth community. The event was founded in 2022 by the Tamworth NAIDOC Debutante Committee for young people aged between 16 and 22. The Tamworth NAIDOC Debutante Ball puts a spin on the traditional debut by adding cultural components to boost confidence and leadership skills.
Bush Food Planting Day
Gadigal (St Peters)
Attend a free guided tour of Sydney City Farm with educators from Koori Connections for Bush Food Planting Day this NAIDOC Week. Sydney City Farm is an urban agriculture and sustainable food production hub in the inner-city suburb of St Peters.
Those joining the tour will not only develop an understanding of the living history of Aboriginal cultural connection to landscape, but gain insight into bush foods suitable for growing in the area. You’ll also get the opportunity to plant bush foods at the farm and even pot your own bush food plant to take home. Tours are available across three time slots on the day; 12 pm, 1 pm and 2 pm.
National Indigenous Art Fair
The National Indigenous Art Fair is coming back to Sydney Harbour to showcase creations from First Nations artists, designers and makers from around Australia.
The art fair provides Sydneysiders with the opportunity to buy ethical, authentic art direct from the artists. It includes two uniquely immersive days of Indigenous Australian art, performances, panel discussions, bushfood and a communal weaving circle at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks.
More than fifty stalls from remote Art Centres and Sydney’s Blak Market will be onsite, selling art, handmade jewellery, homewares, food and more. All proceeds made at the event will go directly back to the artists and First Nations communities.
More than fifty stalls will be at the National Indigenous Art Fair.
Mogo Big Day Out
The Mogo Big Day Out is a family-friendly and free event sprawled across the quaint town’s communal oval. Organised by the Boomerang Meeting Place Inc., this is one the whole family can enjoy while celebrating and honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders.
This epic event will run from 10am to 4pm and host a variety of things to do and see throughout the day. From the Traditional Opening Ceremony and Indigenous dancing to live music, arts and crafts, carnival rides and a free barbecue, there’ll be something for everyone.
Witness traditional Indigenous dancing and music. (Kat Patton Photography)
NAIDOC Up Late: Trailblazers
Join hosts Luke Currie Richardson and Ghenoa Gela for NAIDOC Up Late: Trailblazers at the Cutaway in Barangaroo this NAIDOC week. The free event aims to honour the trailblazers and advocates that led the way for generations in response to this year’s theme: For Our Elders.
With invitation-only and free public basketball competitions, food trucks and amazing performances by First Nations artists, this event is not to be missed. The line-up includes headlining act ARIA-nominated hip-hop rapper BARKAA, Tasman Keith, Nooky, B Wise, A.GIRL and Australia’s leading RnB DJ Nino Brown.
NAIDOC Celebration Day
NAIDOC Celebration Day in the waterfront Central Coast city of Gosford is a free local event hosted by You Connect in collaboration with Wiradjuri man, Kyle Freeman. Everyone is welcome to this community-hosted event, which will feature a smoking ceremony and acknowledgement. Attendees can also look forward to baking, games, music and Indigenous painting. This NAIDOC Celebration Day will run from 10am to 2pm.
Electric Fields + Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Award-winning electronic music duo and self-described ‘feminine brothers’, Zaachariaha Fielding (vocals) and Michael Ross (keyboard/producer), aka Electric Fields, are performing with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) at Hamer Hall for NAIDOC Week. The MSO and Electric Fields will perform song cycles of the duo’s work, arranged for orchestra by Alex Turley.
The duo’s music combines pop, soul and electronica with intimate storytelling. Zaachariaha’s vocals often include the traditional languages of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara people. Tickets are on sale now for this unmissable performance, with prices ranging from $53 to $102. The performance begins at 7:30pm.
The unmissable show will be held at Hamer Hall in Naarm.
Mullum Mullum Community Blak Arts
3 July — 1 September
Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place and Arts in Maroondah will present Mullum Mullum Community Blak Arts at the Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery in Ringwood. The art exhibition embraces the extraordinary range, scope and talent of artists within the Mullum Mullum Community, representing traditional art practices that have been passed down over 60,000 years.
Mythical stories of The Dreaming are embedded in traditional and contemporary approaches to art, ranging from weaving, drawing and painting to burning symbols on possum skins, implements, tools and weapons. The exhibition’s launch falls during NAIDOC Week 2023 on Thursday 6 July. It will feature performances from Dhungala Dancers, Yeng Gali Mullum choir and a poetry reading from Aunty Irene Norman.
Image: Aunty Irene Norman, Penelope Platypus, 2022, acrylic.
For Our Elders: Aunty Marlene Gilson in Conversation with Kiri Smart
Wadawurrung Elder, Aunty Marlene Gilson will be at Ballarat‘s Eureka Centre to discuss her art and share her cultural knowledge, in conversation with Kiri Smart from the Art Gallery of Ballarat, this NAIDOC Week. Aunty Marlene Gilson is an acclaimed Wadawurrung artist of multi-figure paintings that re-tell and reclaim the stories of colonisation.
Aunty Marlene Gilson is the custodian of a fascinating oral history about the Wadawurrung people and the Eureka Stockade, which is reflected in her recently commissioned painting by the Eureka Centre. Excitingly, this painting will be unveiled at the free event.
Uncle Greg Muir: A Retrospective
3 July — 8 July
Head to the No Vacancy Gallery in the heart of Melbourne this NAIDOC Week for Uncle Greg Muir: A Retrospective. Hosted by Art Access Victoria, the exhibition presents a retrospective of work by Yorta Yorta artist Uncle Greg Muir. There will also be an opening celebration and smoking ceremony, with Welcome to Country by N’arweet Carolyn Briggs AM.
Family, connections, home and landscape are the prominent themes of Uncle Greg’s artwork, all of which come together in this selection of over fifty years of work. Through his art, Uncle Greg explores Aboriginality and Disability, inviting the observer along on the wonderful and deeply personal journey.
NAIDOC Running Festival
In the Melbourne suburb of Wyndham Vale, the NAIDOC Running Festival invites participants from far and wide to get amongst the action. To kick things off, there will be a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony and traditional dance performance before the one-kilometre, three-kilometre, five-kilometre or 10-kilometre races. And it doesn’t matter if you win or not, everyone receives a medal.
Non-runners can also participate without having to break a sweat. Enjoy a free lunch, plus a variety of cultural activities and market stalls by local businesses.
Family Day at the Farm
Now this is one the whole family can enjoy. Aboriginal Housing Victoria’s NAIDOC Family Day at the Farm is back this NAIDOC Week. Held at the much-loved Collingwood Children’s Farm, the event will include traditional crafts, live music and dance, plus an art show, raffle and library storytelling. Family Fun Day at the Farm is a free community celebration, running from 10.30am to 3pm.
Family Fun Day at the Farm is at the ever-popular Collingwood Children’s Farm.
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is one of the biggest celebrations of Indigenous art across the country. The Cairns space is a curated, ethical marketplace showcasing authentic and original artwork from well-known and up-and-coming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
CIAF acts as a platform for cultural exchange and economic opportunity for Queensland Indigenous artists. This year, as well as an amazing collection of Indigenous artwork, visitors can expect an Opening Night Party, fashion performance, live music and a variety of artistic workshops including weaving and printmaking.
CIAF is one of the biggest celebrations of Indigenous art across the country.
National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony
To kick off NAIDOC Week 2023, the National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony will be held in Brisbane. This awards ceremony is all about recognising the outstanding contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues in the wider community.
This year, celebrate the 2023 winners of 10 amazing award categories, including the National NAIDOC Youth Award and the National NAIDOC Caring for Country and Culture Award. Those in attendance can also enjoy a deadly line-up of performers throughout the night!
Celebrate winners across 10 categories. (Image: National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony)
Aboriginal Culture Show
At the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast, you can attend an Aboriginal Culture Show any time of the year. However, make it special in 2023 by visiting during NAIDOC Week. The Yugambeh Aboriginal Dance Group will give you an insight into local First Nations culture by sharing ancient knowledge through traditional songs, stories and dance. Clapsticks, digeridoo and melodic vocals will fill your ears as stories and dancing aim to educate all.
Witness the Yugambeh Aboriginal Dance Group live. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Triple A Community Ball
Brisbane City Hall will fill up with guests for the Triple A Community Ball: Celebrating Brisbane Black Excellence this NAIDOC Week. Expect dancing, live performances and awards recognising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of South-East Queensland. It’s a night of celebration, recognition and entertainment, with a large focus on bringing people together to celebrate local communities and cultures.
Awards for leading Elder, Youth, Community Person, Sportsperson, Education, Innovation and Creative Arts will be handed out. Guests will be treated to a three-course meal, plus a five-hour drinks package. Tickets are priced at $150 per person.
The Triple A Community Ball will be held at the iconic Brisbane City Hall.
NAIDOC Week Film Showcase
Reconciliation Tasmania is holding the NAIDOC Week Film Showcase for the second year running in 2023 to celebrate NAIDOC Week across Tassie. The film Ablaze will be taken across the state, heading to the regional towns of Bicheno, Scottsdale, Smithton and New Norfolk in that order.
Ablaze follows Yorta Yorta man, opera singer and senior lecturer in Indigenous Arts and Culture at the Victorian College of the Arts Tiriki Onus. It is a story about family, as Tiriki goes on a journey to discover if his grandfather Bill Onus was the first Aboriginal filmmaker. Tickets for each location are on sale now.
kipli takara Tour
piyura kitina (Risdon Cove)
Celebrate NAIDOC Week with kipli takara piyura kitina-ta (bush foods walk at Risdon Cove), hosted by palawa kipli, a sustainable Aboriginal food company just outside of Hobart. The bush tucker tour teaches guests about how Indigenous communities use traditional native plants in food.
It allows the opportunity to hear from Tasmanian Aboriginal people on how their connection to land and food resources is a part of their culture and history. The 90-minute experience includes a 60-minute guided walk of Risdon Cove plus a fully catered lunch from palawa kipli. Tickets are priced at $90 per person.
Kitana Mansell leading a kipli takara tour. (Image: palawa kipli)
At What Cost?
Head to the Theatre Royal in Hobart this NAIDOC Week to watch At What Cost? by Pakana playwright Nathan Maynard. The play follows Boyd, who has been trying to balance making a living with his responsibilities to Land and People. It explores themes surrounding history, culture, identity, Country and community.
Immerse yourself in this fantastic piece of Indigenous work and learn about Indigenous history and culture. There will be four performances across three days, priced between $50 and $90 per person.
AT What Cost? is written by celebrated Pakana playwright Nathan Maynard. (Image: Daniel Boud)
Unearthing Stories in Art
Explore the 2023 NAIDOC Exhibition for free with Zali Morgan at the City of Joondalup Library. Zali is the emerging guest curator for the City of Joondalup and the current assistant curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at AGWA.
Join Zali as she explores the artworks of the NAIDOC Exhibition, delving into the themes depicted and how they relate to For Our Elders. Those attending will learn about the artists, their practice and anecdotes about their work, shared through the lens of Zali’s own experience as a Noongar woman living and working in Perth. Registration for this event is required.
Bush Tucker Tasting and Knowledge with Marissa Verma
Come to the City of Vincent Library in Leederville and hang out with Marissa Verma as she shares her knowledge of the Noongar seasons and traditional bush food. Those joining will learn about and taste plants, herbs and spices, with Marissa sharing how to grow them at home. If you’d like to attend, registration is essential, however, the event is free and will run from 5pm to 6:30pm.
Lilly Pilly berries are a common bush tucker food.
Outer North NAIDOC Committee presents Mookaroo Festival in the Perth suburb of Merriwa, a free community event celebrating NAIDOC Week. Running from 10am to 2pm, the festival will begin with a Welcome to Country. This will be followed by food stalls, dance and music performances, storytelling, community services and kids’ craft. Mookaroo is a great opportunity for families with little ones to get out amongst the community and celebrate NAIDOC Week together.
Walk and Yarn
7, 15, 22 July
Held on 7 July, 15 July and 22 July, Walk and Yarn invites family and friends to stroll around Lake Joondalup with Justin Martin from Djurandi Dreaming. The Perth-based company on wadjuk Country offers guided tours, Aboriginal art classes and community activities.
Walk and Yarn includes stories of the Dreamtime and teaches participants about the Noongar seasons, including the current season of Makura and how it influences the local plants and animals. Tickets for Walk and Yarn start at $5 and are suitable for all ages.
Wander around the peaceful Lake Joondalup with Walk and Yarn.
Kullarri NAIDOC Festival
23 June — 9 July
If you’re around Broome during NAIDOC Week, put the Kullarri NAIDOC Festival on your to-do list. The festival is jam-packed with things to do to celebrate NAIDOC Week and its theme. From the Reconciliation Walk and NAIDOC Football Match to the NAIDOC Country Music Night and Kullarri NAIDOC Festival Awards Night, plus so much more! Kullarri invites the entire community out to celebrate and contemplate what NAIDOC Week represents to Broome and Australia.
Author Talk: First Nations Food Companion
Join authors Rebecca Sullivan and Damien Coulthard as they explore the writing of their award-winning book the First Nations Food Companion. Learn from the experts about how you can include native Australian ingredients in your own cooking at home. You can even give them a taste while you’re there!
The First Nations Food Companion includes 60 of the most accessible and popular Australian native ingredients and their uses in the everyday home kitchen. Think over 100 recipes featuring native ingredients, including bush-tomato cheese on toast, anise myrtle and macadamia poached chicken, myrtle tea cake and traditional medicines.
Authors of the book, Rebecca Sullivan and Damien Coulthard. (Image: Josh Geelan)
Aboriginal Art Workshop
Born on Yuggera Country and now living on Peramangk Country in Adelaide, local Aboriginal artist David Booth will be hosting workshops throughout NAIDOC Week 2023. David is known for patterning that depicts the shapes and colours made on waterholes at different times of day, night and seasons. The Aboriginal Art Workshops invite you to learn about Indigenous art and complete your own piece of art that you can take home. All materials will be provided; bookings are essential.
Dance the night away at Hindley Street Music Hall this NAIDOC Week with Yolŋu rock legends Yothu Yindi. Since bursting onto the scene in the late 1980s with their album Homeland Movement, the band continues to break boundaries with their music. Performing as part of Illuminate Adelaide to celebrate NAIDOC Week in style, let Yothu Yindi’s cool rock vibes take you into the night. Tickets are on sale now, with prices ranging from $59 to $69.
Yothu Yindi are known for their tribal Yolŋu beats and thumping rock vibes. (Image: Australian Paralympic Committee)
Deadly Cup Carnival
The 2023 Deadly Cup Rugby League Carnival will be held at TRL Stadium, in Darwin on Larrakia Country on 2 July. A free event that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their culture, promotes health and wellbeing and showcases the Rugby League talent from across the Northern Territory.
The carnival is a family-friendly, smoke, drug and alcohol-free event. On the day there will be something for everyone including cultural performances, cultural activities to participate in, kids activities, cooking demonstrations and more.
Enjoy a variety of cultural performances before the games begin.
Hosted by the Julalikari Council, the Tennant Creek NAIDOC March is all about community. The walk starts bright and early at 9am at the Northern Land Council. Participants are invited to collect their water, balloons, flags and NAIDOC merch before marching together to the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre. Upon arrival, everyone can gather to enjoy awards and refreshments and celebrate the accomplishments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Alice Springs Show
Mparntwe (Alice Springs)
NAIDOC Week is all about connecting to community, making the Alice Springs Show the perfect place to celebrate. This much-loved community event is the largest of its kind in Alice Springs, filled with experiences, attractions and activities for the whole family.
Check out the photography, craft, cooking, art, horticulture and agriculture competitions. Try delicious local produce at food stalls. Test your courage on some of the rides. Try your luck at the show games. And connect to community during NAIDOC Week at the Alice Springs Show.
First Nations Experience of Democracy Tour
The First Nations Experience of Democracy Tour at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra is a great way to spend your time during NAIDOC Week. It allows participants to consider aspects of the experiences of First Nation Australians within our democracy.
Hear stories of how First Nation Australians have taken different pathways to fight injustice and bring about change in Australia. The tour runs daily, starting at 11:15am and taking about 45 minutes to complete.
NAIDOC Week Last Post Ceremony
This special NAIDOC Week Last Post Ceremony focuses on both Australia’s war history and history as an Indigenous nation. At the Australian War Memorial, the ceremony will honour Private Edward Mussing, who served during the Second World War. The Last Post Ceremony takes place daily from 4:45pm, sharing the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour.
Get ready to get fancy. Head to the QT Canberra this NAIDOC Week in your best suit or gown for the 2023 NAIDOC Ball and Awards night. The 18+ event not only celebrates this year’s theme: For Our Elders, but up-and-coming Indigenous Australians making a difference. Your ticket will include a two-course alternative menu, tea, coffee and cake.