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 2022 will be held from Sunday 3 July to Sunday 10 July.
This year’s theme – Get up! Stand up! Show up! – encourages all of us to champion institutional, structural, collaborative, and cooperative change while celebrating those who have already driven and led change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over generations.
We’ve put together a list of activities and events happening near you this year.
National Indigenous Art Fair
Warrane (Circular Quay)
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 and includes two uniquely immersive days of Indigenous Australian art, design, bushfood and culture.
Fifty stalls, an Indigenous smoking ceremony, First Nations dance and singing performances, bush food cooking demonstrations and a massive communal weaving project all form part of the two-day event taking place at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks.
NIAF begins the day before NAIDOC Week starts. (Image: National Indigenous Art Fair)
NAIDOC Up Late
Bring your own picnic and start NAIDOC Week off with this epic free event at Barangaroo Reserve’s beautiful Walumil Lawn. There will also be a selection of Sydney’s finest food trucks on site including Walkabout Coffee, Urban Pasta, Burger Head and Archie Rose Distillery Co with their own restricted bar area.
There’ll also be fire pits and lots of music and vibes with ARIA nominated singer-songwriter and eclectic musical icon Mo’ju headlining the night. Not to mention Ziggy Ramo, AYA J, Tessa Thames and Cloe Terare will be performing on the night too.
Mo’ju will be headlining at NAIDOC Up Late. (Image: NAIDOC Up Late)
ALWAYS HERE – 50 Years of Black Theatre
ALWAYS HERE – 50 Years of Black Theatre is a free photographic exhibition opening on 3 July, the first day of NAIDOC Week, in Bennelong Passage at the iconic Sydney Opera House. It recognises the pioneering activism of Redfern’s National Black Theatre and the history of First Peoples on the stages and sails of the Opera House.
This year marks 50 years since the Aboriginal-run National Black Theatre was created in politically-charged Redfern. It began a cultural revolution and was instrumental in establishing actors Bob Maza, Justine Saunders, Jack Charles and Lillian Crombie, who became key figures in a community that also included director Brian Syron and activist Gary Foley.
The free photographic exhibition will take place throughout NAIDOC Week. (Image: Sydney Opera House)
NAIDOC in the City
NAIDOC in the City is a free celebration to discover food, song, art, dance and stories in the heart of the city at Hyde Park north.
Complete with a Bayumi (music) Hub, Dangura (dance) ring, an array of authentic art, craft and produce stalls from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, and lots of family-friendly activities, NAIDOC in the City is the ideal day out.
Sing, dance and appreciate the culture in Hyde Park north. (Image: NAIDOC in the City)
Sydney’s NAIDOC Ball will be held at Centennial Hall at Sydney Town Hall on 9 July organised by Koori Radio (the same team behind the annual Yabun Festival)!
A formal night of song and dance and a celebration of blak excellence, the Sydney NAIDOC Ball invites you to walk the red carpet and be entertained by a line-up of First Nations performers supported by a 16-piece ensemble orchestra.
Tickets are $120 per person which includes a three-course meal with beverages. 18+ only.
SandSong: Stories from the Great Sandy Desert
Until 23 July
Created by Bangarra Dance Theatre in consultation with Wangakatjunga/Walmajarri Elders from the Kimberley and Great Sandy Desert regions, SandSong has been choreographed by Bangarra artistic director, Stephen Page, a descendant of the Nunukul people and Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation, and Bangarra associate artistic director, Frances Rings, a descendant of the Kokatha Tribe from the West Coast of South Australia.
SandSong tells the unique story of this Place and the survival of its People, where between the 1920s and 1960s, Aboriginal people were removed off their Country and forced into hard labour for no wages and minimal rations. Despite this displacement and cultural disruption, the people of the Western Desert have maintained an unbroken connection to their Land, keeping stories and kinship strong.
SandSong is on until 23 July. (Image: Dan Boud)
Rights & Freedoms NAIDOC Tour
The Royal Botanic Garden’s Cadi Jam Ora Garden will be open for children and their families to learn about the perseverance and resistance of First Nations peoples in their journey and fight for sovereignty, justice and freedom.
Through the Cadi Jam Ora Garden, children will learn about important First Nations figures, Dreaming stories and dates whilst creating their own Aboriginal flags, headbands, calico bags and much more.
Children will create their own Aboriginal flags. (Image: Royal Botanic Gardens)
National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony
After a three-year hiatus, the National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony is back and bigger than ever. Kicking off NAIDOC Week 2022, not only will you get to celebrate the 2022 winners, but the 2021 winners as well, all while being entertained by a deadly line-up of performers at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Awards recognise the outstanding contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to improve the lives of people in their communities and beyond and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues in the wider community.
It’ll be the first Awards since 2019. (Image: National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony)
The annual Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative NAIDOC Ball is being held at Mt Duneed Estate in Waurn Ponds this year. Complete with a delicious three-course meal, live music from the Stray Blacks and the Matron, Patron, Belle and Beau awards, it is set to be the best ball yet.
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 debuting 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 the MSO’s 2022 Cybec Young Composer in Residence, Alex Turley.
The duo’s music combines pop, soul and electronica with intimate storytelling. And Zaachariaha’s vocals often include the traditional languages of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara people. His dancing is also an integral part of the live show.
MSO and Electric Fields will perform at Hamer Hall in Narrm.
NAIDOC Week NGV Celebration
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) will hold its NAIDOC Week NGV Celebration at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia on 9 July from 10am–3pm. This is a free program of live music, dance performance, workshops, activities for kids, and guided tours of the Indigenous Art collection.
As part of the NAIDOC Week NGV Celebration the ground floor presentation Indigenous Art from the NGV Collection will be enlivened with performances and tours in English and AUSLAN sharing further insight into masterpieces and new acquisitions by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from the NGV Collection, with events and experiences for all ages. Throughout the day, a diverse collective of First Nations’ talent will fill the ground floor of NGV Australia with vibrant live performances.
The NGV Collection will be on display until 29 January 2023. (Image: Tom Ross)
NAIDOC Week Dance Party
Indigenous electronic music collective Tongberang’i Ngarrga Inc. and proud Yuggera woman and boiler room DJ Dameeeela have teamed up to put on the NAIDOC Week Dance Party. Showcasing an all-indigenous lineup of 14+ artists – aboriginal techno, electronic production, visual art, dance, storytelling, and comedy will permeate the outdoor oasis that is Abbots Yard, supporting revellers to connect to Country sonically, visually and through the open-air surrounds.
The event will pay homage to this year’s NAIDOC theme ‘Get up! Stand up! Show up!’ by spotlighting the vital role that art and performance play in facilitating reconciliation and cultural understanding among the wider community. NAIDOC Week Dance Party is family-friendly, pet friendly, and welcoming to all.
The dance party will be at Abbots Yard. (Image: Tongberang’i Ngarrga Inc.)
NAIDOC Official Opening Event
In support of NAIDOC week, the City of Joondalup will run a month-long program of events from 1–31 July.
On 4 July, join the City of Joondalup for a cultural immersion experience led by Sharon Wood-Kenney of South West Kinships. Following the activities and smoking ceremony on the lawn area by the Joondalup Library, there will be a flag-raising ceremony at the front of the Administration Building.
Yarns with Ron Bradfield
Come to the City of Vincent Library in Leederville and share your stories with Yarns R Us chief yarning officer Ron Bradfield Jnr and learn about how Aboriginal stories, when shared and told together, can help to heal us as a nation.
In celebration of NAIDOC Week, Ron will lead a conversation to help us consider how we can come together as a nation, despite the difficult times we have faced in the past and the challenges of the present. Ron facilitates cultural conversations for all kinds of groups. A natural storyteller and proud Bardi man, Ron helps Australians revisit and explore their personal stories and consider their own connections to this place their home!
Ron Bradfield Jnr is the CYO (chief yarning officer) at Yarns R Us. (Image: City of Vincent)
Ember Connect Launch Event
The launch of Ember Connect, an organisation elevating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women all over the country, will be held at Vin and Flower in Northbridge.
Ember Connect elevates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women all over the country to greater possibilities. They have created a living and breathing meeting place where women can gather, share stories and experiences, learn, and grow.
Friday in the Park
In Fogarty Park at the Esplanade in Cairns City, there will be a family day of celebration including stalls from small business owners, artists, sole traders and service providers. There will also be entertainment all day on the stage and community food stalls.
This is just one of the Cairns NAIDOC events, with a Trivia Night, Elders Luncheon and NAIDOC Breakfast as well.
Friday in the Park will be held at Cairns Esplanade. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
The Brisbane City Hall will fill up for the NAIDOC Ball, a night of dancing, live performances and awards recognising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mob in South-East Queensland.
Dance the night away at the NAIDOC Ball in Brisbane. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Tickets are now on sale with individual seats and table bookings available. Individual sale includes entry to the balcony area, canapes and the cash bar in a private room. Whereas table seat sales include entry to the main auditorium, a three-course meal, a five-hour drinks package, and cash bar access.
There will be performances by Nunukai Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers, Mop and the Drop Outs and DJ Big Mike, so don’t miss it!
Warndu Mai (Good Food)
Join Authors Rebecca Sullivan and Damien Coulthard as they explore the writing of their award-winning book Warndu Mai.
Warndu Mai (Good Food) showcases over 80 illustrated and accessible recipes using Australian native foods and ingredients such as Kakadu plum, native currants, finger lime and pepperberry to create unique dishes and treats. Think wattleseed brownies, emu egg sponge cake, bunya nut pesto, native berry, cherry and lime cordial, strawberry gum pavlova and kangaroo carpaccio.
Head to the event to learn all about the book Warndu Mai (Good Food)
Bridge Walk and Awards Ceremony
Mooppolthawong (Murray Bridge)
The Bridge Walk will commence on the east side of the road bridge in Murray Bridge at 9:30am. The walk will then flow through to the Local Government Centre for the NAIDOC Awards Ceremony from 9:45am.
Deadly Cup Carnival
The 2022 Deadly Cup Rugby League Carnival will be held at TRL Stadium, on Larrakia Country on 3 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.
Nayri Niara NAIDOC Celebration
The Nayri Niara NAIDOC Celebration is all about the community coming together, to share stories, laugh, dance, and sing. It is a day for people to celebrate Aboriginal ways of knowing and being.
A family-friendly event held at the LongHouse, there will be First Nations-led activities for young people, performances, cultural sharing, workshops and nourishing, wholesome and nutritional food and drinks.
There will be lots of projects happening at the Nayri Niara NAIDOC Celebration. (Image: Nayri Niari)