Your Guide to NAIDOC Week 2018: Because of Her, We Can

With this year’s NAIDOC week theme of “Because of Her, We Can!”, we’re celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women everywhere. Their enormous contribution to community and culture is beautifully rendered in the NAIDOC theme statement

“As pillars of our society, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played – and continue to play – active and significant roles at the community, local, state and national levels. As leaders, trailblazers, politicians, activists and social change advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women fought and continue to fight, for justice, equal rights, our rights to country, for law and justice, access to education, employment and to maintain and celebrate our culture, language, music and art.

They continue to influence as doctors, lawyers, teachers, electricians, chefs, nurses, architects, rangers, emergency and defence personnel, writers, volunteers, chief executive officers, actors, singer songwriters, journalists, entrepreneurs, media personalities, board members, accountants, academics, sporting icons and Olympians, the list goes on.

They are our mothers, our elders, our grandmothers, our aunties, our sisters and our daughters.”

NAIDOC is a time to come together, celebrate First Nations People and put social justice firmly on the agenda. This handy event guide will help you do all that, and more:


Friday July 6, 9am-2pm, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) Nicholson Street Fitzroy
Free on Friday? Join with thousands of Melbournians as we march through the streets in solidarity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. Arrive at 9am for snacks, coffee, banner making, entertainment, and good times.


LGBTIA+ Pride Crowning
Thursday July 5, 6:30pm-10:30pm, Copacabana International, Fitzroy
Drag queens? Hell yeah. Hosted by Steven Oliver, LGBTIA+ Pride Crowning is sure to a fiercely glamorous night. Come along, bring your friends and watch Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queens perform, slay and compete to be crowned the winner! 

Thelma Plum Photo credit: Cole Benett


Friday July 6, 6pm-11pm, Melbourne Museum
Come down for a boogie at Melbourne Museum and celebrate Indigenous women in music. Featuring live performances from Thelma Plum, Mojo Juju, Kaiit, and Sovereign Trax, immerse yourself in the museum with exclusive access to exhibitions after-dark, discussion with museum experts and eclectic entertainment. 


Feminism in the Pub: Because of Her, We Can!
Wednesday July 4, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Victorian Trades Hall Council
Want to learn more about amazing achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women? For this year’s NAIDOC week, head to Trades Hall to join Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trailblazers Celeste Liddle, Marayne Muller, Marayne Muller, and Edie Shepherd, for a special night of stories and sisterhood.

Baggarrook – WOMAN
Friday 6 July, 8pm, Northcote Social Club
Baggarrock is Wurundjeri for ‘woman’. This event will be showcasing many of Naarm’s emerging women poets and musicians in our community.

Because of Her, We Can! Celebrating NAIDOC week with Rachael Hocking
Monday July 9, 7:30pm, Brunswick Library
Rachael Hocking will be sharing stories about the women who have inspired her personal journey. Rachael is a Warlpiri woman, journalist and storyteller who researches and writes about Indigenous Australia, land rights and black feminism. She currently works as a reporter and video-journalist for NITV’s news and co-hosts ‘The Point’ which features international and domestic Indigenous news.


Black Divaz: Going beyond Glue Guns & Glitter
Wednesday July 11, 6pm-8pm, Victoria Trades Hall
Celebrating the diversity and intersectionality of LGBT+ activists, ‘We are Union Pride’ are screening Black Divaz: Going beyond Glue Guns & Glitter, a film exploring what it means to be an Indigenous drag queen today. It’s a must-see.

Black Chicks Talking
Monday July 9, 10pm, NITV
Directed by Leah Purcell and Brendan Fletcher, documentary Black Chicks Talking includes interviews of very different five women. Ranging from Miss Australia Kathryn Hay to actress Deborah Mailman, each speak candidly about their life, work and future aspirations.


NAIDOC Week 2018 Exhibition
June 30-October 14, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum
Highlighting the achievements of Victorian Aboriginal women of the 20th century, this exhibition pays tribute to the quiet achievers, strong advocates and leading women who are the foundations of our vibrant First Peoples community today.

The Intersection of Art & Historical Collections
Wednesday 18 July, 5:30-6:30pm, Melbourne Museum
Take an in depth look into works created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator of South Eastern First Peoples Collections, will speak on key words and discuss the role of historical collections and the intersection of First Peoples contemporary art and creative cultural practice within the museum space. 

Next Matriarch
2 June -13 July, Koorie Heritage Trust, Federation Square
This exhibition is a conversation between seven Aboriginal women who reflect the next wave of Sovereign female voices in Australian contemporary art.

Colony: Frontier Wars
15 March-2 September, NGV Federation Square
Colony: Frontier Wars explores the period of colonisation in Australia from 1788 onwards and its effects on First Peoples. While some consider this period to be marked by the discovery of a ‘wondrous’ southern continent, for others it was an invasion of homelands occupied for many millennia. Truth.

Can’t make it to any NAIDOC week events? There’s still plenty of way to get involved:

  1. Learn about Indigenous women who was a pioneer of change in history. Have a look through NITV’s list of 20 inspiring black women who have changed Australia to get you started.
  2. Educate yourself about the history of the oldest continuous culture on earth! Deadly Questionsa new initiative from the Victorian Government, is a great place to start. 
  3. Listen to podcasts by Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander women! Pretty for an Aboriginal, featuring Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell, should be high on your podcast rotation — so should Deadly Voices from the House, hosted by Rhonda Roberts.
  4. Read books by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, check out this list.
  5. Take a look at NITV’s coverage of NAIDOC week including TV programs, documentaries, radio and online content here.
  6. Join the conversation #NAIDOC2018 #BecauseofHerWeCan 
  7. Do all of the above throughout the year!

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