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Media Alert: First Nations exhibition/symposium/Q+A and evening performance at the ANU

An eminent field of First Nations performers, artists, academics, activists, musicians, and respected elders from around the country will converge on the ANU next week to take part in a two-day symposium and Gather ‘Round People, a free evening performance. Professor Brenda L. Croft will lead the symposium, centered on Murrudha: Sovereign walks – tracking cultural actions through art, Country, language and music (2020 – 2025) and the exhibition Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality, currently showing at the ANU Drill Hall Gallery. Panels will explore and consider topics such as contemporary and historical cultural sovereign actions; personal and collective reflections; ancestral obligations and cultural continuity; and oral history storytelling through song and language.

Gather ‘Round People is a celebration of esteemed First Nations songman Kev Carmody who is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Australian National University on 16 December. In celebration of his achievements, this free concert featuring First Nations musicians is headlined by award-winning duo Electric Fields and features Alinta Barlow, Jye Cole, Dale Huddleston and Djinama Yilaga.

Murrudha: Sovereign Walks- Tracking cultural actions through art, Country, language and music aims to provide manifold platforms through which significant, culturally embedded stories honouring sovereign warriors – such as the Meneroo women, Molonglo/Ngarigo/Ngarigu/Ngunnawal woman (Queen) Nellie Hamilton (c. 1842 – 1897), Wiradjuri Elders and acknowledged Clevermen, Jimmy Clements (Nangar/Yangar, “King Billy”) (c. 1847 – 28 August 1927) and John Noble (also known as George Noble/Marvellous) (c. 1829/1849 – March 1928) – can be brought to contemporary audiences – First Nations and non-Indigenous. For First Nations peoples, their acts of walking on one’s traditional Country, and/or travelling across other sovereign lands, never ceded, are deserving of national recognition. To reinvigorate their pathways supports First Nations communities’ sovereign rights, while consecutively being future journeys to be shared by First Nations and non-Indigenous people together.

Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality, a collaborative exhibition curated by Brenda Croft in conjunction with Artback NT, is inspired by the words of revered Gurindji/Malngin leader Vincent Lingiari, ‘that land… I still got it on my mind,’ Still in my mind reflects on events preceding and following the seminal Gurindji Walk Off – where Lingiari led over 200 countrymen, women and children off Wave Hill Station to protest poor wages and conditions.

“I was motivated to develop this exhibition in partnership with Karungkarni artists and Gurindji community members in tribute to those whose profound communal act of courage, resilience and determination changed the course of history,” Croft said.

For more information on the symposium see:

Contact Anne-Marie Jean or Tony Oates for images and to arrange interviews:

02 6125 5832

Top image: Still in my mind: Gurindgi location, experience and visuality, ANU Drill Hall Gallery, 2022. Photo: David Paterson. Bottom image: Kev Carmody & Paul Kelly, Gurindji Freedom Day Celebrations, Kalkaringi, August 2011. Photograph © & courtesy Karyn Cameron 2011.

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.