Adelaide is kicking off NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations with a program of free community events from Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.

Tandanya is a leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts and Cultural organisation which develops and promotes diversity of arts practice through conversations around visual and performing arts, workshops, forums and cultural presentations.

Tandanya celebrated its 30th anniversary in October and is kicking off November with its NAIDOC 2020 celebrations.

The NAIDOC 2020 theme, Always was, Always will be, recognises and celebrates the continued occupation and care given by First Nations people to Country and will be celebrated by Tandanya through cultural exhibitions, workshops and film screenings that showcase First Nations culture.

Celebrations kicked off on Monday with a BBQ that brought together local community and Adelaide-based charities to enjoy food and live music from Barkindji artist Nancy Bates and Arrernte artist Rob Edwards. The afternoon saw weaving workshops for all ages and cultural dance by Talkinjeri dance group.

Arrernte musician Rob Edwards. Photo supplied.

Throughout the week Tandanya will be screening two sessions of Nunga Screen a program of independent films from both emerging and established filmmakers.

Showcasing 13 films across regional South Australia, Nunga Screen includes documentaries, dramas, animation as well as contemporary and traditional storytelling.

The Atnwengerrp – Our Apmere, Our Place exhibition which opened on October 2 will have dedicated NAIDOC viewing times on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

The collection is inspired by Country and involves the entire community of Atnwengerrp, a small town of approximately 100 people in central Australia. The monochromatic collection pays homage to Dreamings, Country and ancestors.

Atnwengerrp – Our Apmere, Our Place exhibition Photo by Kerrie Geier.

Tandanya’s NAIDOC Week celebrations will finish with the inaugural live music event, TREATY, showcasing South Australia’s First Nations artists. TREATY is a free community event that will be held at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute on Friday November 13 from 4pm—10pm.

TREATY encourages the participation of remote and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The line-up includes NT rapper J-Milla, hip hop groups Sonz of Serpent and DEM MOB, rapper RKM a.k.a. Rulla Kelly-Mansell, and singer-songwriters Tilly Tjala Thomas, MRLN a.k.a. Marlon Motlop and Katie Aspel.

While the event has already sold out, reaching its COVID-19 restricted capacity, those who missed out on a ticket can live stream the showcase at

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By Darby Ingram