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13 Events Around Australia That Acknowledge Our First Nations This January 2021

Traditional Aboriginal Weave Baskets. Photographed by Crystal Egan. Image via Shutterstock.

Australia, as January 2021 is in full swing, now is the perfect time to show your appreciation and acknowledgement to our First Nations.

From weaving classes to museum exhibitions, cultural walking tours and more; just as the January 2021 long weekend rolls in, we have found 13 events led by our traditional owners around Australia that acknowledge and show our appreciation to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

New South Wales

Under the Stars Installation
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Under the Stars Installation

“We can all look at the stars, whichever sky we’re looking at” (Gulumbu Yunupiŋu). Hosted at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Under the Stars installation focuses on Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists that have highlighted the commonalities and connections in our shared attempts to understand the night sky and our place in relation to it. With a focus on Indigenous knowledge, Under the Stars presents an opportunity to explore. Free entry and available until Sunday 07 February 2021, this is one installation not to miss.

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Aboriginal Heritage Sydney Walking Tour
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Aboriginal Heritage Sydney Walking Tour

Sydneysiders are invited to The Rocks to an Aboriginal Heritage Sydney Walking Tour which explores Sydney’s Aboriginal Dreamtime culture. Led by a knowledgable Aboriginal guide, the 90-minute walking tour allows guests to see Sydney from a new perspective thanks to this enlightening, informative and intimate tour. Focusing on discovering and learning about the story of Aboriginal Dreamtime, guests will have the opportunity to learn some of the local language, handle cultural objects and materials and of course understand the connection between modern Sydney and the Aboriginal Dreaming.

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Victoria

The Grampians National Park Tour
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The Grampians National Park Tour

Melbourne, get ready to explore Victoria’s Grampians like you never have before. This full day Grampians National Park Tour is the perfect way to explore one of Australia’s most majestic mountain ranges. Checking into the Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, guests will start their tour by learning about the history and connection of the Indigenous people. Next, heading into Halls Gap, guests are treated to a delicious lunch before making your way through the National Park stopping at Boroka Lookout. Finally, after heading to The Balconies, you’ll then drive to Mackenzie Falls – one of Victoria’s largest waterfalls – before taking the stairs into the valley to adventure further.

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Royal Botanic Gardens Aboriginal Heritage Tour
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Royal Botanic Gardens Aboriginal Heritage Tour

Melbournites are you ready to journey into the ancestral lands of the Kulin Nation? In the heart of Melbourne’s CBD at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, guests are invited to learn about First Nations rich history and culture through a 90-minute guided walking tour. Aiming to connect Australians to the country through this heritage walk; the tour begins with a traditional smoking ceremony before learning more about the importance, connections and traditions with plants. After the tour has finished guests are then invited to enjoy a refreshing lemon myrtle tea to then share stories and discuss the significance of Aboriginal culture.

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Tasmania

Ningina Tunapri Exhibition
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Ningina Tunapri Exhibition

A permanent exhibition at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Ningina Tunapri Exhibition – meaning to share knowledge and understanding – hopes to provide Australians with a rich, enlightening and inspiring experience. Aiming to explore the journey of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, the Ningina Tunapri exhibition also celebrates all of Tasmania’s Aboriginal generations and 40,000 years of Aboriginal culture and history. Using traditional language palawa kani throughout the exhibition, guests are guided through this fully-transcribed exhibition to embrace all of the artefacts that this designated Aboriginal installation holds.

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South Australia

Yura Mulka Aboriginal Cultural Walk to Sacred Canyon
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Yura Mulka Aboriginal Cultural Walk to Sacred Canyon

This two hour guided walking tour through the Flinders Ranges enables South Australians to embrace Australia’s First Nations in this fascinating and informative tour. The Yura Mulka Aboriginal Cultural Walk to Sacred Canyon starts from Wilpena Pounds where guests are joined by an experience Yura guide for an entertaining walk to Sacred Canyon. A significant site to the Adnyamathanha people, the guided trail follows a gum-lined creek to the site where guests will learn about the stories behind the engravings, landscape and culture all interpreted by a traditional owner. 

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Open Circle Weaving Workshop
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Open Circle Weaving Workshop

Hosted by the Art Gallery of South Australia, come this Sunday 31 January 2021, South Australian Ngarrindjeri artist Sonya Rankine will be hosting a free Open Circle Weaving Workshop from 11am – 2pm. Celebrating the final day of Tarnanthi: Open Hands; Sonya will be using her knowledge of Lakun Mara (weaving hand) to extend her passion of this cultural weaving practice of the Ngarrindieri people to Adelaidians. Invited to join the circle and learn about this traditional technique, all materials are supplied and no bookings are required.

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Western Australia

Cape Leveque and Aboriginal Communities Tour
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Cape Leveque and Aboriginal Communities Tour

Starting in Broome, over 11 hours West Australians invited to the Cape Leveque and Aboriginal Communities Tour. Operating on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays; guests start their journey along a rugged road terrain stopping at Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community. Here you can view an exquisite Pearl Shell Altar inside a church that was built in 1918 by Pallotine monks. Next, travelling to Lombadina, traditional owners will take youy on a guided walk before you head to a remote pearl farm to enjoy a chef-prepared lunch. Finally, to end the day, guests can have a swim in Kooljaman before heading back to Broome.

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Aboriginal Art Workshops
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Aboriginal Art Workshops

Hosted by the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Fremantle, this year Perthlings are invited to an Aboriginal Art Workshop. Led by local artists Lois Olney, Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre’s Aboriginal Art Workshops allow guests to learn about the history of Aboriginal art, traditional tools and the language of Aboriginal art. Throughout this hands-on journey, guests are then asked to participate in painting their artworks on individual canvas’. With materials supplied all you need to do is book, learn and create.

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Northern Territory

Cruise to the Tiwi Islands with Guided Tour
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Cruise to the Tiwi Islands with Guided Tour

Departing Cullen Bay Darwin, thanks to the Cruise to the Tiwi Islands with Guided Tour, Australians can discover the culturally rich Tiwi Islands on this full day tour. After enjoying a relaxing cruise to the Tiwi Islands, guests are greeted by their guide and begin their walking tour exploring the community of Wurrumiyanga. Experiencing a traditional welcome ceremony, guests will then have an opportunity to visit the Tiwi Museum and Mission Precinct to create your own work of art. With morning tea, lunch and return ferry costs, this is one event you won’t want miss out on. 

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Bukmak Yolngu Mala
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Bukmak Yolngu Mala

If you’re looking for an exclusive opportunity to experience the culture of Elcho Island from remote East Arnhem Land in Darwin, then Bukmak Yolngu Mala is the event for you. Led by respected elders, over four hours this immersive workshop will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. Here you’ll learn how to find and use bush tucker and bush medicine, hear the creation story told throughout art, learn to find, prepare and weave using the leaves of Pandanus, learn about Yolngu hand language and finally, and most importantly, learn to see the world around you through different eyes.

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Queensland

Dreamtime Performance with Dinner
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Dreamtime Performance with Dinner

Over two-and-a-half hours in Beenleigh Queensland, the Dreamtime Performance with Dinner will transport guests on an audio and visual journey from Dreamtime early 1800s in Australia. Starting with a traditional Aboriginal welcome, you’ll then observe a one-of-a-kind and powerful, four dimensional moving theatre performance and storytelling experience. From here guests are then treated to a delicious Australian feast that is followed by sumptuous desserts to help end their evening on a sweet note.

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Rainforest, Aboriginal Culture and Wildlife Tour
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Rainforest, Aboriginal Culture and Wildlife Tour

Departing Cairns with return coach transfers, for a fun-filled family day out look no further than the Rainforest, Aboriginal Culture and Wildlife Tour. Over eight hours families are invited to start their visit to Kuranda with their guided tour that will take them on an Army Duck Rainforest Tour, a Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, Koala and Wildlife Park visit and finally, a Kuranda Village visit. With plenty of licensed restaurants, cafes and other delicious eateries to feast your way through along the way, the Rainforest, Aboriginal Culture and Wildlife Tour is bound to have something for everyone.

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We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Feature image: Photographed by Crystal Egan. Image via Shutterstock.
Editor’s Note: Our writers and contributors have independently selected and curated this article, and all opinions are their own. This article does contain affiliate links which allow us to make revenue off some purchases made by our readers.
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