Connecting to culture

Ed

'Kaya, wanju' (hello, welcome)…a Nyoongar greeting to celebrate NAIDOC Week with its theme this year of ‘our languages matter’. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and every July, communities around Australia organise events and activities to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So 'alliwah' (look out) for NAIDOC Week celebrations in Fremantle from 2– 9 July.

We’ve collected a few more ideas to connect with culture in Walyalup (Fremantle) throughout the seasons of Makuru (June/July) and Djilba (August/September):

Language classes

There is no better way to understand a culture than to learn the language. Nyoongar is the language spoken by people of the Walyalup area and is one of many Australian Aboriginal languages that is endangered. The Meeting Place in South Fremantle runs regular beginner classes.

Manjaree walking trail | Arthur Head Reserve (free)

'Kya Wanju Nichia Nyoongar wardan bidi, winjalla gnulla kaatidj bal gwabbanijow.' This is the Nyoongar coastal trail, where our knowledge is put right.

A self guided walking trail is part of the Nyoongar coastal trail which stretches across Western Australia. The Manjarree walking trail consists of five information points describing Aboriginal history of the area.

Fremantle Indigenous Heritage Tour

Take a journey to the time of the Wadjuk, the traditional custodians of Fremantle, Perth and the Swan River. Hear the ancient Dreamtime story of the Nyoongar people, follow the story of Yagan (Wadjuk Warrior) and Midgegooroo (Wadjuk Elder of the Beeliar people).

Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) (free)

The WACC is located on a significant traditional camping and trading place as well as in the area where Captain Fremantle arrived and settlement began in 1829 and where Whadjuk Nyoongars shouted "Warra Warra" (bad, bad!) to European arrival. The centre exhibits local Nyoongar artist’s work and offers programs and classes run by Aboriginal people.

Weaving workshop

Be inspired by traditional culture to create your own artwork, learn traditional Nyoongar weaving using different natural fibres or make your own jewellery using bush nuts. Art classes run at Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre each term.

Events coming up

King of Hearts | 17 Jun–2 July, Moore’s Building Contemporary Art Gallery (free)

Kings of the Hearts is the first solo exhibition by proud Ballardong Noongar artist Greg Barr. Having recently completed a residency at FAC, Barr has developed a unique blending technique using acrylics, resin, pastels, watercolours and oil crayons to create abstract and emotive works.

Yinjaa–Barni Artists 2017 | Japingka Gallery | 26 May–30 June (free)

Yinjaa-Barni artists from the Pilbara region of Western Australia tell the traditional stories of their homelands along the Fortescue River. Their paintings tell of the great Marrga or creation era when the land was formed from the smoke of the ancestor’s fires. Also worth seeing is Warakuna Artists & Lorna Fencer running from 21 July–31 August.

NAIDOC Week Launch 2 July | Hilton PCYC (free)

Family friendly launch, filled with music, fashion, food and a special damper cook off. A Fashion Showcase produced by the Noongar Arts Aboriginal Corporation Western Australia will be held with a catwalk show of their most recent collection.

NAIDOC Week word search 2–9 July (free)

By the time you’ve completed this word search you’ll know all the Nyoongar seasons plus some basic greetings. Bonus is the chance to win one of 5 double passes to Winterworld on the Esplanade Reserve.

Sean Choolburra–live in the heart of Hilton | 7 July

A friendly evening of high energy comedy and dance from one of Australia’s funniest comedians, Sean Choolburra performs at Fremantle PCYC. Bookings essential, tickets $10.

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