The Department opened NAIDOC Week in 2012 with a flag raising ceremony with a performance from the Zugubal Dance troupe from the Torres Strait Islands. Alick Tipoti the central performer is a leader in the resurgence of Torres Strait culture. He is the first Torres Strait artist to be selected to exhibit at the Biennale of Sydney (2012) and has just returned from an Indigenous leadership program in the UK.
The event was hosted by Deputy Secretary Gillian Bird and opened by Ngunnawal Elder Laura Bell. The department unveiled a replica of the National Apology (the original is housed in Parliament House) made by Prime Minister Rudd on 13 February 2008. The document will be permanently displayed in the atrium of the RG Casey Building.
On Wednesday 4 July 2012 the department celebrated NAIDOC Week with the opening of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies exhibition, Black Gold: The Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of Fame hosted by the Secretary Dennis Richardson, opened by Ngambri-Ngunnawal Elder Matilda House with key note speaker Professor Mick Dodson. Former Olympic basketball player Mr Danny Morseu, whose photo is featured in the exhibition, attended with his son Danny Foulkes a DFAT graduate employee.
The reception event is part of the Department's Indigenous Cultural Diplomacy Program which aims to develop projects and initiatives that highlight to international audiences the important contributions of Australia's Indigenous peoples to Australia in the arts, business and government.
NAIDOC Week 2012 at Australia's Overseas Missions
DFAT also celebrated NAIDOC Week throughout Australia's overseas network of Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates. Missions promoted the message behind NAIDOC Week and Indigenous political developments in Australia and the achievements of Indigenous Australians in art and culture through a range of activities, including screening Australian Indigenous films; exhibiting Indigenous works of art and hosting events such as live music performances, lectures and photographic exhibitions.
Highlights of our overseas activities include;
The Festival of Pacific Arts, which was opened Parliamentary Secretary Mr Richard Marles.
It featured Australia's largest Indigenous delegation to the Festival.
The Australian Pavilion in Yeosu hosted Torres Strait Islander artist Billy Missi and featured the celebrated Indigenous Australian didgeridoo artist, Kristian Benton.
Photo gallery: NAIDOC Week 2012