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NAIDOC Week in the City

Celebrating the World’s Oldest Living Culture

NAIDOC Week, which stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, is held annually from 2-9 July 2017.

NAIDOC Week recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and achievements. What started as a day of mourning in 1940 is now a full week of events that acknowledge the contributions of the First Peoples of Australia.

NAIDOC Week is a time for everyone to celebrate and show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Each year, celebrations are held around a different theme. This year, the theme is ‘Our Languages Matter’, focusing on the importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Language is inextricably linked to land and holds deep spiritual significance. It plays an essential role in connecting people to country, lore and culture. There are over 250 distinct language groups across Australia, while some of these have been lost due to the impact of colonisation, many of the language groups on the AIATSIS Indigenous Language map of Australia are still in use today.

In South Australia alone there are 39 Language Groups. 

What's On


This year on Tuesday 4 July, the City of Adelaide is hosting a special family friendly event in Rundle Mall to celebrate the launch of NAIDOC Week featuring live performances, weaving workshops, delicious food created using Australian native ingredients and guest appearances from our best loved local AFL/SANFL identities. The Lord Mayor, Martin Haese and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, the Honourable Kyam Maher MLC will officially open the event by unveiling Aboriginal flags and decorative installation pieces inspired by the theme ‘Our Languages’ matter.


The City of Adelaide, artist Jacob Logos and members of the Kaurna community and wider Aboriginal community have come together to create a significant public artwork in Reconciliation Plaza which is located in the heart of the city, Tarntanyangga/Victoria Square. This will be unveilved on Thursday 6 July by Lord Mayor Martin Haese & Aunty Yvonne who is Dual Chair of City of Adelaide’s Reconciliation Committee. 

The granite used is entirely South Australian and was selected for both its colour and connection to this land. At the centre of the design, solar lights form a representation of the Kaurna shield.

The engravings are one of the most important aspects of the artwork. Through the help of Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi, a committee of Kaurna people, teachers, linguists and language enthusiasts, a list of Kaurna words and their English translations were compiled and these were then interpreted through illustrations by Aboriginal students from Challa Gardens Primary School and Gilles Street Primary School.

This cultural marker aims to be both an educational tool for the general public as well as a highly symbolic public artwork that marks a historical traditional meeting place for the original custodians of this site, the Kaurna people.

Artwork Concept and Curator - Jacob Logos

In consultation with The City of Adelaide Reconciliation Committee, Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Committee, Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation, and Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi

Illustrations by Aboriginal students from Challa Gardens Primary School and Gilles Street Primary School, facilitated by Aboriginal Community Education Officer Taylor Power-Smith



The City of Adelaide will also play host to award winning Aboriginal artist Vincent Namatjira’s latest exhibition ‘The Prime Ministers’ from 28 April- 28 July as part of COA’s Emerging Curator program at the Town Hall.

Vincent Namatjira is the grandson of famous aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira,  and has forged his own unique artistic path with in his own distinct  painting style. This series of paintings are portraits of all the Australian Prime Ministers who have held power during the younger Namatjira’s lifetime. Rendered in his immediately recognisable naive style, these portraits sit somewhere between affectionate caricature and grotesque parody, suggesting something of the ambivalent attitude toward Australia’s political class.


NAIDOC Week SA Events

NAIDOC SA Ecumenical Church Service

When: Sunday 2 July, 6pm

Where: Pilgrim Uniting Church


NAIDOC SA Awards and Lord Mayor’s Morning Tea 

When: Monday 3 July, 10-12pm

Where: Adelaide Town Hall


NAIDOC in the Mall

When: Tuesday 4 July, 11am-2pm

Where: Gawler Place Canopy


NAIDOC Cultural Marker Launch

When: Thursday 6 July, 10.30am to 11am

Where: Reconciliation Plaza Tarntanyangga / Victoria Square


NAIDOC March and Family Fun Day

When: Friday 7 July, 10:30am-3:30pm

Where: March begins at Tarntanyangga / Victoria Square at 11am to Parliament House

Family Fun Day 11:30am-3:30pm


The 2017 NAIDOC SA March and Family Fun Day are amongst the biggest events on the South Australian NAIDOC Calendar.

Join us at Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square), on Friday 7 July in the morning, as we march to Parliament House. The NAIDOC March will leave Victoria Square at 11.00am. Celebrations will follow at the family fun day at Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square) with 40 stall holders from Government and Non-Government organisations, Men's Zone, Women's Zone, Elders Zone, Be Active Zone, Small Business Zone and Children's Zone, Food and free concert. For more information please contact 

Gather at Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square) at 10.30am for a 11.00am start. March proceeds down King William Street to Parliament House. Family Fun Day at Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square) 11.30am - 3.30pm.  This is a free community event.



When: Saturday 8 July, 6.30pm-12am

Where: Hilton Hotel



Casey Donovan

Warren Milera Band

Tony Minniecon Band

Tickets can be purchased here

To find out more visit

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