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Aboriginal Culture in Perth & WA


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Due to COVID19, remote communities are closed to the public until further notice. Please check with individual tourism operators and observe all restrictions.

Stretching back more than 50,000 years, Indigenous culture is central to  Western Australia’s history, present and future. There are so many ways to explore WA’s diverse Indigenous heritage. Whether you’re looking for a taste of bush tucker, or to feast your eyes on aboriginal art, the oldest surviving culture in the world has never been more accessible.

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Indigenous theatre, music and dance festivals take place across the year, featuring performances which bring together the traditional and the modern.

NAIDOC week in July is the perfect time of year to immerse yourself in the richness of Aboriginal culture. One of the most significant events on the cultural calendar, it celebrates Indigenous language, arts, history and culture.

All year around, art lovers can head to one of the many Indigenous art exhibitions on the calendar, or if you prefer the great outdoors why not take in incredible ancient rock art where it was created? The rock art of the Kimberley and Pilbara are set in stunning landscape and have survived an ice age.

Dotted across the state, guided tours provide an in-depth look at Aboriginal ancestral practices and stories. Traditional owners share their customs, medicines and bush tucker, as well as showcasing their country, where countless generations of Indigenous people have survived and thrived for thousands of years.

Here you can learn hunting and fishing practices, and traditional ways of cooking bush tucker. And don’t forget, if you are looking for Aboriginal owned and operated eco-lodges, hotels and safari camps, you can search them here.

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Guides

Guides


Welcome To Country (CANCELLED)

A welcome to country from the traditional owners with an exciting local musical lineup to round the night off

  • Dates:Apr 14
  • Time(s):6pm
  • Venue:Karjini Airstrip

Details

  • Hosted By:Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation
  • Venue Address:Karijini Airstrip, Karijini National Park, Banjima Drive, Karijini, Western Australia
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Free,Music
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Music:Other Music

Description

Be Welcomed to Country by our Traditional Owners as part of the official opening of the 2020 Karijini Experience, gain a sense of the land and the Banjima culture, including an official Welcome to Country and corroboree followed by an exciting musical line-up of local musicians, The Bradley Hall Band and The Yabu Band.

Yagan Square Nyumbi (CANCELLED)

Experience the world’s oldest living culture through music and dance.

  • Dates:Every Friday from 24 January to 26 June 2020
  • Time(s):Commences at 5.30pm. Concludes at 6.15pm
  • Venue:Yagan Square Amphitheatre

Details

  • Hosted By:DevelopmentWA
  • Venue Address:Corner Wellington and William Street Perth
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Youth Art / Performance
  • Audience:Family-Friendly
  • Event Venue:Yagan Square
  • Performing Arts:Dance

Description

Immerse yourself in Western Australia's Noongar culture as Aboriginal dancers perform traditional song and dance and share stories of our rich culture and history.

Visit the Yagan Square amphitheatre to enjoy free Aboriginal performances every Friday evening.

 

Yurlu Lounge, Karijini Experience 2020 (CANCELLED)

Enjoy a night of music from some of Australia's most talented indigenous musicians, all under the beautiful Karjini sky

  • Dates:Apr 14-18
  • Time(s):5pm
  • Venue:Karjini Airstrip

Details

  • Venue Address:Karijini Airstrip, Karijini National Park, Banjima Drive, Karijini, Western Australia
  • Ticket Price FROM:Free (Children Under 14)
  • Ticket price TO:$130
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Music
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,For kids 4-12,For teens 13-17
  • Music:Country & Folk,Other Music,Popular Music

Description

Reflect on the magnificent night sky as you sit back in the Yurlu Lounge and enjoy a prestigious line-up of Australian musicians including Thelma Plum, The Mark Atkins Band, The Struggling Kings (named the best Indigenous act in the 2019 WAM Awards) plus more exciting announcements to be made!
Yurlu is the Banjima word for Country or Earth, so bring your own chairs for a magical night of culture and music immersed in Country.

 

The Lester Prize - 2020 Entries

The Lester Prize is one of the country’s most prestigious portrait prizes. We're on the hunt once again for Australia's most talented artists. Submit your work for the chance to win a part of $75,000.

  • Dates:Apr 11 - Jul 24
  • Venue:Artist entries from across Australia accepted

Details

  • Hosted By:The Lester Inc
  • Ticket Price FROM:$15.00
  • Ticket price TO:$45.00
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Art Exhibitions,Festivals,Free,Talks & Lectures,Well Being,Youth Art / Performance
  • Audience:LGBTI,Adults,Family-Friendly,For teens 13-17,For seniors
  • Event Venue:Art Gallery of WA,Yagan Square
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Drawing,Other Visual Arts,Painting,Youth

Description

MAIN AWARD | Entries open 11 April — 10 July 2020
YOUTH AWARD | Entries open 11 April — 24 July 2020
Visit www.lesterprize.com to enter online, download our Terms & Conditions and Consent Forms.

Our annual program includes: the Main Exhibition in AGWA’s historic Centenary Galleries; Awards Nights for both Adult and Youth Finalists; guided tours; floor talks, workshops and live demonstrations with Adult Finalists; outdoor art pop up events around the city with the WA Portrait Artists and the Plein Air Painters of Australia; a Youth, Community & Hospital Outdoor Art Exhibition at the Perth Cultural Centre; and digital exhibitions showcased on the Big Screen at the Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge Piazza, Yagan Square and the City of Perth Library.

The Lester Inc is proud to provide Western Australia and the country with the opportunity to engage with the best of the artform in a format that puts both artists and community front-and-centre.

MAIN EXHIBITION | AGWA's Centenary Galleries | 31 Oct — 30 Nov 2020
YOUTH AWARDS & SALON EXHIBITION | Brookfield Place | 2 Nov — 27 Nov 2020

 

Polly Ngale & Kathleen Ngale - Bush Plum Dreaming

A stunning and vibrant exhibition of Bush Plum Dreaming Paintings by the Nagale Sisters: Polly and Kathleen presented on the gallery walls and available for viewing online

  • Dates:May 21 - June 25, 2020
  • Time(s):Weekdays 10 AM-3:30 PM , Weekends 12 -3:30 PM

Details

  • Hosted By:Japingka Gallery
  • Venue Address:47 High Street, Fremantle WA 6160
  • Ticket Price:FREE
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Art Exhibitions,Free
  • Audience:Family-Friendly
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting

Description

The sisters Polly Ngale and Kathleen Ngale (Ngal) are amongst the most senior custodians on Utopia homelands. Their shimmering paintings of the Bush Plum Dreaming story give us a sense of the importance of their country, Ahalpere, and the resources and cultural ceremonies that underpin life there. While the artists are aged perhaps in their 80s, the energy and vibrancy of the art suggest that the cultural life that drives their culture is a major source of inspiration and life force for Anmatyerre and Alyawar people.

In their work on the Anwekety Bush Plum Dreaming paintings, the artists depict the bright yellow seeds of the plant and colours associated with the plant and the seasonal colours of the land as the fruit ripens. The painting becomes an image of abundance and fertility of the land and a homage to the tradition of stewardship of Country

TIWI ISLANDS TO ARNHEM LAND

An exhibition of paintings from Australia's Tiwi Islands and sculptures from Arnhem Land

  • Dates:Jun 6-7; Jun10-14; Jun 17-21; June 24-28
  • Time(s):10am-4pm
  • Venue:Earlywork

Details

  • Hosted By:Artitja Fine Art Gallery
  • Venue Address:330 South Terrace, South Fremantle
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Ticket Price FROM:Free
  • Ticket price TO:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Art Exhibitions
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting,Sculpture

Description

Artitja Fine Art Gallery is delighted to present this pop-up exhibition of paintings expertly selected by Director Anna Kanaris. This will be the gallery's fourth exhibition over the past decade with the Munupi Artists who live in the tiny community of Pirlangimpi on Melville Island, the larger of the two islands (Bathurst being the smaller).

The exhibition will include a sculptural display of Mimih Spirit carvings, pandanus weave dogs and Lorrkon - hollow logs, intricately painted by the artists from the Maningrida Art centre in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

 

Maali Festival

Maali is the traditional name given to the black swan by the Nyoongar people. Maali Festival is a celebration that will fill the State Theatre Centre with First Nations culture and arts. Welcome to this complete take-over on the land of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people.

  • Dates:Sunday 12 July 2020

Details

  • Ticket Price:FREE
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Art Exhibitions,Food & drink,Free,Music,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,Wheelchair Access
  • Produced By:Black Swan State Theatre Company
  • Event Venue:State Theatre Centre of WA
  • Performing Arts:Theatre
  • Music:Other Music
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal
  • Hosted By:Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA
  • Venue Address:174-176 William St, Perth

Description

BLACK SWAN STATE THEATRE COMPANY OF WA AND PERTH THEATRE TRUST PRESENT
MAALI FESTIVAL
CURATED BY IAN MICHAEL AND CHLOE OGILVIE
 
CULTURE. COMMUNITY. CELEBRATION.
 
STATE THEATRE CENTRE OF WA
SUNDAY 12 JULY
 
PRICES: Free
 
Maali is the traditional name given to the black swan by the Nyoongar people. Maali Festival is a celebration that will fill the State Theatre Centre with First Nations culture and arts. Welcome to this complete take-over on the land of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people.
 
An extraordinary event to celebrate and acknowledge the diversity and resilience of the longest living culture in the world and its people.
 
Taking place during NAIDOC Week, Maali Festival is curated by Black Swan’s Resident Artists Chloe Ogilvie (Yamatji Nhanda) and Ian Michael (Nyoongar). A multi-disciplinary arts festival, with a program of FREE events across theatre, music, dance, film, exhibitions, markets plus family-friendly events and panel discussions. The entire program will be led by First Nations artists, arts companies and community, to tell stories..
 
Full program details to be advised on our website or join our mailing list to find out more.

Deer Woman (CANCELLED)

A solo-warrior-woman story of righteous vengeance presented by the Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company

  • Dates:Jul 28 - Aug 1
  • Time(s):Jul 28 - 30: 7:00pm; Jul 31 - Aug 1: 7:30pm.
  • Venue:Subiaco Arts Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
  • Venue Address:180 Hamersley Rd, Subiaco WA 6008
  • Ticket Price FROM:$25
  • Ticket price TO:$45
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,For teens 13-17
  • Produced By:Yirra Yaakin
  • Event Venue:Subiaco Arts Centre
  • Performing Arts:Theatre

Description

Deer Woman tells the story of a young, missing and murdered girl in a country where over 1,600 Indigenous women and girls are officially recognised as being missing or murdered.

Lila, one missing girl’s big sister, refuses to stand idly by. She is the daughter of a hunter who taught her all he knew. She’s ex-army, too. When circumstances converge, Lila finds the perfect opportunity to investigate her baby sister’s murder.

Deer Woman premiered at Tawata Productions’ Kia Mau festival in Wellington, Aotearoa (NZ) in June of 2018 and was hailed as a highlight of the 2019 Sydney Festival, playing at Carriageworks to sold-out houses.

The Sapphires(POSTPONED)

Four young Aboriginal women from regional Australia, who like singing country music, suddenly get the chance to change their tune and their lives. Wearing uniforms of sequins, armed only with microphones they find themselves trying to spread joy in the hell that is the Vietnam War.

  • Dates:Aug 7
  • Time(s):7:30pm to 9:30pm
  • Venue:Esperance Civic Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Esperance Civic Centre
  • Venue Address:Esperance Civic Centre
  • Ticket Price FROM:$25
  • Ticket price TO:$44.90
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,History,Music,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Performing Arts:Musicals,Theatre

Description

The Sapphires written & directed by Tony Briggs, is presented by the Esperance Civic Centre and proudly supported by Lotterywest.

The Sapphires is one of the Australia’s best-loved stories. Winning multiple awards as a play, film and soundtrack album there was one challenge left and that was to undertake a national tour of Australia. Bringing the raw energy, fun and emotion of this story directly to stages like the Esperance Civic Centre and across the nation.

Writer Tony Briggs will direct his work in a version he promises will be the most intimate telling of The Sapphires story yet.

“I hope the audience will feel a fresh sense of connection to a story that has already successfully infiltrated the psyche of the Australian theatre and movie going public and get a sense of joy and understanding of who Aboriginal people are and walk away from ‘The Sapphires’ with a smile on their faces." Tony Briggs

Four young Aboriginal women from regional Australia, who like singing country music, suddenly get the chance to change their tune and their lives. Wearing uniforms of sequins, armed only with microphones they find themselves trying to spread joy in the hell that is the Vietnam War.

The Sapphires is a funny, heart-warming tale inspired by the true story of writer Tony Briggs’ mother. It tells of the incredible journey of a singing group of four Yorta Yorta Women, who sing classic soul hits against the backdrop of personal change and massive social upheaval. It is an energetic, fun and engaging play that affirms life and the realisation of dreams.

-------------------------------------
REVIEWS

“A gem of a play. Briggs mixes fact and fiction to lay bare and flesh out his celebratory tale which, though political in patches, is focused on the personal. The Sapphires is heartfelt and joyous. Superb.”
Bryce Hallett, Sydney Morning Herald

“The Sapphires is a play about fulfilling dreams and challenging stereotypes. It is a play about hope.”
Kate Herbert, The Herald Sun

“The Sapphires is as close as anything I've seen to a sure-fire hit. This is great popular theatre, which is confident enough to take no prisoners.“
Alison Crogan, Theatre Notes

“Energetic, passionate, heart wrenching, uplifting, hilarious and engaging.”
Anna Locke, Australian Stage
-----------------------------------------

PURCHASE TICKETS online www.esperance.wa.gov.au/events/sapphires-written-and-directed-tony-briggs

Duration: 140mins (including 20mins interval)

Rating: Suitable for ages 7+. Some adult themes, simulated warfare and a small amount of coarse language.

Tickets:


Students: $25
Under 30: $30
Concessions: $39.90
Group of 6+ :$40
Adult: $44.90

Tickets also available from Shire Administration, Esperance Library and Visitor Centre.

WA Youth Orchestra: Spirit

WAYO Presents 'Spirit,' featuring spirited works both old and new

  • Dates:Sep 26
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:Perth Concert Hall

Details

  • Hosted By:Western Australian Youth Orchestra
  • Ticket Price FROM:$20
  • Ticket price TO:$35
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Classical Music
  • Audience:Adults,For seniors,Wheelchair Access
  • Event Venue:Perth Concert Hall
  • Music:Orchestral

Description

Be inspired by the spirit and sounds of Australia with guest artist Don Nunggarrgalu from the Northern Territory indigenous band ‘Mumbali’ in the WA premiere of their orchestrated hit Numbulwar song, ‘Yuwani’. The concert will also feature a world premiere from by Georgia Scott, winner of the Carol Day Commission, and Gustav Mahler’s powerful and emotionally charged Symphony No. 6.

LACHLAN SKIPWORTH / DON NUNGGARRGALU       ‘Yuwani’
GEORGIA SCOTT                      World Premiere
GUSTAV MAHLER                    Symphony No. 6, in A minor

Fifo - Fit In Or F**K Off!

A tale of disintegration and hope in this fractured land presented by Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company.

  • Dates:Oct 13 - 17 & 20 - 24
  • Time(s):Fridays and Saturdays: 7:30pm; Weekdays 7:00pm.
  • Venue:Subiaco Arts Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
  • Venue Address:180 Hamersley Rd, Subiaco WA 6008
  • Ticket Price FROM:$26
  • Ticket price TO:$40
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,For teens 13-17
  • Produced By:Yirra Yaakin
  • Event Venue:Subiaco Arts Centre
  • Performing Arts:Theatre

Description

The boom went bust, and now Jono’s locked in a desert mine site’s donga, trapped in debt and a lifestyle that is slowly strangling his soul. Jono’s wife Mary feels stuck in the high flying life of the lonely FIFO parent and has decided they’d be better off cutting their losses and moving home to Broome, close to family and her younger sister Janey. But the old neighbourhood, and her sister, ain’t what they used to be. Janey is locked in her house, sliding into stand-up comedic delusion as she awaits her FIFO husband Brad’s return. But where is Brad? And where’s their young daughter Katie? Something’s gotta give, but what it will take to stop the slide into the deepening pit that threatens to engulf them all?

In a country abundant with natural resources, mining is a way of life. This warm, tautly written drama pulls no punches as it explores the impact of mining on two Indigenous families from extensive interviews with miners from across the country and lived experience of the writer. Developed in Broome with Goolarri Media’s Indigenous Writers program, and with the support of Yirra Yaakin, Playwriting Australia, Ilbijerri Theatre Company and Yellamundie First Nations Play Festival, FIFO, brings us an exciting new voice from the Kimberley, former FIFO mine worker Melody Dia.

Djuki Mala

Direct from Elcho Island, Djuki Mala (Djuki meaning 'bird' with a Yolngu accent and Mala meaning 'mob') perform a high-energy and stunning fusion of traditional Indigenous culture, contemporary dance and strorytelling.

  • Dates:Oct 16
  • Time(s):7:30pm to 8:30pm
  • Venue:Esperance Civic Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Esperance Civic Centre
  • Venue Address:Esperance Civic Centre
  • Ticket Price FROM:$18
  • Ticket price TO:$27.50
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,Wheelchair Access
  • Performing Arts:Comedy,Dance,Theatre

Description

Join a joyous celebration 60,000 years in the making where Esperance Civic Centre presents Duki Mala, Proudly supported by Lotterywest.

Direct from Elcho Island, Djuki Mala (Djuki meaning 'bird' with a Yolngu accent and Mala meaning 'mob') perform a high-energy and stunning fusion of traditional Indigenous culture, contemporary dance and strorytelling.

Since their 2007 clip of 'Zorba the Greek' went viral, they've been consistently thrilling audiences with reinterpretations of popular culture and traditional dances in a way that juxtaposes contemporary Yulngo culture.

The show tells the genesis of Djuki Mala, interspersed with multimedia and gives audiences the opportunity to experience some of the more intimate moments and turning points that have shaped them, in a show that is a marvel of timing, comedy and clowning, with a hefty dose of heart and soul.

-----------------------------
REVIEWS
“There is no better offering at this year’s Perth Fringe Festival…tremendous fun.” THE WEST AUSTRALIAN ?????

“Djuki Mala is an hour of infectious joy” BROADWAY BABY, EDINBURGH ?????

“Joy enhancing, inspiring, thrilling, intoxicating' ????? UPSIDE NEWS

“entertainment with plenty of skill, fun and charm” ????? IN DAILY, ADELAIDE

“Has the audience eating out of their hands…a show of sheer joy, energy, hilarity…hugely entertaining”
-------------------------------

PURCHASE TICKETS online www.esperance.wa.gov.au/events/djuki-mala

Tickets:
Child $18
Concession $25
Adult $27.50
Group of 6 + $24.50

Duration: 60mins
Rating: All Ages (recommended 5+)

Tickets also available from Shire Administration, Esperance Library and Visitor Centre.

Archie Roach 'Tell Me Why' The Final Round: 1990-2020

Legendary songwriter and ‘voice of the Stolen Generations’, Archie Roach AM, brings his life story to the stage in his final tour ever Tell Me Why.

  • Dates:Nov 8
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:Perth Concert Hall

Details

  • Venue Address:5 St Georges' Terrace, Perth WA 6000
  • Ticket Price:Standard Tickets from $70
  • Ticket Price FROM:$26
  • Ticket price TO:$77
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Music
  • Audience:Adults,For seniors,Wheelchair Access
  • Event Venue:Perth Concert Hall
  • Music:Country & Folk,Gig Guide

Description

From stolen child and teenage alcoholic to musical icon, social activist and First Nations leader, Archie Roach’s compelling story is an extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and a testament to the healing power of music.

30 years after the release of his two-time ARIA Award winning album Charcoal Lane (1990), Tell Me Why is an intimate and moving musical journey through Roach’s life. The work features seminal songs from his back catalogue, influential music from his youth and three new autobiographical songs.

Roach will be joined onstage by his five-piece band, including award-winning jazz composer and improviser Paul Grabowsky and special guest Emma Donovan.

Don’t miss this spectacular concert celebrating Roach’s eponymous memoir and latest album. 

Aboriginal Performance Cohort Showcase 2020

An end-of-year performance from WAAPA's Aboriginal Performance cohort that celebrates the tradition and heritage of Australia's Indigenous people.

  • Dates:Various dates from Nov 12- 19
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Enright Studio

Details

  • Hosted By:Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
  • Venue Address:2 Bradford St, Mount Lawley WA 6050
  • Ticket Price FROM:$23
  • Ticket price TO:$30
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Enright Studio
  • Performing Arts:Theatre

Description

Join us in celebrating the talents of WAAPA’s 2020 Aboriginal Performance cohort, as they take to the stage in the end-of-year public performance that marks the finale to their year of training. A showcase for their acting and performance skills, this dramatic work demonstrates contemporary Indigenous performance and culture as we applaud the achievements of the 2020 ensemble.

 

Phil Walleystack Findjaway Tour

Local legend Phil Walleystack is back at the Astor Theatre performing his latest stage show FINDJAWAY.

  • Dates:Postponed from Jul 31, 2020 to Jan 15, 2021
  • Time(s):7:15pm
  • Venue:The Astor Theatre

Details

  • Hosted By:Aboriginal Shows & Productions
  • Venue Address:659 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley WA 6050
  • Ticket Price:$50
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Music
  • Audience:Adults
  • Event Venue:Astor Theatre
  • Music:Concert Tours,Gig Guide

Description

Touring throughout Western Australia in June and July, Phil’s final theatre performance comes to the Astor.

With performances usually reserved for corporate and international delegates. Findjaway Tour offers a rare opportunity to see Phil live in concert. After ten years touring internationally Phil has the ability to connect with every member of the audience with his raw talent and unique style of storytelling and humour. His harmonious mix of melodies enchant and captivate audiences the world over.

2x Western Australian of the year - finalist. NAIDOC artist of the year.

CBAA Contribution to Australian music - winner. Aussie Bush Tales television show - host. NITV - Volumz Television Show. Marngrook Footy Show. Goldcoast Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony - Perth coordinator.

Driven by a passion for entertaining, Phil’s unique and powerful performance - combining the past and present through a truly exciting experience, is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

SCOOP