National Reconciliation Week 2020 Recap: In this together

The theme for 2020, 'In this together' resonated even more as we continued to adapt to a new way of doing, learning and living during COVID-19. From 27 May to 3 June our Community Programs team brought you a range of activities, from a virtual Sprigg Lecture to our much loved Young Explorer sessions.

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

You can view our Reconciliation Action Plan here.

Panel discussion for Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality

Our first activity for the week was a panel discussion relating to Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality.

Hear from artists, academic educators and researchers, Gurindji-associated community members and other contributors to the Still in my mind exhibition. This wide-ranging conversation explores the role of institutional archives in the development of the exhibition, and touches on the contributions of individual artists.

Speakers: Brenda L Croft, Felicity Meakins, Leah Leaman, Maurie Ryan Japarta, Lea Gardam and Jared Thomas (MC)

Performer: 2019 NT NAIDOC Artist of the Year and Gurindji-associated community member Les Huddleston.

Sprigg talk: Becoming Balgo Art with Professor John Carty

While we were unable to gather face-to-face for our regular Sprigg lecture series, Professor John Carty headed into the Museum's Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery to share his research on some remarkable new additions to the Museum, a collection of Aboriginal paintings thought to be lost for the last 40 years. Join John below for a reflective talk exploring the beginning of the art movement in Balgo.

Young Explorers: An introduction

Niina marni! The Young Explorers team have missed seeing you at the Museum, so they shared a series of videos during Reconciliation Week with you. Join Emma, Stephen and special guest Eva for songs, stories and rocking Pinko to sleep in a koolaman below.

Here are the lyrics to the songs so you can sing along:

Niina Marni Song

Niina Marni Niina Marni – Hello you good?
Marniai Marniai – I’m Good
Wanti Niina Wanti Ninna – Where you going?
Wadlianna Wadlianna – I’m going home


Heads and Shoulders

Mukarta, Karkata, Mumpa, Tidna – Head, Shoulder, Knee, Foot (toes)
Miina, Yuri, Taa, Mudla – Eye, Ear, Mouth, Nose
We all clap Marralla together (Marra hand, Marralla hands)

Young Explorers: Making fire

Brrr! It’s cold outside, and Emma and Eva have been at the Museum, thinking about keeping warm by the fire.

The lyrics for the songs in the video below are:

Like a leaf or feather
in the windy, windy weather
We can swirl around and twirl around and all fall down together.

Inanay gupu wanna
Inanay gupu wanna

Ay ay ay oola
Oola oola oola ay
Yippee yay yipee yay

Goo wana goo wana
Goo wana goo wana
Goo wah - Choo!

Young Explorers: Water with Eva and Stephen

Eva and Stephen are in the Museum again, finding some water to go with their food! Let’s look at some different ways Aboriginal people have of collecting and carrying water.

Sing along with us:

Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily
Life is but a dream
If you see a crocodile
Don’t forget to scream!

Young Explorers: Homes with Emma and Eva

Let’s count kuma, purlaityi, marnkutyi with Eva and Emma while we look at different types of homes!

The lyrics are:

Give me a home among the gum trees
With lots of plum trees
A sheep or two and a kangaroo
A clothesline out the back
Verandah out the front
And an old rocking chair
Here is a nest for a magpie
Here is a hive for some bees
Here is a burrow for a bilby
And here is a wadli for me!

Young Explorers: Fishing with Eva and Stephen

Have you ever caught a fish? Let’s have a look at the food we can collect by the sea, with Eva and Stephen.

Join with us by singing:

Here is the yarlu, the wavy yarlu
Here is a boat, And here is me!
And little fishes way down below
Wiggle their tails, And away they go!

Young Explorers: Goodbye with Eva, Emma and Stephen

Ngaityalya, thanks for joining us for Reconciliation Week. We explored what humans need to live; food, shelter, water and fire, while looking at Aboriginal cultures and how they live. The Reconciliation Week theme this year was “In this together,” and we’ve loved singing and sharing stories together. Nakutha!


How to make wattle seed damper

Like many cultures around the world, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been grinding seeds and making bread for tens of thousands of years.

Download our recipe for making bread at home using wattle seeds, an ingredient local to South Australia.

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