NAIDOC week is celebrated annually throughout Australia and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and recognises the contribution they make within the community.

NAIDOC Week 8 – 15 July 2018

Each year NAIDOC week focuses on a theme; the 2018 theme chosen by the National NAIDOC Committee is, Because of her, we can!

To celebrate National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration (NAIDOC) in the Mountains Blue Mountains City Council, the Blue Mountains City Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Council together with the Blue Mountains NAIDOC Committee will host a range of events during July.

NAIDOC Activities 2018

Annual NAIDOC Flag Raising and Awards 

Date: Monday 9 July 
Time: 9am
Location: Blue Mountains Cultural Centre / Carrington Place
Event Details: This year NAIDOC in the Mountains will be launched at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre for a community morning tea followed by the Flag Raising Ceremony and local NAIDOC Awards.  Following the ceremony the official Flag Raising will take place in Carrington Place.
This year’s NAIDOC theme ‘Because of Her, We Can’ recognises the significant roles that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played – and continue to play at the community, local, state and national levels. In celebration of this theme this year’s guest speaker local woman, Anny Druett, will speak about the contributions made by her grandmother, Pearl Gibbs, in NSW and nationally. Anny will also provide a more in-depth account of the life work of Pearl Gibbs in the Cultural Centre theatrette from 10.30 - 11am. 

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Events

RSVPs are appreciated for all events. 
To book call 4780 5410, email or visit 

John South: Skyworld

Date: Friday 6 July
Time: 6-8pm

Help celebrate the opening of John South: Skyworld, an exhibition exploring Aboriginal Astronomy through film and installation. Just after sunset, Darug and Gundungurra Elders will welcome us to Country followed by an immersive smoking ceremony by Darug man Chris Tobin. A performance by Wagana Aboriginal Dancers and Raven Spirit Dance Society from Canada will showcase contemporary dances rooted in landscape and creation stories, traditional and urban cosmologies, and Aboriginal worldviews.
On Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 July a number of cultural events will be held through public programs throughout the day: 


Date: Saturday 7 July
Time: 11am – 1pm

Barkindji artist John South invites community members and visitors to RHIZOME – a collaborative installation created through a water lily making session. Over thousands of years the water lily has held special significance for Aboriginal people, being sustainably harvested and eaten for nutritional and medicinal qualities. The water lily’s can be taken home or placed in the gallery as part of a temporary installation to accompany John South: Skyworld.
Darug History and Culture with Uncle Lex Dadd

Date: Saturday 7 July
Time: 1 – 2pm

Learn about the history and culture of the Darug people though storytelling, music, traditional tools and bush craft. This is an open community event for anyone aged 3 and up.


Date: Saturday 7 July
Time: 1 – 1.30pm
Location: Seminar Room

Watch episodes from documentary series ART + SOUL, a tribute to Indigenous art and culture directed by Warwick Thornton and Steve McGregor, will be screened free in the seminar room. The screening will be followed by an audience Q & A session with artist John South and local independent film producer Jo-Anne McGowan. 

Stargazing Evening

Date: Saturday 7 July
Time: 6 – 8pm

Rug up and turn your eyes to the night sky for a fascinating stargazing evening, led by astronomers from the Penrith Observatory. Warm food and drinks will be available from the café as you view celestial bodies through a variety of telescopes. For one night only a planetarium will also feature in the gallery space, alongside John South: Skyworld.

Conversations with John South (Barkindji) and Dr Duane Hamacher

Date: Sunday 8 July
Time: 11am – 1pm 
Location: Gallery

Come for a conversation between artist John South (Barkindji) and Dr Duane Hamacher, an astronomer and Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre in Melbourne. The discussion will focus on South’s work and the complex relationship between Aboriginal Astronomy and history, culture and science.

NAIDOC Aboriginal Community Day in ‘The Gully’ 

Date: Saturday 14 July 
Time: 11am – 2pm
Location: The Gully - behind the Gully Heritage Centre, Katoomba.
Event Details: There will be great food, stalls and activities for children. This event has been supported by the Gully Traditional Owners and the Blue Mountains City Council Aboriginal Advisory Council. (Please note that this event will be held in the Katoomba Aquatic Centre if the weather is bad). 
For information about transport: Robert 4782 9402, on the day 0427 710 708
For event details: Brad 4780 5560 or

NAIDOC Aboriginal Community Art Festival

Date: Official Opening – Friday 20 July, 6.30pm
Open Daily: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Katoomba Leura Community Centre
Event Details: Artwork by local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, established and emerging, will be on display and available to purchase over the weekend. The exhibition also includes the artwork and cultural expressions of Aboriginal children and young people. 
This exhibition is hosted by the Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre (ACRC) and the BMCC Aboriginal Advisory Council. 
Further details: Wayne 4782 6569 or 

NAIDOC in Blue Mountains City Libraries - The Aboriginal Culture Learning: A Family Workshop

To book call any library branch or email
Workshop 1: Monday 9 July, 2-3pm, Sharon Burridge Hall, Blaxland Community Centre, 33 Hope Street Blaxland
Workshop 2: Thursday 12 July, 10.30 to 11.30am, Katoomba Library meeting room
Workshop details: Come and celebrate NAIDOC week by learning more about Aboriginal culture with Yamandirra, a Wiradjuri man, artist and dancer who will share his knowledge with your family. Bookings are essential. 

Annual Blue Mountains NAIDOC Ball

Date: Friday 27 July
Time: from 6.30pm
Location: Escarpments Estate (Old Katoomba golf course, Acacia Street, Katoomba).
Event Details: The NAIDOC Ball is a fantastic night with dinner, entertainment and great company. Child Care and transport will be available with though strictly through bookings. Spaces are limited so bookings are essential. Tickets are $40 each, concession $25 each and can be purchased through ACRC. Please note this is an 18 plus event.  For all enquiries: 4782 6569 or

Blue Mountains Hospital 

To celebrate NAIDOC this year the Hospital will hold its NAIDOC event in September. More information will be available closer to the event. 

For further details contact Sonia Cox, Aboriginal Liaison Officer on 6350 2750 or

    Further information

    Interested in being involved? Contact: