UQ NAIDOC Festival St Lucia

UQ NAIDOC Festival at St Lucia

8 August, 1-9pm, St Lucia campus, Upper Forgan Smith Lawns

The annual UQ NAIDOC Festival at St Lucia campus is arguably one of the largest events in the UQ calendar. This years festival will aim to bring the 2019 NAIDOC theme 'Voice, Treaty Truth' to life by exploring and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, art and culture. Join us on the Upper Forgan Smith Lawns and UQ Art Museum from 1pm - 9pm and indulge in the various workshops, market stalls, panels, food trucks, music and dance performances over the course of the day. The event is completely free and open to all students, staff, alumni, friends, family and wider community. If you are coming from Gatton, a bus will also be available to drop you home after the festival. Please indicate you require this service on the registration form.

Download Full Program

Music & Dance




Yirrmal (Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter)
Yirrmal is an inspiring songwriter and guitarist, singing songs about his homeland and culture. He openly shares his identity, spirit and connection to the land on and off the stage. Find out more

The Merindas (Indigenous Australian band)
Fresh Melbourne based female duo, The Merindas are the synthesis of warrior queen, on-trend style of rhythmic, expressive music dedicated to their cultural heritage. They will be performing funky electro-tribal-pop music. Find out more

Ziggy Ramo (Indigenous Australian artist)
Ziggy Ramo’s voice is an important one in the Australian hip hop scene. Ziggy slices deep into the heart of race relations in modern Australia and addresses silenced injustices as well as other social issues. Find out more

Emily Wurramara (Indigenous Australian artist)
19 year old singer-songwriter, Emily Wurrumarra is a proud Indigenous performer from Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory. Emily wrote her first song at nine years of age and sings with heart and honesty, sharing her stories and experiences through her original music. Find out more

Balairi (Indigenous Australian band)
Balairi is an indigenous Australian band featuring Ling Jay and Benjin Maza. They will performing the cool musical sounds of Reggae, Funk, Soul, RnB and Hip-Hop. Find out more

Malu Kiai Mura Baui (Torres Strait Islander dance group)
Malu-Kiai is the traditional name given to the people of Boigu Island. Their songs and dances, based upon the everyday life of Torres Strait Islander people, have been passed from generation to generation. Find out more

Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers (Indigenous Australian dance group)
The Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers have been in existence for over 10 years traveling the world extensively showcasing traditional Aboriginal culture through song, dance and other various forms of cultural expression. Find out more

Food & Markets



Game Enough? - A leading indigenous owned manufacturer of unique ready to eat game meat and native plant flavoured foods in Australia including crocodile, emu, kangaroo. Find out more

SOBAH Proudly Aboriginal owned and led, Sobah is Australia's first non-alcoholic craft beer company.  They are based on beautiful Yugambeh country known as the Gold Coast, Queensland. Find out more

Native SweetnessAustralian Native Flavoured Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies, Cake Pops, Macaroons, Eclairs, Brownies, Blondie's,  Biscuits and Dessert Creations. Find out more

First Food CoFirst Food Co are the specialists in bush food. They draw on Dale Chapman's Aboriginal knowledge and expertise as a chef toring everything bush food to you. Dale Chapman is a Kooma, Yuwaalaraay woman from central Queensland). Find out more

LOREAustralian native bio-foods that enhance people's quality of life and facilitate a connection with the land from which they are sourced. Find out more

CHABOO - Chaboo is a Brisbane based Aboriginal owned small business that specialises in unique hand painted Aboriginal home decor art. Chaboo offers customised orders, graphic design, and murals decorated with Aboriginal art. Chaboo has also designed the 2019-2022 UQ Reconciliation Action Plan artwork. Find out more

Culture Weave - Workshops embedded with a unique cultural experience through sharing the skill of an ancient art and providing a safe yarning circle for all ages. Find out more

Kadu All custom handmade inspired Aboriginal fabric earrings & accessories. Find out more

Muralappi - A unique range of leather/canvas bags, purses and tea towels in a variety of colour combinations. All her products carry Muralappi’s own artwork with a short bio of the artist herself. Find out more

Open House - More information to come

The Henderson Gallery - More information to come

Artist Merchandise tent - More information to come


Workshops & Stories




Didgeridoo & clapstick making - Join Josh Brown and create your own didgeridoo or pair of clapsticks – some of the oldest instruments in the world. Josh is a Kamiliroi man and skilled didgeridoo artisan. He has expertise in carving and creating a broad range of artefacts. (In line with cultural protocols, didgeridoo making is only offered to men)

Weaving workshop - Join Sonja and Elisa Jane Carmichael to be introduced to the practice of string making. Learn how to twist pliable natural and coloured fibres to create a bracelet. Sonja and Elisa Jane are both Quandamooka women and descendants of the Ngugi people, one of three clans who are the Traditional Custodians of Quandamooka, also known as Yoolooburrabee–people of the sand and sea. 

CHABOO Collaborative Painting and Yarns - Grab a paintbrush and bring CHABOO’s representation of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme Voice. Treaty. Truth canvas to life.  Pop in for a minute, moment or while to yarn and paint. All materials supplied. 

“Yari Goori” Workshop - The "Yari Goori" (Aboriginal talk) workshop introduces the Jandai-Yuggera language.  Gaja Kerry is a Go'enpul Elder and Traditional Owner of Yuggera country and Quandamooka. She is also in the Yuggera-Ugarapul Peoples and Kabi Kabi clans. Her substantial work in language and cultural revitalisation includes a "Lexicon & Handbook of Moreton Bay Languages" by her Wularanguru language project team to be previewed at this event. 

Deadly Writing Workshop - Join award-winning author and UQ Professor of Communications Anita Heiss as she shares with you some of her writing tips. Grab one of the Professor's props and create a character just for fun, before you get serious and write about places sacred to you. Bring your sense of humour and your imagination. Writing instruments will be provided.

Film, Art, Panels and Collections





Blue Water Empire (Film) - Watch this three-part dramatised documentary series for unique insights into the history of the Torres Strait Islands. Traversing the pre-colonial era through to contemporary times, this compelling history is centred on the key stories told by men and women of the region. The series explores how Torres Strait Islanders have sustained their cultural heritage throughout the impact of 200 years of European settlement. Episode 1, 2 & 3 will be streamed at the festival

Who We Are - Brave New Clan (Film) - Six extraordinary young Australians share what Indigenous culture means to them today in contemporary urban Australia. From the bustling streets of Sydney to the aquamarine vistas of the Torres Strait, their stories span a diverse population across the country and yet share common themes of resilience, courage, optimism and success. Featuring: James Saunders, Miranda Tapsell, Harry Sabatino, Joshua Toomey, Kim Isaacs and Kaylah Tyson

Weaving the Way Exhibition (Curated by Freya Carmichael)Weaving the Way brings together senior artists, communities and emerging makers from the Southeast to the Far North of Queensland who partake in a common practice and translate personal and shared messages. Many threads of story are interwoven as part of the process of making and are captured in the finished works. Organised into three themes, the artworks trace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander narratives around ancestral ways, matrilineal connections and inextricable ties to the lands and waters.Check out the program for all exhibition tour times. 

Fryer Library and Collections (Tours) - Meet your guide near the Elder’s Tent to head over to the Fryer Library, Level 4, Duhig Tower.  A Fryer Librarian will take you through the Library and displays.  Some of Fryer’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rare collections will be on display.  Come see and learn about some of the special items in the collections.

Blue Water Empire (Panel): “Is the Water Really Blue? Voices from the Torres Strait” Join Karen Dorante associated with Brisbane Indigenous Media Association as she speaks with distinguished panel members Blue Water Empire producer, writer and actor Aaron Fa’Aoso, Elder and UQ Alumnus Aunty MacRose Elu, UQ Project Officer (Torres Strait Islander Engagement) Walter Waia, and UQ postgraduate student Aminata Diop to learn about Islander knowledges, histories and cultures.

You Can Ask That – Good Ways - Join UQ academics and researchers in this question and answer truth-telling session to learn more about Aboriginal peoples, stories, histories and cultures.  Truth-telling is a key element in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and in this session participants will have the opportunity to ask everything you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask…within reason!   

Talking Up Treaty - UQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student and staff engage with concepts of a Treaty. European settlement of Australia, there were no treaties, no formal settlements or compacts. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people did not cede sovereignty to land when colonisation occurred. It was taken away and leaves a continuing source of dispute.

Elders Tent



Hosted by Goorie Berrimpa Student Collective - The Elders tent will be hosted by the Goorie Berrimpa Student Collective and will be open from 1pm-9pm during the festival. Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be provided to all elders.

Parking: Limited accessible parking is available on request. Please email uqlife@uq.edu.au. For all other parking and transport options see here.