NAIDOC WEEK HIGHLIGHT: Barangaroo Unveils New Event Sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cooking, Crafts and Stories Across Generations
Reflecting the strength and leadership of its namesake Barangaroo, Barangaroo Delivery Authority’s inaugural NAIDOC event specifically celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their distinctive role in knowledge sharing, teaching and community life. Taking place Sunday 8 July at Barangaroo Reserve, Women of Craft: NAIDOC at Barangaroo is a one-day showcase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander skills and traditions from cooking demonstrations and food tastings to workshops for basket weaving and shadow puppetry, plus plenty of interactive workshops for the kids.
In a contemporary interpretation of traditional skills and crafts, the one-day showcase will include a diverse range of opportunities for Sydney-siders to learn traditional skills from some of the country’s leading experts in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander craft and cooking. The day-long event will be split into a variety of workshops based around three key themes: craft and knowledge sharing which include fibre weaving and shell jewellery-making techniques; food demonstrations which allows visitors to sample Indigenous inspired home-style food through cooking demonstrations and tasting opportunities; as well as a dedicated interactive space for kids where little people can experience storytelling, cooking demonstrations, and try arts and craft activities.
Women of Craft: NAIDOC at Barangaroo Producer, Jade Christian said the inaugural event is designed to honour the influence and importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their vital role at the heart of community. ‘Women are the centre of the community and have a leading role in ensuring that knowledge is shared from one generation to the next. This is a unique chance for Sydney-siders to learn from this extraordinary line-up of knowledge keepers, who are generously sharing traditional techniques and include some of the country’s most talented artists and experienced mentors.’
The one-day event will start at 10am with a special Welcome to Country: a cleansing ceremony featuring water, fire and smoking of gum leaves. The welcome will be followed by a traditional dance demonstration by Buuja Buuja Butterfly Dance Groupperforming on the sand circle. The workshops program will then begin with a full day of activities suitable for all ages, including food demonstrations featuring native ingredients sourced from across Australia.
The curated weaving workshops are a highlight of the program and will provide the chance to learn traditional weaving techniques from experts who will focus on sustainability, influenced by the natural surroundings at Barangaroo. The workshops include a range of fibre weaving including sun mat weaving and lomandra weaving, as well as coconut frond weaving and banana leaf weaving by Torres Strait Island artists. The events will be led by nationally-renowned artists including Mimi Aboriginal Arts, Sylvia Nakachi, Hannah Gutchen, Narmi Maymuru and Gary Lang. There will also be a variety of jewellery-making workshops showcasing traditional shell work techniques by mother and son duo Julie Freeman and her son Clive Freeman. The artists have links to La Perouse and South Coast NSW, and both are making a mark as artists working with shells. All of the workshops will demonstrate how these traditional techniques are used in contemporary culture.
Another highlight on the agenda will be a mouth-watering food program celebrating female cooks, focusing on home-style dishes that can be recreated in your own kitchen. Just as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women take on the role of passing knowledge to the next generation, these cooks share their knowledge, using Indigenous ingredients and flavours. Leading the workshops will be Samantha Martin, who is best known as the author of the Bush Tukka Guide, and expert in foraging and native ingredients Jody Orcher.