This week is NAIDOC Week, with activities on campus, and outstanding members of Flinders University’s community honoured.
NAIDOC Week recognises that First Nations people have cared for Australia for more than 65,000 years through this year’s theme: ‘Always was, always will be’.
Running from 8 to 15 November, NAIDOC Week invites all Australians to embrace and acknowledge the true history of Australia and celebrate the rich cultures of our First Nations people, developed and sustained over thousands of years.
Flinders law graduate Gail Brennan and Poche Centre academic Allan Sumner have been honoured with 2020 NAIDOC Week awards.
Ms Brennan is a proud Ngarrindjeri and Adnyamathanha woman from the Murraylands who scooped the Scholar of the Year award. In 2016 she embarked on a Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice, in pursuit of her long held ambition to be a lawyer and a changemaker for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – graduating two months ago.
“I’m very overwhelmed and thankful to receive this award,” Ms Brennan said.
“My four grandmothers, my matriarchs, were able to be there for the presentation and the award is for them, as well as the next generation coming up. Hopefully it helps inspire people that uni is an option and to follow their dreams.”
An active mentor, student ambassador, and law tutor in the Yunggorendi Student Engagement team, Ms Brennan epitomises the Flinders spirit of Making a Difference.
In addition to his work with the College of Medicine and Public Health’s Poche Centre, Alan Sumner is an accomplished artist and has been named the 2020 NAIDOC SA Artist of the Year.
A descendent of the Ngarrindjeri, Kaurna and Yankunytjatara peoples, Mr Sumner is also a musician and a graphic designer whose skills are seen and appreciated across our University and beyond, including on the football field.
Flinders extends its warmest congratulations to Gail and Allan, and all of the 2020 NAIDOC Award winners, including UniSA Professor Peter Buckskin, who received a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to education.
The University also congratulates Associate Professor Simone Ulalka Tur, who has been selected by the NAIDOC SA Committee to be a NAIDOC SA Ambassador. In her role she will support the work of the committee, including new Patron this year, Flinders University Elder on Campus Uncle Lewis Yarluburka O’Brien.
OISE cultural activity
To celebrate NAIDOC Week, Flinders University’s Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement held a rock painting activity in the Hub at lunchtime today (Tuesday 10 November), sharing cupcakes that reflect the new mural in the Yunggorendi Tjilbruke student lounge.
Nunga Screen will show this Thursday 12 November, between 12 noon and 2pm, on the big screen in the Plaza at Flinders University. The collection of films is an annual Country Arts SA showcase that shares and celebrates Aboriginal culture, stories and language, through the diversity of Indigenous film culture.
Included in this year’s showcase is Nganu and Tjilbruke: A Tale of Two Dreaming Heroes, an animated story of two Kaurna Nation dreaming heroes Nganu and Tjilbruke, developed in consultation with Flinders University Elder on Campus Uncle Lewis Yarluburka O’Brien.
Sharing NAIDOC Week messages
Key messages are also being shared across the University’s social media this week.
This year Flinders University launched its first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, detailing our vision towards Reconciliation, including how the University will increase the understanding and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories within our community.