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Celebrating the world’s oldest living cultures

Sydneysiders are invited to step inside a traditional ‘gunya’ shelter, dance to live music, sample modern bush tucker and experience all the world’s oldest living cultures have to offer in the heart of our city.

The City of Sydney’s annual NAIDOC in the City event, held from 11am–3pm on Monday 3 July  2017 in Hyde Park, is a free celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

The theme of NAIDOC Week 2017 is ‘our languages matter’. It celebrates the unique and essential role of languages play in linking people to their land and water, and in sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites through story and song.

“We’re proud to not only recognise, but experience and celebrate the world’s oldest living continuous cultures,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“There were more than 250 distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups at the time of the first European contact. Only 120 of those languages are still spoken and many are at risk of being lost.

“NAIDOC in the City is a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to come together on Gadigal land, and experience the continuing contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in our communities.”

A highlight of 2017’s event is the installation of a ‘gunya’, a ceremonial site and shelter constructed from cane and bark. The gunya will be home to didgeridoo and dance workshops and storytelling sessions.

Kids can kick off their school holidays with a range of fun outdoor activities, from face painting and weaving, to sport and music.

The giant earth oven will be fired up once again, offering a delicious feast for everyone, while musicians and dancers perform live on stage.

Children will enjoy a storytelling session at NAIDOC in the City with renowned author Dr Anita Heiss, lifetime ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW.

There will also be a range of market stalls showcasing arts and crafts, gourmet food, books and information.

The event is part of NAIDOC Week, from 3–10 July 2017, and a time for everyone to celebrate and enjoy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

NAIDOC in the City

When: 11am–3pm, Monday 3 July 2017

Where: Hyde Park, Sydney

Cost: Free


  • Watch live music and dance performances on the main stage, including Emily Wurramura, Electric Fields and Muggera dancers.
  • Step inside the gunya – a traditional shelter constructed from cane and bark – and take part in cultural ceremonies and didgeridoo and dance workshops.
  • Enjoy a feast from the earth oven – a traditional method of cooking in an earth oven pit, using hot rocks and natural materials to seal in the heat and slow cook food for hours. You can also take part in cooking demonstrations with renowned Aboriginal chef Mark Olive.
  • Start the school holidays with a bang by visiting the kids zone, which includes face painting, weaving workshops, art and music, and sporting activities with NRL, Australian Rugby Union, AFL NSW/ACT, Sydney Kings, Softball NSW, Mini Roos Soccer and NASCA Indigenous Games.
  • Explore the market stalls offering gourmet food and produce, arts and crafts, including Bakarindi Bush Foods, KK Kollection, Haus of Dizzy, Tay07, AIME, Double Bridge Farm, Goanna Dreams, Outback Tastes of Australia, Nomadic Café, Vejoes, Gardeners Lodge, Sanhill Artefacts, Koori Kinnections, Cleonie Quayle and House of Mother Earth.
  • Visit the art and cultural zone to learn about the City of Sydney’s Eora Journey and explore exhibits from the Australian Museum, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, State Library of NSW, Culture is Life, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Eora College – TAFE NSW, Art Gallery of NSW, ANTAR National, Nura Gili at UNSW, Jumbunna UTS, Tribal Warrior, Tranby and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Source: City of Sydney

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