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Aboriginal Culture in Perth & WA

Stretching back more than 50,000 years, Indigenous culture is central to  Western Australia’s history, present and future. There are so many ways to explore WA’s diverse Indigenous heritage. Whether you’re looking for a taste of bush tucker, or to feast your eyes on aboriginal art, the oldest surviving culture in the world has never been more accessible.

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Indigenous theatre, music and dance festivals take place across the year, featuring performances which bring together the traditional and the modern.

NAIDOC week in July is the perfect time of year to immerse yourself in the richness of Aboriginal culture. One of the most significant events on the cultural calendar, it celebrates Indigenous language, arts, history and culture.

All year around, art lovers can head to one of the many Indigenous art exhibitions on the calendar, or if you prefer the great outdoors why not take in incredible ancient rock art where it was created? The rock art of the Kimberley and Pilbara are set in stunning landscape and have survived an ice age.

Dotted across the state, guided tours provide an in-depth look at Aboriginal ancestral practices and stories. Traditional owners share their customs, medicines and bush tucker, as well as showcasing their country, where countless generations of Indigenous people have survived and thrived for thousands of years.

 

 

Here you can learn hunting and fishing practices, and traditional ways of cooking bush tucker. And don’t forget, if you are looking for Aboriginal owned and operated eco-lodges, hotels and safari camps, you can search them here.

 

Latest News

The Indigenous stars behind Macbeth in Noongar

The Indigenous stars behind Macbeth in Noongar

Yirra Yaakin’s eagerly anticipated alternative production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is set to kick off on February 5 as part of...
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World first: Yirra Yaakin presents Macbeth performed in Noongar

World first: Yirra Yaakin presents Macbeth performed in Noongar

In a world first, Yirra Yaakin's adaption of Macbeth will be performed entirely in Noongar! Yirra Yaakin, meaning “Stand Tall”...
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Yirra Yaakin’s Zac James discusses Ice Land

Yirra Yaakin’s Zac James discusses Ice Land

How do you write about an issue as huge as meth? Personal experience helps. Zac James is Yirra Yaakin’s Associate...
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Our Land, Our Place celebrates Aboriginal artists from across WA

Our Land, Our Place celebrates Aboriginal artists from across WA

Our Land, Our Place is an exhibition that showcases paintings from 8 Aboriginal art centres across Western Australia’s remote communities...
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Hip hop legends stand tall on the big issues

Hip hop legends stand tall on the big issues

Perth is about to be treated to an extraordinary collaboration from some of the heaviest hitters in local hip hop,...
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Open-air galleries: incredible rock art of WA

Open-air galleries: incredible rock art of WA

If the term ‘aboriginal art’ brings to mind galleries, art fairs and exhibitions, why not take your experience to the...
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Tura’s residency program supports young musicians at Fitzroy Crossing

Tura’s residency program supports young musicians at Fitzroy Crossing

The Fitzroy Valley New Music Project is part of Tura's Regional Residency program. Based in Fitzroy Crossing in Western Kimberley,...
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Where to try bush tucker across WA

Where to try bush tucker across WA

If you’re a lover of Aboriginal art and culture, there has never been a better time to extend that experience...
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Guides


Ord Valley Muster

A festival of music, art and culture in the Kimberley.

  • Dates:May 15 - 24
  • Venue:Kununurra
  • Festivals:All Festivals,Ord Valley Muster

Details

  • Hosted By:Ord Valley Muster
  • Venue Address:Jim Hughes Amphitheatre, Kununurra WA 6743
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Festivals,Food & drink,Music,Performing Arts,Sports,Travel
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Event Venue:Ord Valley Muster Festival Hub

Description

Through a diverse calendar packed with exciting events & experiences (rodeo, dining under the stars, music, yoga boats, comedy and more) to the the local characters & flavour that make Kununurra and the East Kimberley one of the most iconic destinations in the world, the Muster is a truly enthralling, enchanting and magical experience for all.

From humble beginnings in 2001, the Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster came to life quietly as a simple one night affair – a pleasant dinner in the outback for local businesses. Since then it has grown at lightning speed to be firmly established as a pre-eminent event in the national festival calendar,being a 3 time Hall of Fame Inductee (2017-2011-2008) at the WA Tourism Awards as well as being officially recognised as the Best Regional Event in Australia at the 2015 Australian Event Awards to name but a few notches of the Muster’s belt.

There are a range of amazing Land or Air Travel Packages available to help get you here starting at $405*pp (t&c’s apply), so you have no excuse to tick this one off your travel, foodie, adventure or 4×4 bucket lists…

The Muster’s major draw-card, the ‘Aviair Helispirit Kimberley Moon Experience’ continues, deservedly so, to receive international attention and acclaim. Staged at Celebrity Tree Park, the ‘Aviair Helispirit Kimberley Moon Experience’ is attended by celebrities, politicians and business leaders alike. Attracting over 5000 patrons, including 625 guests enjoying a 5 star concert and dining experience within the Kimberley Fine Diamonds Dinner, this truly is a unique and unforgettable experience – a place where city and country folk meet, mingle and dance under the stars.

Bruce Pascoe: A Conversation About Ingenuity

Bruce Pascoe, acclaimed author of Dark Emu and Salt, kicks off the Literature & Ideas Weekend 2020 in a conversation with Noongar academic and musician Dr Clint Bracknell.

  • Dates:Feb 21
  • Time(s):7pm
  • Venue:Octagon Theatre
  • Festivals:Perth Festival 2020

Details

  • Hosted By:Perth Festival
  • Venue Address:35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009
  • Ticket Price:$39
  • Type:Author Talks,Literature,Talks & Lectures,Aboriginal Art & Events
  • Audience:Adults
  • Event Venue:Octagon Theatre

Description

‘The reason for the national apathy to racial politics in this country stems, I believe, from the national ignorance of Aboriginal culture and economy, and that ignorance has to be laid in part at the feet of our learning institutions. A legion of professors and other academics at our universities decided it would be unnecessary for our golden youth to know what the explorers witnessed of Aboriginal excellence.’ Bruce Pascoe, Salt

Yirra Yaakin Family Picnic & 2020 Season Celebration

Join the Yirra Yaakin theatre company in this celebration of their 2020 season!

  • Dates:Mar 19
  • Time(s):5.30pm to 8.30pm
  • Venue:Subiaco Theatre Gardens

Details

  • Hosted By:Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
  • Venue Address:180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco WA 6008
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,For kids 4-12,For teens 13-17,Wheelchair Access
  • Produced By:Yirra Yaakin
  • Performing Arts:Theatre

Description

Join us in celebrating our 2020 season at our annual family picnic at the Subiaco Arts Centre Theatre Gardens. With live music, kangaroo stew, damper, and face painting it’s a fun event for all!

Yarn with the Yirra Yaakin team under the stars and become part of our community.

When: Thursday 19 March 2020
Time: 5.30pm - 8:30pm
Where: 180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco | Theatre Gardens | Subiaco Arts Centre

The box office will be open and tickets for our upcoming shows will be on sale for a discounted price.

BYO Picnic & Beverages

FREE EVENT

Proudly supported by the City of Subiaco

Deer Woman

A solo-warrior-woman story of righteous vengeance presented by the Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company

  • Dates:Jul 28 - Aug 1
  • Time(s):Jul 28 - 30: 7:00pm; Jul 31 - Aug 1: 7:30pm.
  • Venue:Subiaco Arts Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
  • Venue Address:180 Hamersley Rd, Subiaco WA 6008
  • Ticket Price FROM:$25
  • Ticket price TO:$45
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,For teens 13-17
  • Produced By:Yirra Yaakin
  • Event Venue:Subiaco Arts Centre
  • Performing Arts:Theatre

Description

Deer Woman tells the story of a young, missing and murdered girl in a country where over 1,600 Indigenous women and girls are officially recognised as being missing or murdered.

Lila, one missing girl’s big sister, refuses to stand idly by. She is the daughter of a hunter who taught her all he knew. She’s ex-army, too. When circumstances converge, Lila finds the perfect opportunity to investigate her baby sister’s murder.

Deer Woman premiered at Tawata Productions’ Kia Mau festival in Wellington, Aotearoa (NZ) in June of 2018 and was hailed as a highlight of the 2019 Sydney Festival, playing at Carriageworks to sold-out houses.

Aboriginal Performance Cohort Showcase 2020

An end-of-year performance from WAAPA's Aboriginal Performance cohort that celebrates the tradition and heritage of Australia's Indigenous people.

  • Dates:Various dates from Nov 12- 19
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Enright Studio

Details

  • Hosted By:Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
  • Venue Address:2 Bradford St, Mount Lawley WA 6050
  • Ticket Price FROM:$23
  • Ticket price TO:$30
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Enright Studio
  • Performing Arts:Theatre

Description

Join us in celebrating the talents of WAAPA’s 2020 Aboriginal Performance cohort, as they take to the stage in the end-of-year public performance that marks the finale to their year of training. A showcase for their acting and performance skills, this dramatic work demonstrates contemporary Indigenous performance and culture as we applaud the achievements of the 2020 ensemble.

 

Yagan Square Nyumbi

Experience the world’s oldest living culture through music and dance.

  • Dates:Every Friday from 24 January to 26 June 2020
  • Time(s):Commences at 5.30pm. Concludes at 6.15pm
  • Venue:Yagan Square Amphitheatre

Details

  • Hosted By:DevelopmentWA
  • Venue Address:Corner Wellington and William Street Perth
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Youth Art / Performance
  • Audience:LGBTI,Adults,Family-Friendly,For toddlers 0-3,For kids 4-12,For teens 13-17,For seniors,Wheelchair Access
  • Event Venue:Yagan Square
  • Performing Arts:Dance

Description

Immerse yourself in Western Australia's Noongar culture as Aboriginal dancers perform traditional song and dance and share stories of our rich culture and history.

Visit the Yagan Square amphitheatre to enjoy free Aboriginal performances every Friday evening.

 

Aboriginal Family History Sessions

Join State Library staff from the Storylines program to learn more about Aboriginal family history resources.

  • Dates:29 January, 26 February, 25 March 2020
  • Time(s):3:30pm - 6:30pm

Details

  • Hosted By:State Library of WA
  • Venue Address:25 Francis Street, Perth WA 6000
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events
  • Audience:LGBTI,Adults,For teens 13-17,For seniors,Wheelchair Access
  • Produced By:State Library of WA
  • Event Venue:State Library of WA

Description

Join State Library staff from the Storylines program to learn more about Aboriginal family history resources in the J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History. Discover some of the key resources for Aboriginal family history and explore the Storylines online platform.

FREE. To reserve your place call 08 9427 3111 or email [email protected]

Image: Grace Richards, Mavis Simms, Anna Porter, Nancy West (later Fox) and Esther Green at Warburton Range Mission, 1953. Catalogue number: 274262PD

Exhibition: Boomerang - A National Symbol

'Boomerang - A National Symbol' is presented by the Berndt Museum of Anthropology and is currently showing at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

  • Dates:Feb 8 - Jun 27
  • Time(s):11am - 5pm, Tues - Sat
  • Venue:Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, UWA

Details

  • Hosted By:Berndt Museum of Anthropology
  • Venue Address:35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009
  • Ticket Price:Free entry
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Art Exhibitions,Free,University
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,For seniors,Wheelchair Access
  • Event Venue:Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Historical

Description

Australia as a nation is recognised around the world by symbols of Aboriginal culture.

In this exhibition, the Berndt Museum explores the idea of the boomerang - beyond a symbol of 'Australia' - to highlight its many uses and meanings. The exhibition asks audiences: 'How much do you know about boomerangs?'

Exhibition rus 8 February - 27 June

Image: (top) Mowanjum, Western Australia. Carved wood with natural pigments. Gift of P. Lucich, Berndt Museum of Anthropology [1976/0517].; (bottom) Western Australia. Carved and incised wood with natural pigments. Gift of O. Mirmikidis, Berndt Museum of Anthropology [2005/0010.

Anangu Artists - We Carry Story in our Hearts

Anangu artists from Pitjantjatjarra lands paint their stories of country that link the land and the people with their Creation beliefs - as told in story and song

  • Dates:Feb 14 - Mar 25, 2020
  • Time(s):MO - FR 10 AM - 5:30 PM ; SAT - SUN 12 - 5 PM

Details

  • Hosted By:Japingka Gallery
  • Venue Address:47 High Street, Fremantle WA 6160
  • Ticket Price:FREE
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Art Exhibitions,Free
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly

Description

Anangu artists from the Pitjantjatjarra lands have developed powerful imagery to convey the importance of culture and country in their artworks. Structure and colour define the style developed by these artists in their expressions of Jukurrpa, the great Creation stories that laid down the Law and the meaning in the landscape as the Ancestors made their epic journeys across the lands.

Contributing artists to this exhibition include Alison Munti Riley, Imitjala Curley, Carolanne Ken, Kay Baker, Clarise Tunkin, Patricia Baker and Teresa Baker, Elaine Woods and Madeline Curley.

 

 

Basket Weaving

Create your very own woven basket!

  • Dates:Feb 24
  • Time(s):10:00am-12:00pm, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Venue:Yamaji Art

Details

  • Hosted By:Yamaji Art
  • Venue Address:189 Marine Terrace, Geraldton WA 6530
  • Ticket Price:$80
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events
  • Audience:Family-Friendly

Description

Come on down and enjoy an authentic Aboriginal arts experience with one of Yamaji Arts Aboriginal artist. Discover the stories behind the art works and join us in creating your very own unique woven basket to take home with you.
 
The workshop includes materials and supplies, instruciton from our experienced artist and a light morning tea.

Aboriginal Art Class

Learn the rich history of Aboriginal art from Nyoongar artist Jade Dolman and paint your own masterpiece on canvas!

  • Dates:Feb 26
  • Time(s):12.00pm to 2.30pm
  • Venue:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:City of Fremantle
  • Venue Address:12 Captains Lane, Fremantle WA 6160
  • Ticket Price FROM:$25
  • Ticket price TO:$75
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal

Description

This spectacular art workshop by Nyoongar artist Jade Dolman teaches you about the evolution, history, language and traditional tools of Aboriginal art. Each participant designs and paints their own artwork on individual canvases to take home. Materials supplied.

Boomerang Throwing

Learn the skill of boomerang throwing with former Docker Scott Chisolm

  • Dates:Feb 29
  • Time(s):12pm-2pm
  • Venue:Walyalup Aboriginal Arts Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • Venue Address:12 Captains Lane, Fremantle WA 6160
  • Ticket Price:$15
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events
  • Audience:Family-Friendly

Description

Join former Fremantle Docker Scott Chisolm for a cultural activity that will teach you a new skill! Boomerang throwing is not as easy as it looks, but Scott will make sure you hear a little of his story and show you how to make the boomerang come back!

Bush Tucker Journey

  • Dates:March 20 & 27
  • Time(s):12-2pm
  • Venue:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:City of Fremantle
  • Venue Address:12 Captains Lane Fremantle, WA 6160
  • Ticket Price:$30
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults
  • Food & Drink:Food Market Events

Description

Revealed: Wa Aboriginal Art Market

For art lovers, culture buffs and visitors to WA, the Revealed Art Market is unmissable.

  • Dates:Apr 3 - Apr 4
  • Time(s):4pm-8pm (Apr3) / 10am-4pm (Apr 4)
  • Venue:Fremantle Arts Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Fremantle Arts Centre
  • Venue Address:1 Finnerty St, Fremantle WA 6160
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events
  • Audience:Family-Friendly
  • Produced By:Fremantle Arts Centre
  • Event Venue:Fremantle Arts Centre

Description

The 2020 Revealed WA Aboriginal Art Market will be the biggest yet, expanding to run over two days due to overwhelming popularity. Revealed is the only market which brings together WA’s 25 remote and regional Aboriginal art centres and independent Aboriginal artists in one place to sell their artworks.
 
Opening with a special twilight session under the trees in FAC’s Front Garden on Friday 3 April and continuing 10am–4pm Saturday 4 April, this year there will be more time to browse an even bigger selection of contemporary WA Aboriginal art.
 
Revealed celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of Aboriginal artistic practice all over the state, with items for sale including paintings, textiles, carved artefacts, homewares, prints, clothing, ceramics, jewellery and more. Works start from as little as $50 and one hundred percent of profits from all Revealed sales return to the artists and art centres.

Friday Talk: Designing an Exhibition with Natalie Hewlett

Join Collections Manager Natalie Hewlett as she shares design insights into the current exhibition Boomerang - A National Symbol

  • Dates:Apr 3
  • Time(s):1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Venue:Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, UWA

Details

  • Hosted By:Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
  • Venue Address:35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art & Events,Art Exhibitions,Free,Talks & Lectures
  • Audience:Adults,Wheelchair Access
  • Event Venue:Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal

Description

Traditional displays of boomerangs as with that in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford in the UK have usually arrayed the boomerangs to accentuate their numbers and form.

Join Natalie Hewlett, Collections Manager at the Berndt Museum, to hear about design and display processes undertaken for the exhibition Boomerang – A National Symbol.

Boomerang: A National Symbol
8 February - 27 June 2020

Australia as a nation is recognised around the world by symbols of Aboriginal culture.

In this exhibition, the Berndt Museum explores the idea of the boomerang – beyond a symbol of ‘Australia’ – to highlight its many uses and meanings. The exhibition asks audiences: ‘How much do you know about boomerangs?’ Presented by the Berndt Museum of Anthropology.

Image design by Clare MacFarlane. Object: Norseman, Western Australia. Carved wood. Berndt Museum of Anthropology Collection [1982/0149].

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