NAIDOC Week Reflections Gallery


NAIDOC Week Reflections Gallery

‘Because of her, we can’.

Discover, celebrate and reflect on the journeys of eight local and influential Indigenous women. Visit the NAIDOC Week Reflections Gallery to immerse yourself in their incredible stories.
NAIDOC week will commence Sunday 8 July with a Welcome to Country at 11am followed by a performance by traditional and contemporary dancers.

When: Sunday 8 July to Saturday 14 July
Location: Level 3 near Myer

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are warned the following contains images of deceased persons

Peta Strachan

Photo credit: George Gittany Photography

Peta is a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher and costume maker with over 30 years of experience. As a descendant of the Darug people of the Boorooberongal clan of NSW, Peta trained at Australia’s premier Indigenous dance college, NAISDA, before joining the Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2000. Peta appeared in the opening ceremony for the Olympics Arts Festival, Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and the official opening of Canberra’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Peta went on to form Jannawi Dance Clan in 2008. She is the Artistic Director of the official Indigenous Australia Day morning ceremony Woggan-ma-gule in Sydney, Peta has also played a significant role at the Sydney Opera House for the Message Sticks, Homeground and Dance Rites festivals.

Dharpaloco Yunupingu

Photo credit: Richard Hedger

Dharpaloco Yunupingu is from the Darug clan of Western Sydney and also the Gumatj Clan from North East Arnhem Land.

Dharpaloco is a dancer who has been practicing traditional dance from the time she could walk. Under the guidance of professional leaders in the indigenous arts industry such as Rhoda Roberts, Matthew Doyle, Jannawi Dance Clan, Albert David, Djakkapurra Munyaryun and Kathy Marika, Dharpaloco has had the opportunity to learn valuable knowledge about her culture through dance within her community working closely with these incredible leaders.

Dharpaloco is a principle dancer with Jannawi Dance Clan and has performed at the Woggan-ma-gule Australia day ceremony for 10 years and numerous events at the Opera House. Dharpaloco also teaches youth in the community traditional / contemporary infused dance which is something she is very passionate about.

Dharpaloco has featured in many projects including “Sugarland” Inspired by the lives of young people living in remote Katherine, NT, Servant or Slave, a documentary about the removal and displacement of Indigenous children, the stolen generation as well as the lead role in the Australian adaptation of Alice In Wonderland.

Jacinta Tobin

Photo credit: Peter Andrew

Jacinta Tobin is a writer, musician, performer, educator and a public speaker. A proud Darug descendant, Jacinta has worked with community and key stakeholders to create a greater understanding of her culture through story, language and song.

Jacinta has written and produced albums including Get Down and Darug (2016), Just Jacinta Something Cheeky (2010) and Yarramundi and the Four-Leaf Clover (2001). Jacinta has lectured in Aboriginal Studies at the University of Western Sydney, and has received multiple community awards for her work including the Gargi Woman Award from the Hindu Council of Australia this year.

Julie Bukari Webb

Phot credit: Michelle Haywood

Julie Bukari Jones (Webb) is a proud Darug woman from multiple fresh and saltwater clans. Julie works as an advocate, educator, consultant and mentor. She is a member and advisor to various groups and organisations in both the public and private sectors, promoting cultural awareness, equality, access and self-determination.

Julie is Chairperson of the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation and founder of Gumedah Byalla – an organisation focussing on education, health, culture and language. Julie is a tireless advocate for the promotion and understanding of her people and culture.

Vilma Ryan (1939-2018)

Photo credit: Cathy Adams, Nother Star

Vilma was a tireless political activist for Aboriginal rights, and her work with Indigenous children and communities spanned more than 30 years. Leaving school at the age of 14 she later went to TAFE and set about improving education for her people.

Vilma was the founder of the Blacktown Western Warriors and helped establish the Ngallu Wal, New Careers for Aboriginal People (NCAP) programs and emergency accommodation for Blacktown’s Indigenous community.

Vilma established the Riverstone Family Services, to provide families with cultural programs, food and support with housing issues and outreach services and was awarded the NSW Senior Citizen of the Year in 2012.

Patyegarang (1775 – unknown)

Patyegarang was an Aboriginal woman living in the Sydney region during the arrival of the first fleet in 1788. She played a significant role in the early contact between Aboriginal and British people – as a confidant and teacher to William Dawes, a lieutenant the early years of the colony who created what is now considered the first written account of the Aboriginal language of Sydney.

Patyegarang would have been around 15 years old when she met Dawes. Young as she was, she was Dawes’ intellectual equal and was not averse to carrying complex political messages to the British. Her tremendous display of trust in Dawes resulted in a gift of cultural knowledge back to her people almost 200 years later.

Barangaroo (1750 – 1791)

Barangaroo was an Aboriginal woman, member of the Cameragal clan of the Eora during the First Fleet’s arrival in Sydney in 1788. Barangaroo’s second husband Bennelong (namesake of Bennelong Point where the Sydney Opera House stands) was befriended by Governor Phillip, however Barangaroo’s interactions with the British were markedly different to those of her husband. Barangaroo refused offerings of food and drink from British soldiers, refused to wear European clothes and intervened to prevent Bennelong from visiting the British colony.

In 2006, the north-east precinct of Darling Harbour was named Barangaroo, in her memory. In March 2017, a multimedia artwork was launched at Barangaroo designed to give viewers a deeper understanding of the story of Barangaroo, the strong Cammeraygal woman after whom the area is named.

Maria Lock (c.1805–1878)

Maria Lock was the daughter of Chief Elder Yarramundi and member of the Boonooberongal clan of the Darug people. Born in 1805, Maria was involved in many significant interactions between the Darug community and the British colony throughout her lifetime.

As a child, Maria attended Governor Macquarie’s first meeting with the tribes of the Cumberland Plain in Parramatta, and became the first student of the Native Institution which would be the first place where Aboriginal children were institutionalised following involuntarily removal from their families within the colony. This marked the first government policy that led to the Stolen Generations.

Maria married Robert Lock in 1824 who was a convict carpenter. Their marriage was the first officially sanctioned Aboriginal-British union within the colony. Despite several unsuccessful attempts, in 1833 Maria also received the first land grant to an Aboriginal woman in the colony.