Nainmurra Nguurruu Australia Day in the Capital
Let’s come together as a community on Ngunnawal, Ngunawal and Ngambri Country to reflect on what it means to live in this country, share our cultures and celebrate our achievements. Sit by our campfires to listen and reflect on our long and recent histories.
The Australia Day theme of Reflect, Respect, Celebrate brings elders, artists and speakers together to mark the day and show the way for the nation. Let’s take the opportunity to look back with respect for those who came before us and celebrate the rich culture that makes us who we are today.
About Nainmurra Nguurruu
Nainmurra Nguurruu or Ngaanmurra Nguurruu (taking care of camp) is a word gift from the Ngambri (Kamberri), Ngurmal and Walgalu ancestors. Their story comes from the creator and protector Biaami who sent the ancestral spirits to create the world. Nainmurra Nguurruu speaks of Country – people, plants, animals, rivers, and mountains – and how to nurture, look after, and take care of each other.
Wesley Enoch, Creative Director:
For years we have engaged in discussion about the purpose of Australia Day. As Artistic Director of Sydney Festival, I helped establish a project called The Vigil as a way of shaping and giving voice to the questions and aspirations of our histories and perspectives and the fundamental role they play in our identity. January 25 became a time for people to sit vigil and reflect on the day before the actual day it all changed. I am continuing this theme and using the concept and practices in Canberra in January 2022 with the idea of these practices extending out into communities and on a national level.
The central concern has been that we lacked ritual and ceremony around our national day.
The National Australia Day Council (NADC) has invited me to play the important role of encouraging discussion and to shine light on our perspectives and cultures. We have spent a great deal of time talking with local peoples and elders to help shape this response to this country and this day. NADC talks of our National Day as one of multiple meanings to Australians including it being a day of mourning or survival for some of our people. To acknowledge their commitment to recognising what this day means to all Australians, their themes of Reflect, Respect, Celebrate guide my vision for the day before and the day of January 26 in Canberra.
Reflect – on our histories, our connections, our lands
Respect – our traditions, our cultures, our peoples
Celebrate – our future, our survival, our voice
Noel Pearson says Australia is constructed on three big ideas that work to tell the story of this continent:
- Australia is home to the longest continuous cultures on Earth. First Nations cultures have continued uninterrupted for millennia, adapting, evolving and growing undisturbed by civilisation-ending war, cultural decimation or natural disaster.
- Australia is the inheritor of the British colonial project which saw the establishment of British styled infrastructure and institutions.
- Australia is the most successful multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country on Earth.
All three of these narratives need to be spoken loudly and continuously to create harmony between the experience of being an Australian and the shaping of our national storytelling.
These events will be managed in line with the Museum’s Covid-19 safety plan and are subject to change at short notice. Large-scale events are ticketed to keep everyone safe. Unless we have reached capacity, tickets will be available at the door but we encourage you to book in advance.