NAIDOC Week 2022 wrap

Here’s how CHIA NSW and its members celebrated NAIDOC Week.


The CHIA NSW team came together for NAIDOC Week for an intimate closed-door event to discuss the meaning of NAIDOC Week, share a meal, and watch a classic film together.

Staff participated a lengthy roundtable discussion led by our own Jennifer Newman, Wiradjuri woman and CHIA NSW’s Aboriginal Studies Lead Trainer, and Paul Teerman, Darug man and Aboriginal Partnerships Specialist at CHIA NSW. A notable takeaway was the collective connection staff felt they shared towards NAIDOC Week’s 2022 theme of ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’ and how it characterises the direction of the organisation. The group discussed how CHIA NSW can progress that direction in various ways, like how we meaningfully acknowledge Country in our work, meetings and events.

The team shared a meal made by Kallico Catering which featured eats like crocodile, emu and kangaroo sliders, and damper with native jam and cream. The group ate their food while watching the classic BabaKiueria, a 1986 Australian satirical film on the history of Aboriginal Australia.

Link Wentworth

We were delighted to have CHIA NSW’s own Paul Teerman speak at our Penrith Office on Tuesday 5 July. Paul spoke about the ways CHPs can better serve our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers, as well as how we can learn to respect and understand our natural environment by listening to Elder’s stories. His knowledge and perspective of the many strengths that our First Nations people have to offer was greatly enlightening. We were very grateful for his time.
Our Chair Mike Allen also said a few words about how CHPs are the best placed to serve the housing needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities—but that we have a long way to go to address the ongoing disadvantage that this group still experiences.

Joining the morning tea event to celebrate was Link Wentworth resident and TAG member Aunty Leslie, along with a number of Link Wentworth staff in-person and over Zoom.

Bridge Housing

We invited our tenants to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for the 2022 NAIDOC Week tenant art exhibition… and did they ever!

More than 15 tenants have contributed paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, jewellery, tshirts, bags and poetry. There is an amazing range of artistic style and expression on display, expertly curated by none other than the incredible Blak Douglas, this year’s winner of the prestigious Archibald Prize.

There was a huge turnout to the opening night on Wednesday 29 June, held at the 107 Projects Gallery in Redfern.

With last year’s exhibition sadly cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, it’s been a long-awaited event for many artists.

Guests were welcomed onto the land with a beautiful Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Rowena Welsh and enjoyed tasty treats while admiring the exhibition.

Sustainable Communities Manager Jamie Brewer served as MC for the evening, introducing Bridge Housing CEO Rebecca Pinkstone who spoke of the importance of celebrating our tenants, and especially our strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Curator and special guest Blak Douglas also spoke, sharing his thoughts on the exhibition and the works.

Thank you to the Communities team (especially Melissa Russell-Combo) for pulling this event together, Blak Douglas for curating the exhibition, Helen and Lisa from 107 Projects for hosting and hanging the art and to our talented tenants who contributed works to the event!

Several works were snapped up on opening night, but there are still some lovely pieces available to purchase. The exhibition is open from 11am – 5pm Wednesday to Saturday until 9 July, so Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! and check it out while you can at 107 Projects, 107 Redfern Street, Redfern.

Mission Australia

NAIDOC Weeek on Gumbaynggirr Country, aka, Coffs Harbour kicked off with a Mid North Coast regional housing forum attended by approximately 400 people.

Co-organised with Mission Australia Housing Community Development and Coffs Harbour City Council’s Uncle Richard Widders, we had two large conference-style rooms at the show ground with 14 housing and related service providers having face to face yarns with the community.

With the venue graciously supported by CHL, we had a deadly youth dance performance from the Kulai dancers supported by Lifeline, a powerful Aboriginal housing yarning circle, delicious morning tea from Caspa, a popcorn machine from Warrina, free native plants from Bunnings, free fruit from Woolworths, face painting from New Horizons, barbecue lunch from Wesley Mission, and so much more.

Our elected representatives were present to listen to the unique housing needs of the local Aboriginal people. “This is an important event and I’m glad that I could make it,” said our NSW State Member, Gurmesh Singh.

Community Housing Limited

Community and organisation came together as part of NAIDOC week in Coffs Harbour.

The celebrations began with a formal flag raising ceremony and was followed by the Aboriginal Housing Forum.

The Forum allowed tenants and their families along with local support organisations a safe space to connect with many organisations setting up stands to display and explain the resources and assistance they can provide.

This was followed by a traditional Yarning Circle, in which Aboriginal tenants were able to openly discuss their challenges, with organisation representatives present to listen, take on feedback and provide explanation.

It was a lovely example of harmonious and collaborative interaction to achieve common outcomes.

Housing Trust

Housing Trust participated in the fantastic Shellharbour NAIDOC Week celebrations. Luckily a well anticipated wet weather plan was in place in the stunning Shellharbour Civic Centre. 

The Richard Campbell led dance troop was outstanding with multiple generations of Aboriginal performers. A warm and heartfelt welcome by Dr Jodi Edwards was a moving experience as she shared the Aboriginal history of the Shellharbour region, tying in perfectly with the 2022 NAIDOC theme “Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!” Jodi paid tribute to the many elders and community members before her who have driven and led change.

Uncle Richard Davis and Shellharbour Mayor Chris Homer opened the event which included a free community lunch, loads of kids activities and service information.  A great event despite the weather challenges which has seen many of the Illawarra region NAIDOC events cancelled or postponed. 

Argyle Housing

Our Argyle Housing office at Campbelltown hosted a NAIDOC Week Event on Dharawal Country Monday 4th July.

Featuring special guests Jennifer Newman from CHIA NSW who gave the acknowledgment of Dharawal Country and gave a poetry reading to help us reflect on this year’s theme: ‘Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up!’ and Aunty Kay who performed a traditional water cleansing ritual. We also had the talented Sarah and Ondra from Ojs Aboriginal Art with an aboriginal art stall at the event.

Maddison from Argyle Housing is in the picture with Jennifer Newman she is a CHIA NSW Cadet at Argyle Housing and Jennifer is her teacher who she invited to be involved. Maddi did an amazing job in organising the event getting the different services involved and inviting our clients and services to the event. She also organised kids activities, prizes and vouchers for attendees. 

City West Housing

Thank you to Melissa and Kerry Anne from the Indigenous Engagement team at The State Library of New South Wales for their presentation to City West Housing staff for NAIDOC Week!

It was great to learn about some of the treasures in the library’s historical collection reflecting the life and activities of Aboriginal people of inner Sydney before and during colonisation.

City West Housing also engaged with with the community at the Eora NAIDOC Family Fun Day at Carriageworks for NAIDOC Week.

Attending events like this is one way City West Housing can reach out to the Aboriginal community in inner Sydney to let them know about our high-quality affordable housing in the area.

Thanks to the Eora NAIDOC Community Group for putting on this fabulous event!