Learning more about our First Nations' history + culture

Learning more about our First Nations' history + culture

As we approach January 26, we pay our respects to all First Nations people and acknowledge the impact this day had and continues to have on their culture and communities.

After we had such a positive response to this journal post last year, we wanted to share more resources from the past 12 months that have proven insightful for our team, family, and friends in deepening their understanding of First Nations culture and history.

Both as a collective and as individuals, we remain committed to ongoing learning and understanding about the complex history and rich culture of First Nations people.

To start 2024, the Sage x Clare team will be completing additional inclusion and diversity training through the SBS Inclusion Program. We have already learned so much, especially from the personal and powerful storytelling and interviews featured in each module, and look forward to more valuable lessons. For any business owners or interested individuals reading this, we highly recommend this engaging and comprehensive course.

From cultural walks to festivals to documentaries and even loo paper, here are some helpful resources to expand your knowledge of First Nations culture and history in 2024 and beyond.

We’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to not only take a bit of time to review these resources but also pass along any knowledge or new insights you gain from them to your friends, colleagues or family – so we can all learn together.

Rising – Festival

In June, the team headed into the city for the Rising festival. Accompanied by the MSO, live Yolŋu dancers and songmen presented the songs, dances and paintings that inspired Dr G. Yunupiŋu’s album Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow). It was so special and inspiring to take in this magical performance as a team. Rising will be back in Melbourne in 2024, 1–16 June, and we highly recommend going along to a First Nations performance. For our Sydney and Brisbane based friends, you may like to check out what's on this year at Vivid Festival and Bleach Festival

In My Blood It Runs – Documentary 

This documentary follows 10-year-old Aboriginal boy Dujuan as he grows up in Alice Springs. Intimate, honest and raw, Dujuan shares his thoughts, hopes and dreams while struggling to balance his traditional Arrernte way of life with the Western education system. Available to watch on Netflix.

Connection @ The Lume - Exhibition

Connection is an incredibly immersive experience honouring the Traditional Custodians of the land and the significance of their art and music as a living, vibrant, and enduring cultural tradition. You’ll learn about the traditional smoking ceremony practice on arrival, and admire around 650 paintings as you move through the gallery and the kids will love the interactive artplay space. However, you better get in quick for this one folks, Connection closes in Melbourne on February 4, 2024.

Come Together By Isaiah Firebrace – Children's Book

A beautifully illustrated and engaging children’s book, all you parents (and kids) out there will adore it. The author Isaiah, a Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara man, cleverly outlines things every Aussie kid should know about First Nations Peoples over 20 key areas. All the info is laid out in a way that is easy to absorb for kiddies. You can pick up a copy from the Sage x Clare bookshop.

Jullurgal Walkabout – Cultural Walking Tour

The Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre on the Gold Coast runs guided oceanview cultural walks of the beautiful Burleigh Headland area. On the walk, you learn about Aboriginal history and culture on the Gold Coast including culturally significant sites, Dreaming stories, bush tucker and important ecological practices. We’d suggest packing your bathers as you can take a dip at the Tallebudgera Creek after the tour. Also, as a bonus, kids go for free this school holidays.

Yarn'n – Indigenous-owned business

Recently, a team member dropped a gorgeous note into the company chat about Yarn’n – a First Nations-owned, Aussie-made, 100% recycled loo paper company on a mission to bring culture, joy and learning to our bathrooms. Each beautiful roll shares a mob’s language, story and artwork AND 50% of profits are donated to Yalari.org a not-for-profit educating Indigenous children. We have made the switch at SxC HQ and can’t wait to learn on the loo.

The Australian Wars – Documentary

This three-part award-winning documentary series from filmmaker Rachel Perkins delves into massacres fought in NSW, Tasmania and Queensland in the war that established the Australian nation. Since the series first aired in late 2022, the chair of the Australian War Memorial announced that “proper recognition of the frontier conflict” will be included in the memorial’s expansion in 2028. Available to watch on SBS on demand.

Wintjiri Wiru – Drone & Light Show

One team member was lucky enough to take a trip to Alice Springs last year and shared the details of the incredible Wintjiri Wiru, meaning 'beautiful view out to the horizon', drone show. With over 1100 drones, lasers, and light projections, Wintjiri Wiru brings to life the ancient story of the local Anangu's Mala (rufous hare-wallaby) across the night sky. A magical experience for all.

The Last Daughter – Documentary 

This moving documentary follows Stolen Generation member Brenda Matthews as she searches for answers as to why she was removed and returned to her Aboriginal family in the 1970s and her search for her white foster family. It’s an inspirational story about courage, reconciliation and healing. Available to watch on Netflix.

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe – Book

This award-winning book challenges you as the reader to think differently about colonisation and aims to reshape perceptions of Indigenous cultures and their contributions to civilisation. Questioning the traditional view that Indigenous Australians were solely hunter-gatherers, the book presents evidence largely from the records and diaries of Australian explorers about advanced agricultural practices and land management systems before European colonisation.

First Peoples – Exhibition

The First Peoples exhibition is a celebration of the history, culture, achievements and survival of Victoria’s Aboriginal people from the time of creation up to today. During your visit, you may also like to explore the cultural centre's beautiful indigenous garden and watch the lively eel feeding to learn about the importance of eels to Aboriginal people and aquatic ecosystems. The Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre located in Carlton, VIC is open every day.

Birrarung Wilam (River Camp) Walk – Guided Walk

Run through the Koori Heritage Trust, taking about 60 mins this guided walk kicks off at 1pm daily and is open to anyone from the general public to join. The walk will take you through Federation Square and down to the Birrarung Wilam (River Camp) art installations where you'll learn about the Indigenous history and significance of the area for local Kulin peoples. 

Bobbi Lockyer artwork Australian native plantsPictured: Artwork by Bobbi Lockyer

And we'd like to give special thanks to artist, photographer and designer Bobbi Lockyer for allowing us to feature her incredible artwork in this journal. Bobbi is a proud Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Nyulnyul and Yawuru woman who uses her art, fashion and photography as a platform to raise awareness of social justice issues, including Indigenous rights and women's rights.

On her website Bobbi shares, “I find inspiration in the world around me, from storytelling to the waves of the ocean and the changing colours of the landscape and the natural world”. Follow Bobbi over on Instagram and see more artwork and shop prints on her website.

If you have other resources about First Nations history and culture, we’d love to hear from you via Instagram DM, email (gday@sageandclare.com) or comment below – your suggestions are very welcome!

With a whole lotta love xx

Sage x Clare acknowledges the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our HQ resides and pay respect to Elders, past and present. As we continue to create on this land, we recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and their practice of art, design and story-telling through colours and patterns that has occurred across Country for many thousands of years. 

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