Celebrating 30 Years - Oorala Open Day

Tuesday 31st October

10am - 3pm

An Indigenous Education and Community Open Day at the UNE Campus.

Take a break from your routine and join us at our major event, Oorala 30 Open Day - Celebrating 30 Years, to be held at the Oorala Aboriginal Centre, across to the Graduation Walk and onto the Central Courtyard (outside Dixon Library).

Be welcomed and join us as we celebrate our successes amidst a day of live music, art, dancing, markets stalls, workshops, talks, short films, campus tours and kids activities.

Isaiah FirebraceStart the day with the sounds of local didge player Kristian Sternbeck and the Birabun Dancers and a performance by the Duval Deadly Dancers. You can join a weaving circle, help to paint a community canvas with artist Lloyd Hornsby, meet the BackTrack crew and their dogs, book into a flint knapping workshop with UNE archeologist Mark Moore or experience the handling of ancient artefacts at the Museum of Antiquities.

View full Program

Isaiah Firebrace

Talented singer Isaiah Firebrace transformed from a small town singer with big dreams, to one of Australia’s most successful artists  winning X-Factor 2016 and going on to perform at Eurovision in 2016. Isaiah will surely win the hearts of Armidale when he performs  as part of this 30th anniversary event in October, 2017.

Clayton Donovan with a river and a seagull in the backgroundCooking Demos with Clayton Donovan

For the food lovers we have two cooking demonstrations with Australia’s highest acclaimed Indigenous Chef, Clayton Donovan. Clayton started learning about native produce when he was four years old out walking with his aunties and grandmothers, taking what they found in the bush and cooking it up at their homes. After working for many chefs and a working journey to England Clayton returned to Australia where his international experience merged fully with his understanding of Australian native foods to produce a unique and contemporary cuisine with an Indigenous twist which is highly regarded by publishers and food editors. Today his focus is on pop-up restaurants at events and special occasions all over Australia.

Sea of Hands

Yellow, red and black hands cut outs on sticks placed in a circular pattern on a lawn The lawns of UNE will be planted with a Sea of Hands. The Sea of Hands is one of ANTaR’s major reconciliation community campaigns. Established 30 years ago on the 12 October 1997, in front of Parliament House, Canberra, it was created as a powerful, physical representation to mobilise non-Indigenous support for native title and reconciliation. Today, the hands symbolise community support for RECONCILIATION, RIGHTS and RESPECT.

Oorala Art Exhibition

The Oorala Aboriginal Centre has been transformed into a gallery space for the Oorala Art Exhibition, an exhibition of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art. A showcase of paintings, photographs, weavings & sculptures by artists from across our region.

Inspiring Film

Laurie Baymarrwangga of Murrungga Island situated in the top end of Arnhem LandIn Oorala Theatre you can watch a slide show of images depicting the history of the Oorala Centre or a film  about the importance of language, Big Boss: The Last Leader of the Crocodile Islands, directed by Paul Sinclair. In the film we follow 95-year-old Baymarrwangga, or as she is affectionately known, “Big Boss”, who was honoured as “Senior Australian of the Year, 2012”.

The documentary describes Baymarrwangga's single greatest achievement: the Yan-nhangu Dictionary. The dictionary's main aim is to preserve Yan-nhangu language and local knowledge from the potentially damaging consequences of rapid global change. The documentary, which won in the ‘Promotion of Indigenous Recognition’ category


Community Canvas (all day) with Lloyd Hornsby

Lloyd Hornsby Gawura is a professional artist who loves to work with community and in this workshop you are invited to join in and be part of the creation of a large community canvas. Lloyd carries on the age-old tradition of telling Dreamtime stories through his art. You will find his artwork in the Oorala Art Exhibition.

Flint Knapping with Dr Mark Moore (bookings essential  - limited to 10 participants - must be over 10 yrs old)

UNE Archaeologist,  Dr Mark Moore will engage with a small group to make and use stone tools to achieve a variety of tasks, and to reflect on the effectiveness of stone technology. If not booked into the workshop you can watch from the sidelines.

Kids Painting (all day) at the Oorala Info Tent

Ronella 'Dolly' Jerome in her studioStop by and let the younger ones paint a souvenir boomerang or fridge magnet of the day. Good fun for the younger ones in the crowd.

Weaving Circle (all day) with Dolly Jerome.

Ronella (Dolly) Jerome loves the challenge to create traditional & contemporary crafts from natural plant materials, to create baskets from introduced plants and challenges herself regularly to create using recycled materials. Join her weaving circle and learn a thing or two whilst have a good yarn. Her weavings feature in the Oorala Art Exhibition.


Special event parking will be available on the day. View Map

There is so much for you to experience on the day how could you resist a visit.