The University of Newcastle and Awabakal Ltd with support from the City of Newcastle are launching a new event on the eve of Australia Day to reflect on Australia’s Indigenous history.   

The Ngarrama event hopes to engage the community in meaningful reconciliation through truth telling and historical acceptance.

It will celebrate the rich culture of all First Nations People, with emphasis on the Awabakal and Worimi peoples, the traditional owners of the land of which Newcastle stands.

The word Ngarrama translates to ‘to sit, listen and know’, and it’s hoped the event will be a time for peaceful and quiet reflection. 

Ngarrama will be held at King Edward Park and will include a welcome to country, a smoking ceremony, music, dance, storytelling and knowledge sharing. 

The University of Newcastle’s Indigenous Strategy and Leadership Pro Vice-Chancellor, Mr Nathan Towney says he hopes the event will start conversations surrounding what life is like for First Nation Peoples both past and present. 

“There is generational impact that has occurred and we as Aboriginal people still feel that and see it in a lot of things that happen around the community, and in our lives as Aboriginal people,” Mr Towney said.

“It is not just something that impacted those people hundreds of years ago, it still impacts Aboriginal people today.” 

The inaugural Ngarrama event on January 25 offers opportunity for the Newcastle community to come together to reflect and celebrate the richness and resilience of First Nations Culture. 

Mr Towney says the University understands the importance of truth telling and education about First Nation Peoples. 

“At the University of Newcastle, we believe we are all enriched by cultural knowledge and a connection to country,” Mr Towney said. 

“As a place of learning, we know we have an important role to play in engaging our wider community through knowledge sharing.”

Ngarrama is a free public event and will run from 7pm – 9pm on Tuesday 25 January at King Edward Park. 

Image credit: University of Newcastle