Artist, entrepreneur and activist Saretta Fielding has shared her story for City of Newcastle's NAIDOC Week podcast series. Picture: Facebook.
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Indigenous storytelling in focus for Newcastle’s NAIDOC Week

A podcast series, aimed at exploring the deep storytelling traditions of our local Aboriginal communities was launched this week as part of City of Newcastle’s NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The series, Newcastle’s First Storytellers: Always Was, Always Will Be, features the likes of local author and Stolen Generation member Donna Meehan, University of Newcastle’s Professor of Indigenous Education and Research (Indigenous History) John Maynard, Newcastle-based singer-songwriter Jake Ridgeway, artist, entrepreneur and activist Saretta Fielding, and Ray Kelly Jr a member of a local family synonymous with the Aboriginal community of Newcastle. 

Saretta, who shares her story in the second episode of the series, will have a selection of her acclaimed artwork, design prints, fabrics and fashion on display at Wallsend Library until Friday 30 November.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said through the contributions of contemporary and well-known Newcastle identities, the podcast beautifully articulates how local Aboriginal communities share and tell stories. 

“NAIDOC Week is an important opportunity to acknowledge that our nation’s story didn’t begin with European settlement and recognise that First Nations peoples have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years,” Cr Nelmes said. 

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first storytellers. 

“Our NAIDOC Week podcasts provide the perfect opportunity to showcase the region’s rich cultural history and long tradition of Indigenous storytelling.” 

The podcast series can be accessed by searching Newcastle Libraries REAL on your favourite podcast app or by heading here.

Newcastle Art Gallery is also celebrating NAIDOC Week with a filmed performance of local Torres Strait Islander artist and singer Toby Cedar, which will be shared on their website and Facebook page.

Further, Newcastle Museum has a permanent exhibition that allows you to learn about the history and technology of a traditional punnah (stringybark) canoe, which was built on site and is on display at the museum. 

Head here for more information on Newcastle NAIDOC Week acticities.