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The Blak Markets celebrate 10 years

The Blak Markets are celebrating their 10th anniversary on Bare Island so, on Sunday February 5, why not head to this lively, open-air market held on Bidjigal Country (La Perouse), in Sydney’s southeast.

The Blak Markets are the brainchild of First Hand Solutions, an Aboriginal social enterprise that aims to solve issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. CEO, Peter Cooley says the markets bring the rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to the broader community to learn about and enjoy. “Critically, the markets champion the quality work of First Nations small business owners, and 100 per cent of proceeds go back to Indigenous communities,” Mr Cooley said.

More than 20 stalls will operate throughout the grounds of the 19th-century fort on Bare Island from 10am to 3pm selling everything from native plants and beauty products to award-winning artworks, jewellery and homewares.

Blak Markets Manager Laura Sterling said people love flocking to the markets to meet Indigenous entrepreneurs and learn the stories behind their craft.

“They also like to know how the markets came to be on Bare Island. Not everyone knows that, in the 1960s, Indigenous artists and craftspeople were creating and selling a variety of shell art, traditional woodwork and paintings in La Perouse,” Ms Sterling said. “We wanted to bring that atmosphere back and have this generation of artists earn in the marketplace where their people once earned.”

As well as offering a fun shopping experience with wares to suit different budgets, the February markets will feature a traditional Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony. There’s also a weaving workshop with Kaputar Weaving staff (all day), dance performances by Djiriba Waagura (11.30am and 1.15pm), singing by Akala (12 noon and 1.45 pm) and children’s storytelling with Uncle Larry Brandy (12.30pm). Coffee and a bushfood barbecue will also be available.

There are four markets a year at Bare Island and four in The Rocks, as well as the National Indigenous Art Fair. Entry is $2.50 onto Bare Island only, with children under 5 free.

The Blak Markets at Bare island are made possible with the generous support of the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service, Suncorp and Randwick City Council.


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