Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Exploring Our Cultural Festivals; Calendar of Indigenous Events

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Exploring Our Cultural Festivals; Calendar of Indigenous Events

Article excerpt

Byline: Janelle Brown Clarence Valley Healing Centre

DID you know that there are a number of Aboriginal cultural festivals held throughout the calendar year, Australia wide? Chances are that if you're not an Aboriginal person, you may not have heard of many or even any of the following festivals.

Starting with the festival closest to home, the Freshwater Saltwater is held at Coffs Harbour on January 26 every two years. The festival which has been running since 2010, celebrates local Aboriginal culture particularly, and is organised by the Freshwater Salt Water Alliance. The Alliance is a non profit organisation representative of the 10 Local Aboriginal land councils in the Mid north coast.

In previous years, the festival has been held at the Coffs Harbour botanical Gardens with musical entertainment by the likes of Archie Roach and Troy Cassar-Daley.

This year the festival will be held at the jetty foreshores from 10am to 5pm. Admission is free.

Another Aboriginal festival occurring on January 26 is Yabun which is held in Gadigal country at Victoria Park, Sydney each year. Yabun is a Gadigal word meaning "music to a beat". The festival certainly lives up to its name, with the 2019 featuring artist including Roger Knox, Shakaya and Isaiah. Gates open at 10am to 7pm.

Some more traditional Aboriginal festivals include the Laura Dance Festival and the Garma Festival at North East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory and Djungu at Uluru.

Laura is a small town in Cape York, Qld, that is the traditional meeting place of Aboriginal people in the area. On July 3-5, 2020, Laura will again hold the longest running and largest Aboriginal festival in Australia (the festival commenced in the early 80s).

The festival features traditional Aboriginal dance and music. Over 20 different local Aboriginal communities join in the dance festival which is held on a Bora Ring (which is a traditional and sacred ceremonial site). …

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