An upcoming multi-arts festival will celebrate Indigenous Australian culture.
The Giiyong Festival, the first such event to be held in the Yuin Nation, is an entertinament extravaganza featuring some of Australia’s top performers and speakers.
“The festival is a rare opportunity in our region to learn about Aboriginal culture and have access to a huge program of Aboriginal musicians, dancers, visual artists, authors, academics, storytellers, cooks, poets, creative producers and films,” festival coordinator Jazz Williams said.
She said the program included Yolngu hip hop sensation Baker Boy, the iconic No Fixed Address, Pitjantjatjara singer Frank Yamma, young Yuin singer-songwriter Nikai Stewart from Eden, Djiringanj hip hop artist Gabadoo, and the One Mob Dreaming choir, which was made up of Koori students from three local schools.
READ MORE: Baker Boy to head up Eden’s Giiyong Festival
Also, she recommended the “incredible” talk panel featuring co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Jackie Huggins as well as Uncle Noel Butler’s traditional cooking demonstration and tasting, and the women's dance ceremony by Djaadjawan Dancers.
Ms Williams said the idea for Giiyong Festival started when South East Arts approached Twofold Aboriginal Corporation and Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council to ask if there was any particular projects they would like to do, and were told it had always been a dream to have a cultural festival at Jigamy Farm near Eden.
Funding was applied for and received from Create NSW’s Regional Partnerships, support was given by key members of the local Indigenous Australian community and the festival was ignited.
Ms Williams said on a national level a small number of high-profile Indigenous Australian musicians were experiencing mainstream success and a number of emerging performers were coming up the ranks.
“[B]ut like women, they are largely underrepresented in major Australian festivals and music events,” she said.
“That imbalance is reflected in our region too.
“NSW, including our region, has a very rich and diverse Aboriginal arts sector.
“In our backyard, a lot of it is under the radar, and Giiyong Festival is a chance to showcase the talent of Aboriginal artists in our own region and appreciate the strength and pride in culture that exists within local Aboriginal communities.”
Ms Williams said the festival would not only celebrate, but elevate local artists while strengthening the local Indigenous Australian arts sector.
“The festival will also encourage the region to acknowledge and support its Aboriginal history and culture,” she said.
“Many people from outside the region have indicated they will attend, making this event a key cultural tourism drawcard.”
While she said Giiyong Festival had the potential to be a key annual or biennial event in the regional calendar, whether this goal was achieved would depend on future funding and community support.
The festival has free entry. Ms Williams said the organisers did not want to exclude anyone from experiencing this inaugural festival so thanks to multiple funding and sponsorship sources were able to make it free.
The Giiyong Festival is from 10am-10.30pm on Saturday, September 22, located between Pambula and Eden at Jigamy, 4381 Princes Hwy.
There will be food, art and stalls, so bring cash.
It is a drug and alcohol free, all ages event. Car parking is limited, to people are encouraged to car pool when possible. Donations will be accepted on the day to support the festival.
Ticket are free, but registrations are encouraged. For more information and to register click here.