Celebrate Ku-ring-gai’s indigenous culture

Published on 17 May 2023

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The Gai-mariagal Festival is on between 26 May and 9 July with music and art, children’s stories and guided walks.

The Festival was founded in 2001 and aims to raise awareness of First Nations people living in the northern Sydney region.

It starts in northern Sydney on Sorry Day Friday 26 May and concludes at the end of NAIDOC Week on 9 July. Events include workshops, performances, talks and more.

The Festival kicks off in Ku-ring-gai with a dot painting workshop at the Ku-ring-gai Art Centre in Roseville on 7 June with indigenous artist Jude Jarrett.

A guided bushwalk with Karen Smith from the Aboriginal Heritage Office discussing the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden’s indigenous heritage is also on offer on 8 June.

The Mudgee-based Indigiearth catering company will present a bushfoods and botanicals tasting experience on 17 June with owner and Ngemba Weilwan woman Sharon Winsor.

At St Ives youth hub on 22 June Gai-mariagal Festival leaders Aunty Susan & Aunty Caroline will host a fun art and craft session for young people aged 12-18, along with free pizza. The youth hub is located next to St Ives library.

One of this year’s Festival highlights is on 24 June, with a collaboration between First Nations & South Asian artists. The sounds of the Indian stringed instrument called the veena will be intertwined with stories from Sri Lanka, Wiradjuri ways and Aboriginal dance. The Bhoomi experience will take place at St Ives Showground between 3pm and 4.30pm on the day.

Mayor Jeff Pettett said the Festival was a great way for residents to discover Ku-ring-gai’s indigenous heritage. “We’re really pleased to be offering a wide range of events that will appeal to everyone.” 

Festival creator and co-chair Susan Moylan-Coombes said the event was ‘about creating opportunities for people to come together to learn about country, meet new people and build new relationships’.

“It’s so exciting to see the range of events that Council is offering for this year’s Festival.”

Bookings are essential for Gai-mariagal Festival events; to book visit krg.nsw.gov.au/gaimariagal

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Media enquiries: Sally Williams Ku-ring-gai Council 9424 0000.

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