Celebrate Ku-ring-gai’s indigenous culture

Published on 10 May 2024

gai mariagal festival

The Gai-mariagal Festival is on between 26 May and 14 July with music, art, food 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 26 May and concludes at the end of NAIDOC Wek on 14 July.

This year's festival theme is 'Keep the Flame Alive' building on the aims of growing relationships, bringing people together and continuing to shine a light on truth.

The Festival kicks off in Ku-ring-gai with a community sand painting at Lindfield Village Green on 26 May from 10am. Aboriginal Elder, educator and artist Walangari Karntawarra will be creating with the help of the community a sustainable and traditional Western Desert sand painting.

At the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden a weaving workshop on 31 May will explore traditional methods of weaving and the stories that accompany them.

Gordon Library is offering a free screening of the film Lionel Rose on 5 June about the extraordinary rise and fall of Australia's first indigenous boxing world champion.

The Country Connections exhibition at Ku-ring-gai Art Centre between 14 and 28 June features the work of Darkinjung artist Judith Franklin, who will also host two dot painting workshops at the Centre.

Mudgee-based Indigiearth catering company presents a unique experience on 15 June with owner and Ngemba Weilwan woman Sharon Winsor. 

The Warrakirri dining experience features Australian native food prepared in a unique fusion of modern techniques with traditional methods, along with authentic cultural entertainment, musical and cultural storytelling.

Other Festival highlights include traditional storytelling with Aunty Susan & Aunty Caroline; a guided bush tucker walk and a presentation by the Aboriginal Heritage Office on the life of David Unaipon.

Best known for his presence on $50 notes, David was a preacher, inventor and author whose life helped break many harmful stereotypes of Aboriginal people.  

Mayor Sam Ngai said the Festival was a great way for residents to discover Ku-ring-gai’s indigenous heritage.

“We’re really pleased to be offering such a wide range of events that will appeal to everyone.” 

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


Media enquiries: media@krg.nsw.gov.au or 9424 0000.


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