Sharing culture at Jigamy

Giiyong Festival: The region’s first multi-art form festival will celebrate traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture at Jigamy in 2018. Picture: Shannon Mason.

Giiyong Festival: The region’s first multi-art form festival will celebrate traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture at Jigamy in 2018. Picture: Shannon Mason.

In September 2018 the Giiyong Festival will take place at Jigamy.

It will be the region’s first multi-art form festival celebrating traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture through dance, art, literature, music, film, theatre, food, sport, workshops and cultural tours.

Giiyong means ‘come to welcome’ in Dhurga, the language local to the Eden and Bega area.

Les Kosez, Land and Sea Country Co-ordinator with Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council said the word ‘Giiyong’ reflects what the festival will represent.

‘It’s about all people coming together, celebrating our culture and sharing experiences," said Mr Kosez.

South East Arts has received Regional Partnership funding from Create NSW to produce the festival, in partnership with Twofold Aboriginal Corporation and Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Andrew Gray, General Manager from South East Arts said the funding is a great start to the project.

‘The organising committee have some great ideas for the festival, which will give more visibility to the rich Aboriginal history and culture of the South East and the talented Aboriginal artists and performers living in our region,” Mr Gray said.  

In the lead up to the Giiyong Festival next year, the Monaroo Bobbaroo Gudu Keeping Place and the Mamadja Community Centre, both at Jigamy, will host a literary event on July 1 and 2, 2017.

The Giiyong Writers’ Forum will feature an impressive gathering of leading Aboriginal authors, delivering presentations and workshops covering fiction, poetry, screen writing, blogging and traditional stories.

Presenters include critically acclaimed playwright Jane Harrison, author Jared Thomas and poet Ali Cobby Eckermann.

Chris Bird, the CEO of Twofold Aboriginal Corporation, is working toward establishing Jigamy as a leading destination in the South East for Aboriginal cultural experiences.

“Our vision is ‘to create an inclusive place where Aboriginal people of the Twofold Bay Region are proud of our heritage and are part of the local economy, and to end the cycle of poverty in our community to create a real future for our children’," he said. 

"This festival will assist us to achieve this vision and engender pride in the strong culture that exists here. This event will really put us on the map nationally and will add to the many other reasons why people visit the Sapphire Coast."

The Giiyong Festival will showcase culture and talent from all over Australia and will be the first all-encompassing Aboriginal festival for South East NSW.

For more information contact Andrew Gray at agray@southeastarts.org.au.

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