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First Nations arts and culture brought to the forefront at Giiyong Festival on Thaua Country

Dechlan Brennan -

This Saturday the Giiyong Festival on Thaua Country in southern New South Wales will provide an opportunity for the community to come together for a celebration of Aboriginal arts, culture and resilience.

Giiyong - which means ''come to welcome" in the South Coast language as spoken by the Elders - is held on Jigamy Farm near the town of Eden and will feature a range of Indigenous artists, presenters and speakers.

The event is run in partnership with the Twofold Aboriginal Corporation and South East Arts and will feature acts including Deadly Award-nominated singer Emma Donovan, rapper J-Milla, and Tongan singer Radical Son, alongside local groups Djinama Yilaga Choir, Djaadjawan Dancers and Mudjingaal Yangamba.

Other performers include Sean Choolburra, Eric Avery, Steph Tisdell, Dust N Echoes, Ron Callaghan and Nikea & Dre.

There are also talks and discussions from Gunai author Kirli Saunders, Bundjalung environmental and cultural educator Clarence Slockee and ANU professor Asmi Wood.

The ABC reported Mr Slockee will be hosting a panel talk on food sovereignty, which he said was imperative due to the increasing demand for Indigenous foods nationwide.

"Australian foods have very unique flavours because they haven't [been] bred for certain traits, so they're also high in everything that's good for us," he said.

The Giiyong Festival is the only event of its type that is held in the Yuin Nation and the multi-art festival is guaranteed to run until at least 2025 after securing government funding.

Unlike in 2022, where the event was battered with rain and the entire festival was relocated on the Jigamy property within 24 hours, Saturday has a fine weather forecast with a top of 22.

The event starts at 10.00am and runs to approx 9.00pm.

The full list of performers for the event can be found here and tickets can be purchased here.

Indigenous Elders and Under 18 can attend for free but it is asked everyone registers for logistical reasons.

The event is no camping, no alcohol or drugs and no pets (assistance dogs accepted), and the bringing of cash is encouraged.


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