Aboriginal perspective addressed in festival
THE Aboriginal perspective will be emphasised during an inaugural three day cultural festival emphasising reconciliation.
The 1770 Cultural Connections Immersion Festival will be held from May 29 with the aim of showing the contributions and achievements of the region’s Aboriginal people.
The event is not affiliated with the 1770 Festival held earlier in the month, which will recognise 250 years since James Cook’s landing in the area.
Gidarjil Development Corporation’s chief executive Kerry Blackman is proud of the inaugural cultural event’s merchandise, the marketing designs, and the sponsorship put together.
He said the event was not created as a form of protest in reaction to James Cook’s milestone, which for the Aboriginal community is a controversial symbol of British colonisation.
“Our festival is going to make us all better people,” Dr Blackman said.
“Through this festival Gidarjil seeks to strengthen the cultural and professional needs of the community.
“Under Gidarjil’s tutelage the program will create an opportunity for elders and community members to document, interpret and share their culture and history in ways that are meaningful to them, which will have the positive impact of strengthening pride in local culture and identity.
“It is noteworthy that the last week of May is reconciliation week and Gidarjil and Gladstone Regional Council are invested in the proposal for a formal regionally specific reconciliation ceremony, that will encompass truth telling and acceptance of historical wrongs.
“This historical event led by Gidarjil will finalise the month-long festival activities.”
Dr Blackman said that a book on local Aboriginal history, titled Black Eyes, was being compiled by a linguist, which will be launched during the festival.