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March 25, 2023

Bundjalung voice at heart of Regeneration festival

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Rhoda Roberts AO. Photo supplied

An Indigenous panel of Bundjalung voices will be at the heart of the Regeneration festival, held on Saturday March 4 at the Mullumbimby Community Garden.

The panel will feature high-profile Widjabal Wai-bal woman, Rhoda Roberts AO, who is a celebrated actor, director, and current Elder in Residence at SBS.

‘I’m really excited about this panel,’ Roberts told The Echo, ‘because we can unpack the old ways for the benefit of the present’.

The panel was the idea of Arakwal woman Delta Kay, who wanted to invite her Bundjalung neighbours from the north, west and south, to be part of a festival session called ‘Learning from Country’. 

Free festival

‘I want people to walk away with a greater understanding of how we look after the land, what we are doing and why,’ says Delta. ‘I want the audience to hear about the good work Bundjalung people are doing on Country.’

Regeneration is a free community festival, funded by the NSW government, and run by partners including local Landcare and other groups. Another partner, Brookfarm, is sponsoring the Indigenous panel.

From the north of the Bunjalung nation is Shane Ivey, a member of the Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council, who is also excited about the chance to come together with neighbours, and the wider community. ‘We’re all connected in some form or other’ says Ivey, a TAFE teacher and bush regenerator.

From the south is Nyangbal man, Kris Cook, known for his humour and his knowledge of local culture. He describes a current challenge as the ‘red tape stopping economic activity’, and cites an example of restrictions on setting up nurseries, that could generate local plants for landscaping.

The festival will feature lots of fun hands-on activities for people of all ages and abilities, including a special dance set from the local nine-piece world music wonders, The Palm Wine Ambassadors. 

Another highlight will be a session for landholders and others on the use of ‘good fire’, organised by Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB).

Rhoda Roberts – who will chair the Indigenous panel – speaks optimistically about an ‘awakening’ in land management in Australia, citing the example of fire brigades adopting old methods of fire burns. ‘Now people are listening’, she says, ‘that’s an awakening.’

Dr Ray Moynihan is organising the Regeneration festival on March 4, at the Mullum SEED Eco Hub, and you can get more info or book a free ticket at regeneration.mullumseed.org.au.

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  1. Bundjalung is just what white linguists called the language, Yugambeh in QLD, all the money has been wasted for two fake Nations in the one language group.

    • Same situation as the Gubbi Gubbi and the Waka Waka. They were the same tribe. They were also the people who had done a very good job wiping out the Yuggera from QLD. Few centuries more and they would have successfully driven all the southerners from our side of the brown snake and taken the land that was rightfully theirs. Brisbane had always been Gubbi territory until the Bundjalung unlawfully invaded.

  2. We who live on the land already know how to do controlled burns and used to before the greenies got in the way. I fully support Aboriginals berating greenies for having gotten people killed, yet again.


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