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Byron Shire
September 21, 2023

Byron’s Yarn Up and Murwillumbah’ Kinship Festival – celebrating Reconciliation Week

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Dancers at the Kinship Festival in Murwillumbah. Photo Aslan Shand.

The Big Voice Choir at Byron’s Yarn Up. Photo supplied.

Charlene Boyd, Belle Arnold, John Lazarus and Marie Hayes. Photo supplied.

Everyone was getting crafty at the Kinship Festival in Murwillumbah. Photo Aslan Shand.

Charlene Boyd and Belle Arnold at Byron’s Yarn Up. Phoro supplied.

The weekend celebrations across the region marked the end of Reconciliation Week.

The week commemorates two significant milestone dates in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum on May 27, and the High Court Mabo decision June 3, Mabo Day.

Murwillumbah’s Kinship Festival

Murwillumbah came alive with the start of Reconciliation Week on Saturday 27 May as Knox Park filled with a dazzling array of dancing, art, rapping and food.

‘It was fantastic, the kids loved it. There was dancing, they got told stories that went with different pieces of art they were given, they got to be part of a yarning group where they learnt traditional Bundjalung songs.

‘They also really enjoyed going round and identifying the Indigenous animals on each store and learning the Bundjalung names for them,’ said one parent at the festival.

‘I’m a spiritual warrior, I’m showen ya my culture’ JK47 rapped as young people wrote down words for him to turn into songs as well as taking turns rapping with him.

There was a great range of dancers and dances celebrating the range of cultures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in the region throughout the day.

Yarning Up in Byron

Byron Bay celebrated on March 28 with a 25 person choir, speeches, a yarn up circle, and making a new Byron Reconciliation handprint banner.

The local Reconciliation groups raised up the issue of Australians all coming together in support of Reconciliation within our shared country, and in support for the Voice Referendum to incorporate a Federal Aboriginal Consultative Committee in a shared future.

Celebrations were help in all major centres across the country with the Voice being the subject for discussion in most areas.

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