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June 18, 2024

Kinship Festival returns Saturday 25 May to Murwillumbah

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Corroboree at the Murwillumbah Kinship Festival. Photo Tommy Byrnes

The Kinship Festival – a free North Coast cultural festival led by First Nations people – will be held in Knox Park, Murwillumbah on Saturday, 25 May, just ahead of National Reconciliation Week. The kinship theme for 2024 is ‘Yabulgu – Together as one, Unity for our children’s future’.

‘The Kinship Festival has always been about unity, and this year we wanted to inspire our community to come together for the shared future of all our children,’ said Festival Coordinator Lara Lei.

Kinship Festival MC Alred Summers. Photo supplied

Connecting together

The Kinship Festival is an offering from the Aboriginal community, with the aim of connecting all families with a sense of belonging to country, community, and culture.

The Kinship Festival showcases local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture including cultural dancing, music, art, and a free lunch for all. A core value of the festival is equality and access for all members of the community.

‘Food is a very important part of our culture, the Kinship Festival struggles to find a way but we always do, to ensure that we can share in a meal together as a community, it is an important part of the ceremony,’ Lara continued.

Events start at 10am with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, followed by a corroboree with ten different dance groups from across the Bundjalung nation and beyond celebrating kinship connections through dance.


Hip hop artist JK-47

There will be a large-scale interactive community sand art installation, language workshops, weaving, children’s nature crafts and traditional games, live music, and a youth space along with the always popular Aboriginal Artisan Market. Minjungbal hip hop artist JK-47 will be running workshops with local young people who will be invited to perform alongside him on the day.

Kinship committee member and Bundjalung woman Aunty Charline Emzin-Boyd (Aunty Char) is greatly excited about the festival.

‘This is an exciting time of the year for us mob here on the North Coast with  Bundjalung Jugun celebrating our ninth Kinship Festival. Our Elders come along with family to enjoy the festivities of the day. They give back to the festival with their stories within the Story Telling Tent.

‘The festival is a great place to catch up with family and long-time friends and share in all the cultural items of the day of dance, song, weaving activities, children’s art and craft activities, the list goes on. Our language tent was a great success last year, so it is happening again with Bundjalung language activities from our local mob sharing songs, bingo, greetings and much more,’ she said.

Corroboree at the Murwillumbah Kinship Festival. Photo Tommy Byrnes

‘There is so much to do and see culturally, meeting up with mob, so be a part of Kinship Festival 2024, come join the mob, you’ll really have fun, reconnecting with our wonderful local Bundjalung mob sharing culture,’ Aunty Char continued.

Bundjalung woman, and director of The Returning, Ella Noah Bancroft is a huge supporter of the Kinship Festival and is looking forward to having a stall at the event to promote The Returning. A local Aborginal community-controlled organisation and event.

‘Kinship Festival is a place of cultural thirving, it’s a place of deep connection and allows our community to show their offerings. It’s a place where we can gather, keep culture alive and keep our community connected,’ Ella said.

Minjungbal song woman Aunty Deirdre Currie has been a part of the Kinship Festival since its inception. She works hard with the other volunteers on the kinship committee to ensure this important cultural event continues to grow in strength.

‘We love to keep our culture alive, accessible, and strong and teaching our ways of life to our wonderful jarjums (children), so they find and maintain their connection, strength and laughter, that is our people and being on country, it is so special and contributes to our belonging and if our jarjums continue our teachings and learnings the future and future generations of our people will be in good hands,’ Deirdre said.

The Kinship Festival is in Knox Park in Murwillumbah Saturday, May 25 from 10 am.

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