The Gai-mariagal Festival was founded in 2001 and aims to raise awareness of First Nations People living in the Northern Sydney region. Here’s a round up of some of the events you can explore locally over the next few months…

The festival starts on National Sorry Day (May 26) and goes through to the end of NAIDOC Week (the second week in July) each year. The festival committee includes Local Government, other agencies, businesses and numerous community groups.  Events include workshops, art exhibitions, performances, films, talks and more. The theme for this year’s Gai-mariagal Festival is: Renewal.

Warakirri Dining Experience
Saturday 5 June
Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, St Ives

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Australian native foods, botanicals, culture and rituals at this five-course degustation dining experience. Over four magical hours, enjoy Australian native food and beverages, prepared in a unique fusion of modern techniques with traditional methods. Be transformed by authentic cultural entertainment, musical and cultural storytelling, and the in-depth knowledge of Aboriginal culture and food, pioneered by owner and Ngemba Weilwan woman, Sharon Winsor.

Cost: $95 per person
Bookings: Click here

Illustration Workshop with Author and Illustrator Dub Leffler
Wednesday 7 July
Gordon Library

Inspired by his illustrations for Sorry Day (written by Coral Vass) Dub Leffler will introduce children to the life of an illustrator. Alongside his personal journey as an author and illustrator, Dub will highlight all the facets of the illustration process. From sketching an idea to a published work Dub will demonstrate to students the process of crafting illustrations for picture books to complement an author’s story and words. Having visited some of the most amazing places throughout Australia and the world Dub has enjoyed the opportunity to teach illustration workshops everywhere from Scotland to the Tiwi Islands. He has collaborated with other celebrated illustrators and artists including Shaun Tan, Sally Morgan and Banksy. All materials provided Suitable for children aged 8- 12 years old.

Cost: $10 per person
Bookings: Click here

Guided Bush Tucker Walk
Thursday 17 June
Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, St Ives

Join us for an Indigenous Heritage presentation and guided walk through the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden presented by the Aboriginal Heritage Office. Learn about how Aboriginal people lived, Aboriginal figures of the area, bush tucker, tools, weapons and shelter. You will also learn about the colonisation and changes it brought to the environment and country. Morning tea provided.

Cost: Free
Bookings: Click here

Healing Country Art Workshop
Friday 9 July
Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, St Ives

Join a Healing Country Art Workshop for Children hosted by Andrea Bennett a Kamilaroi and Dunghetti woman. Children aged 9-12 will shown how to paint gum leaves and meaningful symbols onto clay pots and learn from stories. We are sharing knowledge through creativity – painting this pot. The pot focuses on reminding us to take care of land, air and water.

Cost: Free
Bookings: Click here

For more information about the Gai-Mariagal Festival visit https://gai-mariagal-festival.com.au/

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