Garma Forum - Strengthening links with the Yothu Yindi Foundation 


Charles Darwin University (CDU) will coordinate the key academic forum on Indigenous education and training at next month’s Garma Festival.

The Key Educational Forum of the annual Garma Festival this year will focus on ‘Indigenous Education and Training’ and is taking great shape, with a pre-eminent group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous community leaders, government, philanthropic, academic and corporate speakers having accepted invitations to participate.

The Forum (5 - 7 August), co-ordinated by CDU, will be a central feature of the annual Garma Festival of Traditional Culture, to be held near Nhulunbuy, in the Northern Territory (4 - 8 August 2006).

“CDU is proud and honoured to be a full partner in producing the Garma Key Forum. The University is uniquely positioned to offer expertise and a commitment to support Indigenous knowledge systems, while providing an environment where Indigenous learning opportunities will be continually encouraged and enhanced,” said CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Helen Garnett.

“As we debate more and more the challenges facing Indigenous Australians, the need for adequate opportunities and resourcing of Indigenous Education and Training have to be recognised and faced,” said Mandawuy Yunupingu, Deputy Chairman of the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the not-for-profit Indigenous organisation which presents Garma.

Confirmed speakers for the 2006 Forum include:

  • Tom Calma, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
  • Dr Daniel Etya’ale, Vision 2020 Coordinator, Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Office, World Health Organization
  • Mitchell H Hooke, Chief Executive, Minerals Council of Australia
  • Jackie Huggins, Co-Chair, Reconciliation Australia
  • Professor Marcia Langton, Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, University of Melbourne
  • Raymattja Marika, Educator, Board member of Reconciliation Australia
  • Brian Annan, School Improvement Manager, Ministry of Education, New Zealand
  • Jeff McMullen, Honorary CEO, Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth Trust
  • Alan Morris, Chairman, Commonwealth Grants Commission
  • Joe Morrison, Executive Officer, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance
  • Professor Fiona Stanley, former Australian of the Year, Director, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
  • Te Kepa Stirling, Matauranga Maori, Ministry of Education, New Zealand

University staff and students will be involved in a variety of ways, from capturing key points of each session for the Forum Report and facilitating feedback from Yolngu leaders to coordinating logistics of the three-day Forum.

Full information on the Garma Forum (5–7 August) and program details visit