CDU sharing knowledge at Garma Festival 


The topic Indigenous Knowledge: Caring for culture and country will be explored in a three-day Key Forum during the 10th annual Garma Festival which begins next week (August 8).

The Key Forum, which is coordinated by Charles Darwin University (CDU), is a key feature of the Garma Festival, Australia’s leading cultural exchange event held each year in August in the Northern Territory.

CDU will again take a key role in driving debate through forums, workshops and panels at the Key Forum which will run from Saturday August 9 to Monday August 11.

The Key Forum will cover broad topics including structural components of culture, Indigenous ecological knowledge, traditional knowledge in managing estates, quality governance and legal protection of country and culture.

Several hundred Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders and decision-makers from the community, business and government, as well as educators, students and practitioners will attend the Forum which will take place at Gulkula, a ceremonial ground near Nhulunbuy in North-East Arnhem Land.

They will join about 20 clan groups from North-East Arnhem Land and representatives from clan groups and neighbouring Indigenous people throughout Arnhem Land, the Northern Territory and Australia.

Gulkula is a site of great significance for local Yolngu people who wish to celebrate their cultural inheritance and bring together traditional and non-traditional expertise.

“Garma” means “both ways learning” and also is used to describe the pioneering work of Yolngu in “both ways” school education.

Eminent Maori negotiator Sir Tipene O’Regan will lead the opening plenary session of the Forum, which will be chaired by CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Garnett.

Other speakers will include Traditional Owner Djawa Yunupingu, of the Gumatj clan, and local traditional owner of the Miwatj Region in Arnhem Land and Chair of the National Land Council Wali Wunungmurra.

Indigenous Knowledge: Caring for culture and country continues a tradition of strong debate relevant to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Past Key Forum themes have included law, health, arts, environment, livelihoods and leadership.

Key recommendations and policies regarding Indigenous cultural traditions and practices will be developed at the event.

The Garma Festival is organised by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, a not-for-profit Aboriginal charitable organisation.

More than 1000 Yolngu, and a similar number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian and international visitors are expected.

The Garma Festival runs for five days from Friday August 8 to Tuesday August 12.

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