An Indigenous band with skills developed via a Charles Darwin University (CDU) vocational music foundation program will perform at the Garma festival this weekend.
The band, South-East, is based at the community of Santa Teresa, about 100 kilometres south of Alice Springs.
They will perform to around a 700-strong crowd and will take part in workshops at the festival, which is considered one of Australia’s leading cultural exchange events and held near Nhulunbuy in north-east Arnhem Land of the Northern Territory.
CDU VET music lecturer Gain Gilmour invited the band to perform at the festival after witnessing their music skills.
“They are a talented group who are keen to learn and progress in their career and this was the perfect opportunity to give them some exposure,” he said.
It’s a big step for the group performing their first major gig outside their community.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders and decision-makers from community, business and government, as well as educators, students and practitioners will attend the event.
CDU is a key sponsor assisting in workshops, key forums and entertainment.
This includes a key forum exploring Indigenous Knowledge: Caring for culture and country.
South-East was formed by Santa Teresa family members, Chris Wallace, Gavin, Erik and Derek Hayes.
Mr Wallace said he looked forward to performing.
“The fellas here are excited about going up there and we want to put on a great show for the people at Garma,” he said.
“It's the first time we've really played outside Santa Teresa, so we have been practising a fair bit.”
The Garma Festival is organised by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, a not-for-profit Aboriginal charitable organisation and runs for five days from Friday August 8 to Tuesday August 12.
For information go to www.cdu.edu.au/garma.