Garma Festival in 2006 


‘Indigenous Education and Training’ is the theme of the national three-day Key Educational Forum at the 2006 Garma Festival — Australia’s major Indigenous Cultural Exchange event, in August.

At a time when education and training of Australia’s Indigenous people continues to be a major issue and matter of concern, the Forum will be an important national gathering of Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, policy makers, academics, students, trainers, cultural practitioners and government, corporate and community leaders.

Co-ordinated by Charles Darwin University, the Forum — with workshops, presentations, panel discussions and learning exchanges — will focus on past and present education policy and practice to examine ways to build non-Indigenous and Indigenous capacities to learn together, celebrating what works and how success can be adapted to other contexts:

  • Are we doing enough given the size of the challenge? The dollars, problems, paradoxes and solutions in Indigenous education and training
  • Are current policies and programs working? Are they accessible?
  • Are they resourced and linked properly? Are governments working together?
  • Have we learnt from mistakes and successes?
  • Learning and earning — pathways to opportunities for meaningful Indigenous livelihoods in remote communities and meeting skill shortages
  • Learning for life — why traditional education and training are important

The 2006 Key Forum will also pay special attention to work-readiness and on-the-job training programs. Indigenous unemployment rates appear to be intractable, but advances are being made in several industries. The Indigenous art industry and mining are two areas where livelihood and career opportunities are increasing.

The Key Forum will be held at Garma from August 5 to 7.

The Garma Key Forum is now a major gathering of Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, policy makers, academics, students, trainers, cultural practitioners and government, corporate and community leaders. The Key Forum makes a difference. It proposes new futures. It fosters leadership. It presents, discusses, and stimulates, analyses and progresses ideas, policies, practice and research of vital interest to Indigenous Australians and their social, cultural and economic well-being.

Past Key Forum themes have included Law, Health, Art, Environment, Livelihoods and Leadership, and, in 2005, Indigenous Cultural Livelihoods.

Forum participants will also be able to participate in special cultural sessions and activities, and the Forum registration fee covers attendance at the five days of the Garma Festival — 4 to 8 August — including the famous nightly bunggul (dance ceremony).

Further details on attending Garma, the Forum and how to participate can be found on the Garma Festival website. Places in the Key Forum are limited and priority will be given to participants with specific or professional qualifications, expertise or interest in the Key Forum.

Organised by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the 8th annual Garma Festival of Traditional Culture, hosted by Yolngu clans and held on Aboriginal land at Gulkula, near Nhulunbuy, northeast Arnhem Land, will be on 4-8 August 2006. ‘Garma’ means ‘both ways learning’ and is also used to describe the pioneering work of Yolngu in ‘both ways’ school education.

The Yothu Yindi Foundation is a not-for-profit Aboriginal charitable organisation with full tax exemption and gift deductibility status. All revenues, including Garma attendance fees received by the Foundation go to the operation of its projects and programs, including Garma, to achieve its three primary aims of: creating economic opportunities for Yolngu; maintaining traditional cultural practices; and the sharing of knowledge and culture.

With its unique five-day line-up of entertainment, education and real cultural interaction, the Garma Festival of Traditional Culture is a spectacular celebration of cultural traditions and practices, and an award-winning model for insightful cultural tourism. It is attended by more than 1,000 Yolngu, and a similar number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian and international visitors. Garma features include The Forum; music workshops and symposiums; the nightly bunggul; art projects and presentations; and a Cultural Tourism program, incorporating men’s and women’s programs, for a select number of the general travelling public.

Media enquiries: Simon Balderstone, on 02-99774578, 0419 732004
OR: Corporate Communications, CDU on 08 8946 6019