Mornington Island Gulf Festival
- Everyone on the island is participating in their culture.Aboriginal and Torres
- Strait Island communities want to come to our Festival to share their culture with
the peoples of the Gulf region
- To deliver an annual festival that will make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures stronger.
- The Festival will celebrate language, song and dance by inviting people from different Indigenous cultures to perform their own traditional dance with songmen or women, alongside the peoples of Mornington Island.
- The Festival will provide a safe and welcoming place to:
- Share cultures
- Show our work to each other
- Give the people of Mornington Island an enjoyable experience of strong Indigenous cultures.
Mornington Island Gulf Festival is a cultural initiative of Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corproation, responsible for maintaining and developing all areas of culture. The Festival began around 30 years ago as a way to restore culture and conduct ceremony and connect with other Gulf communities. This makes it one of the oldest – if not THE – oldest indigenous Festival in Australia.
The Festival is a proud expression of culture, expressed as it has been for millennia – held outdoors on a sacred site surrounded by community people, young and old, who own that culture. Non-Aboriginal people are welcome guests but are in the minority. It is one of very few Festivals in Australia with such a close connection to community.
Communities who have participated in the past 10 years include Borroloola, Aurukun, Worrabinda, Napranum, Maningrida and Saibai.
The Festival started as a biennial event but since 2007 has been held every year as a way to inspire year-round cultural activity on the Island. There is also a desire in the future to celebrate all aspects of culture through a daytime programme.