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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Giiyong Festival receives multi- year funding from Create NSW

Giiyong Festival, the largest multi-arts festival in the Yuin Nation, will take place on Saturday 18 November 2023. The event organisers, South East Arts, Twofold Aboriginal Corporation and Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council have announced the new date for the festival to be held at the Aboriginal-owned property “Jigamy”, between Pambula and Eden, home of the Thaua people.

Giiyong means ‘come to welcome’ in the south coast languages as spoken by Elders. Giiyong Festival celebrates the rich cultural history of the region and will feature music, dance, food, cultural demonstrations and more.

South East Arts has secured multi-year funding for Giiyong Festival from Create NSW, one of only two regional festivals in NSW to be offered this support, for 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Jazz Williams, Giiyong Festival Director says, “Being supported by Create NSW over the next three years is a brilliant outcome and means we can really establish and build the event with our key presenting partner, Twofold Aboriginal Corporation. With a lineup of incredible First Nations musicians, dancers, presenters and thinkers being booked for 2023, this year is shaping up beautifully, and we are now calling for volunteers to help bring this unique festival experience together.”

In 2022, almost 90 people volunteered in roles that covered all aspects of the event. Helpers are needed for a variety of tasks such as setting up, decorating the site, parking attendants, looking after the grounds, helping visitors and staffing the office. Ms Williams describes volunteering at Giiyong Festival as a great opportunity to be involved in a large-scale, multi-faceted community event, but also it’s a chance to be part of creating a platform to present important cultural information and experiences.

“We are looking for people from all walks of life, over the age of 18. People with event experience are always very handy but there really is a role for everyone, and even signing up for a four hour shift helps immensely,” she said.

“In 2022, we were battered by torrential rain, but it didn’t dampen the spirit of the event. We managed to relocate the whole festival in 24 hours within the Jigamy property and the community really supported us and turned out, despite the weather,” Ms Williams said.

Giiyong Festival, first held in 2018, provides a rare opportunity in south east NSW for the entire community to come together in celebration of Aboriginal arts, culture, reconciliation and resilience. Giiyong Festival is made possible by funding from Create NSW and local sponsors. Tickets are now available online and the committee will also be calling for Aboriginal-owned businesses to book stalls in the Guganyella Arts & Culture Market, a popular feature of the event.

Tickets can be purchased to the Festival and volunteers can register at

Above: Giiyong Festival 2022 - Duurunu Miru, Djaadjawan & Gadhu Dancers Sunset Dance Ceremony Image David Rogers Photography


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