Gidarjil Development Corporation was established by representatives of the Gurang and Gooreng Gooreng peoples to provide leadership and momentum for the economic, social and cultural development of Indigenous people.
Based in Bundaberg, Queensland, Gidarjil’s vision is to facilitate the meaningful participation of Indigenous Australians in the broader Australian economy.
They seek to achieve this through providing training and employment opportunities as well as delivering Caring for Country, language revitalisation, arts development and cultural heritage programs.
The Cultural Connections Program is supporting Gidarjil Development Corporation to develop and deliver a major regional two-day cultural immersion festival in 2020. The festival aims to showcase the history, culture, contributions and achievements of Indigenous peoples of the region.
The event will also showcase the Aboriginal history in the region prior to 1770, the encounter between local people and Lieutenant James Cook and the Endeavour 250 years ago, and the survival of the Byellee, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang and Taribelang Bunda peoples and cultures through to the present.
The aim of the festival is to create opportunities for strengthening local culture and identity, particularly through employment of local Elders and community members, documenting their culture and histories and sharing them with young people in their communities.
It will also provide the opportunity for visitors to the region to experience and learn about Byelle, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang and Taribelang Bunda Country from the perspective of local knowledge-holders.
The festival will showcase a new local narrative about the Aboriginal encounter with the Endeavour voyage and contribute to resetting the national narrative and telling the truth about Australia’s past.
Banner photo: Steve Back Photography