Multicultural Arts Victoria is proud to be partnering with Three Rivers Festival and Kaiela Arts to produce the inaugural Dhungalla Kaiella Garradha (Goulburn Murray Rivers Dance Ceremony) at the 2017 Three Rivers Festival on Saturday 25 November, 5pm – 8.30pm at the Echuca Moama Botanical Gardens.
This special new project will take place across the Victorian and New South Wales border towns of Echuca and Moama. It will inspire community and celebrate traditional Yorta Yorta stories, place, spirit and ancient ceremonial practices with a deadly sunset corroboree to close the 2017 festival following a very special concert featuring Archie Roach, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, Maddi Colville – Walker and more.
Three Rivers Festival Manager and Founder, Clayton Murray Mitchell says, ‘The Three Rivers Festival is very excited to be working in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria and Kaiela Arts to deliver this important new project to the community. Dhungalla Kaiella Garradha gives our people an opportunity to connect, express, heal and inspire. I feel as though this is not just a job but a responsibility to be able to provide our kids an experience to get up under the stars and dance in the footsteps of their ancestors!’
Leading up to the corroboree, six Aboriginal artists from Shepparton’s Kaiela Arts and from Echuca, have been collaborating to create elements for the corroboree performance space including ephemeral light sculptures and sand design. Kaiela Arts Manager Angie Russi who will be mentoring the artists through the creative process says, ‘Garradha or corroboree, was made illegal for Aboriginal people of the Dhungalla Kaiela and this project will bring back this important ceremonial ritual in the festive spirit of Tanderrum to speak directly to country through dance. The artists at Kaiela Arts look forward to the collaborative and healing qualities embedded in this project.’
As well as the visual arts, Aboriginal dance groups from all around Victoria will prepare traditional dances and music, and traditional dance groups from the Pacific Islander and African communities in nearby Shepparton, will also be welcomed to perform at the event.
The Three Rivers Festival is an annual community event held on Yorta Yorta woka (country) engaging people through the love of Touch Football, Music, Art and Aboriginal Culture. The theme of the 4th Three Rivers Festival 2017 is “I stand strong for health & culture”. The festival is driven by a local volunteer committee, Aboriginal elders and community members and coordinated by Clayton Murray Mitchell, a proud Wemba-Wemba, Ngandjon-jji and Yorta-Yorta man living in Echuca and working in Aboriginal youth and education services. Culture and identity are at the core of who Clayton is and everything he does and in 2014, he was awarded the Emerging Leader award from the Indigenous Fellowship of Leadership to establish the Three Rivers Festival.
MAV Chief Executive Officer Jill Morgan AM says, “We hope to learn from and create greater awareness and understanding of Australia’s First People through artists and community sharing their stories, struggles and successes – passionately and wisely through dance, theatre, song, visual arts and other artforms. The Dhungalla Kaiella Garradha project will see MAV collaborating with Aboriginal artists and organisations in regional Victoria and New South Wales, for the first time, challenging and inspiring us all towards building a future together.”
Other Three Rivers Festival highlights include:
ABORIGINAL COMEDY ALL-STARS
Friday 24th November, 6pm – 10pm
Featuring Kevin Kropinyeri, Sean Choolburra, Andy Saunders & Echuca comedian Dion Williams
Venue: Moama Bowling Club, 6 Shaw St, Moama
TOUCH FOOTY KNOCKOUT
Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th November
Featuring the following divisions: Open Men – $250 Team registration fee Open Mixed – $250 Team registration fee Under 12’s Mixed – $100 Team Registration Fee Prize money for senior division champions!
Venue: Brick Alley Reserve, Moama Sports & Recreation Centre, Perricoota Road, Moama
CONCERT & NIGHT MARKET
Saturday 25th November, 5 – 8.30pm
Featuring Archie Roach, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, Madi Colville-Walker, First Nations Wellness Warriors (North America), Dhungalla Yalka Youth Group and more.
Venue: Moama Echuca Botanic Gardens, Perricoota Rd, Moama
The Dhungalla Kaiella Garradha project is supported by:
Multicultural Arts Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, Festivals Australia, Kaiela Arts