For information regarding individual events
please contact relevant event organisers.

If you require a hard copy of the brochure,
please phone 9970 1181.


Welcome Message from the Chair

Hello and welcome to the 13th annual Guringai Festival celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in the Northern Sydney region.

This year's festival theme, Live Life Loudly is a slight departure from the 'focus' or 'lens' that we tend to view the festival through.

Live Life Loudly aims to remind us that laughter is food for the soul and to live your life as fully as you can. Living day to day with all its ups and downs and light and shade, sometimes we need to just stop and remember to laugh. Humour has the ability to break down barriers and it can smuggle ideas and different perspectives into people's hearts and minds.

Through humour we often create situations that are memorable and have the capacity to resonate and reverberate within us long after the event. Laughter also can be the shortest distance between two people and can bridge the great divide, uniting families, communities and a nation.

We invite you to join us this year for all the fabulour events and activities of the 13th annual Guringai Festival. You might be inspired, you might lear something new or even be touched on an emotional level, we also invite you to laugh!

Susan Moylan-Coombs and
Caroline Glass-Pattison

Co-Chairs, Guringai Festival Committee

About Guringai Festival

Acknowledgment of Country
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Guringai peoples on whose land we now stand, we pay our respects to Elders past and present.

About Guringai Festival
Founded in 2001, the Guringai Festival aims to raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Northern Sydney region. The festival usually starts on Sorry Day 26 May and goes through to the end of NAIDOC Week, the second week in July each year.

The festival involves 11 councils and numerous reconciliation and community groups. Events include workshops, art exhibitions, performances, films and talks.

Front Cover Image
This years cover artwork is by Jessica Birk (see bio on back page). Jessica explains this piece and her inspiration below. As the light of day begins to soak the landscape beyond, we focus on three kookaburras perched on the twisting branch of a flowering gum. Their 'laughter' and energy translate to a song of optimism and hope, heralding the new day.

The warm light of the langscape, is complemented by the black spaces below that mimic the darkness of the night before but also symbolise the moments that become the catalyst for change.

Song of Daybreak, sings up a visual message of resilience and hope. A visual representation of both sides of the story and a reminder that in order to move forwad you must first look back.

Important Dates and Anniversaries

Nadioc Week - We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963
Sunday 7 - Sunday 14 July 2013

NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous community, but also increasingly in government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.

Whereever you live, taking part in NAIDOC Week is a great way to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to build bridges between all Australians.

Reconciliation Week: Lets Talk Recognition
Monday 27 May - Monday 3 June 2013

National Reconciliation Week offers people across Australia the opportunity to focus on reconciliation, to hear about the cultures and histories of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to explore new and better ways of meeting challenges in our communities. The Week is timed to coincide with two significant dates in Australia's history, which provide strong symbols of our hopes and aims for reconciliation.

Sorry Day
Sunday 26 May 2013

National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen generations refer to Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.