By Callum Ludwig
Following over two years of delays, Yarra Valley ECOSS is finally able to host its first Ngulu Festival since 2019 to mark the opening of a Creation Story Mural and Soundscape, created in collaboration with Indigenous Artist and proud Bidjara woman of Queensland Central Highlands Nikki Browner and RMIT Industrial Design students.
The event on Friday 17 June at 5pm will be in conjunction with ECOSS’ weekly market and features an all-First Nations lineup of artists.
Community Engagement, Market & Events Coordinator Leanne Hall said the mural received funding from Yarra Ranges Council before being put on hold due to Covid-19.
“The next year we got funding again to add to the mural by creating the soundscape, to help tell the local Wurundjeri country creation story,” she said.
“The first Ngulu festival in 2019 when we had Kutcha Edwards, was a really special day.”
A Welcome to Country will be performed by a Wurundjeri Elder before a Smoking Ceremony performed by Woiwurrung Elder of the Wurundjeri People Auntie Kim Wandin marks the beginning of the event.
Ms Hall said she thinks it is really important to have events that celebrate Wurundjeri country.
“I think it’s crucial for people to develop a deeper understanding of local indigenous culture, these events create a connection to the land, show respect to Indigenous people and help with reconciliation,” she said.
“I think it’ll be a beautiful experience for everybody to connect with the local First Nations people and culture while learning more about the creation story and connecting with Indigenous music experiences.”
The lineup is headlined by local Wurundjeri star Chenile Chandler who has performed at The Australian Open and re-written The Melbourne Football Theme song in Woi Wurrung and will be performing A Call to Country.
First Nations singer-songwriter Pirritu will be performing the songs of his own personal stories, Ngiyampaa man Ganga Giri will be bringing his fusion of Indigenous music and funky dance beats and Woromi-Biripi woman Nikki Madgwick will be MCing the event as well as sharing her spoken word pieces.
Tickets for the event located at Yarra Valley ECOSS, 711 Old Warburton Rd Wesburn, can be purchased here: www.events.humanitix.com/ngulu-festive-market
The event is held in conjunction with the usual Friday afternoon ECOSS market which starts at 3.30pm, and will have a feast of Indigenous cuisines available. More information can be found at the Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/852658996126263