Kinship festival offers community chance to connect

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THE MURWILLUMBAH Community Kinship Festival, to be held on Saturday, May 20 at Knox Park will celebrate community and provide the opportunity for families to build a sense of connection and healing after difficult times.

The Kinship committee said that after the trauma of the recent flooding they feel that creating a sense of connection and healing for all families is more important than ever.

The community has come together with such a sense of support and care for each other and the Kinship Festival hopes to build on that spirit and give everyone something to look forward to, a day to enjoy and regenerate.

The festival invites families and community to enjoy a day of meaningful connection incorporating a community Corroboree, live music from OKA, The Mangrove Jack Band and Mereki, Indigenous Artisan markets, jumping castles, face painting and kids nature crafts and activities, a community art installation and free bush tucker and vegetarian lunch.

This free event aims to benefit all families with a sense of connection and belonging in the hope to create stronger families and stronger communities.

This years’ event will feature a large scale sand, soil and ochre art installation that the whole community will have the opportunity to take part in on the day.

Jarulah Slabb is working on the Festival planning committee at Murwillumbah Community Centre and said “I think The Kinship Festival is a good thing for the community, it gives us the chance to come together. There’s not very many times a year when everyone has the opportunity to come together and celebrate our strengths and values as a community.”

The event is auspiced by Murwillumbah Community Centre and coordinated by members of the Aboriginal community with support from many local services including Pottsville Beach Neighborhood Centre, Social Futures, YWCA, Arts Northern Rivers, Solid Mob, Bugalwena Aboriginal Health Service, Tweed, Byron, Ballina Community Transport and The Family Centre.

Paula LaBelle from The Family Centre said the festival offers the community the opportunity to celebrate.

“As a participant in The Kinship festival last year I witnessed the Aboriginal community gift this beautiful day of celebration and connection to all families and community members,” she said

“The Welcome to Country and Smoking ceremony were gratefully received by the community as an invitation to combine our common purpose in supporting children and families through the medium of Aboriginal dance culture and art and craft, sharing food and stories and education to support happy healthy families and children.

“The performances were magic and Knox park was alive and buzzing with activity, culture, dance performances, delicious food, chai and a literal smorgasbord of children’s activities.

“This year in particular we are looking forward to the Kinship Festival again as a way of symbolising the strength, beauty and purpose in moving forward and supporting our community to flourish.”

This year the festival will represent Indigenous culture through traditional dance, song, language and weaving as well as a performance from different dance groups from across the Bundjalung nations to dance at the festival to emphasize the cultural exchange and ceremony.

An Elders Sharing Wisdom Workshop will be a space where elders can share values, stories and wisdom and encouraging all families to attend.

A traditional bush tucker lunch will be provided to all people who will come and enjoy the festival.

Aunty Lorraine Parsons, a member of the Kinship Festival Coodination committee has been a part of the Kinship Festival for the last three years and feels “it’s a very spiritual, uplifting time and she enjoys coming to the festival because it provides a place for our mob to come together and share our culture with each other and the wider community.”

When: Saturday, May 20, from 10am to 3pm

Where: Knox Park, Murwillumbah

Cost: Free