Giiyong Festival – Sharing Culture at Jigamy

The first Giiyong Festival, happened on 22  September 2018 at Jigamy, just north of Eden. It was our region’s first multi-art form festival celebrating traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture through dance, art, music, film, theatre, food and workshops. Six thousand people attended the massive 12 hour event.

The next Giiyong Festival will take place on 26 September 2020. You can support the Festival now by donating HERE.

Giiyong means ‘come to welcome’ in Dhurga, the language local to the Eden and Bega area.

Jigamy is a 58 hectare property situated 9kms north of Eden. Twofold Aboriginal Corporation own the property, which houses the Moneroo Bobberer Gudu Keeping Place.

The Giiyong Festival lineup in 2018 on the Aunty Liddy Stewart Stage and around the festival site included headlining acts like No Fixed Address, Baker Boy, Benny Walker, Dallas Woods, Sean Choolburra, Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project, Mark Atkins & Simon Abrahams, C.J. Leon, Nikai Stewart, Warren Foster Snr & Warren Foster Jnr, Gulaga Dancers, Gadhu, Durrunu Miru & Djaadjawan Dancers, Robbie Bundle, Chelsy Atkins, Jo Donovan, Alison Walker, Ngoika Bunda-Heath, Drifting Doolagahls, students from Bega and Eden Marine High Schools.

Authors and speakers Bruce Pascoe, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Jeanine Leane, Jackie Huggins, Glenn Shea and Sassi Nooyoom raised issues and heartbeats on the Aunty Doris Kirby Stage. Rodney Kelly discussed the Gweagal Shield issue and Uncle Ossie Cruse talked about what a treaty might look like.

Traditional cooking and foods were presented by Uncle Noel Butler in the Waalgal Hut with Twofold staff and community members. An incredible art exhibition and display of local artefacts took place in the Moneroo Bobberer Gudu Keeping Place. The Festival Bookshop sold hundreds of books by Aboriginal authors. The Mujalali Group Tent and Yarn Up Space provided a great venue for Elders. Bruce and Tim Ella. The Guganyela Arts Market included Aboriginal artists from around New South Wales selling their art and products.

Chris Bird is the CEO of Twofold Aboriginal Corporation, and is working toward establishing Jigamy as a leading destination in the South East for Aboriginal cultural experiences.

“Twofold Aboriginal Corporation’s board, management and staff were very excited to see the festival taking shape. Our vision is ‘to create an inclusive place where Aboriginal people of the Twofold Bay Region are proud of our heritage and are part of the local economy, and to end the cycle of poverty in our community to create a real future for our children’. The festival will assisted us achieve this vision and engender pride in the strong culture that exists here. Many events have occurred at Jigamy since the 1970s. This event really put us on the map nationally and will add to the many other reasons why people visit the Sapphire Coast,” he said.

The Giiyong Festival was an opportunity to showcase culture and talent from all over Australia and the Torres Strait, and was the first all-encompassing Aboriginal festival for South East NSW. South East Arts undertook many artist and performer development programs in the years leading up to the Festival, including with Bega and Eden Marine High Schools.

You can support the work of South East Arts through donations that are fully tax deductible.

Your contributions will help us strengthen our Aboriginal Arts & Cultural Development across Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and Snowy Monaro as we move towards Giiyong Festival 2020.

Follow the Giiyong Festival journey on Facebook.

Contact: Giiyong Festival Co-ordinator, Jazz Williams or South East Arts General Manager, Andrew Gray

Visit the GIIYONG FESTIVAL website.