Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

10th anniversary for premier Indigenous festival

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Peter Garrett MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts
    The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari

Australian Government Ministers Jenny Macklin and Peter Garrett today announced $375,000 funding for the 10th annual Garma Festival in the Northern Territory – Australia’s premier Indigenous event.

The first Garma was held by the Yothu Yindi Foundation in 1999 to celebrate the culture of Arnhem Land’s Yolgnu people.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin opened Garma 2008, which has a caring for culture and country theme and for the first time includes an Indigenous economic development conference.

“Garma brings together people from all over Australia and the world to learn about the Yolngu way of life,” Ms Macklin said.

“It features inspiring cultural events plus fosters dialogue and lively discourse on issues to promote Indigenous culture, economic development and social empowerment.

“Garma is universally recognised as a melting pot of Yolngu people and artists, international visitors, and corporate, community and government leaders.

“It is a privilege to be part of this celebration and share in the discussion on topics that affect Indigenous Australians in the 21st century.”

Environment, Heritage and the Arts Minister Peter Garrett commended Dr Mandawuy Yunipingu for establishing the Yothu Yindi Foundation in 1990 and the Garma Festival nine years later.

“Dr Yunipingu has shown great vision and determination,” Mr Garrett said.

“He has worked creatively for the rights and recognition of Indigenous culture, especially in the areas of employment and training.

“It’s especially appropriate that Garma 2008 coincides with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on 9 August.

“This festival is a fitting way to celebrate the achievements of Australia’s Indigenous people and diversity of culture.”