In June, Flinders NT staff attended the iconic three-day Barunga Festival southeast of Katherine, which celebrates Aboriginal culture through music, sport, traditional arts and cultural activities. The Flinders NT booth included a digital presentation promoting the Northern Territory Medical Program and various interactive activities for children including badge making, peeling apples with a slinky and interacting with a body-parts manikin.
Attended by 4,000 people, the festival commemorated 30 years since the presentation of the Barunga Statement to Prime Minister Bob Hawke. The first day of this year’s festival saw the signing of the ‘Barunga agreement’, a significant event in Northern Territory (NT) history which commits the NT Government and the land councils to a three-year consultation process with all Territorians to “develop a process to negotiate an NT treaty”.
Dave Newman, Kelly Martin, Feng Huang and Sue Lenthall manned the Flinders university booth with the assistance of several students. Maddy Bower and Flinders speech pathology students Kate and Aimee, helped the Banatjarl ladies at the cultural park, where there were opportunities for people to learn weaving and make bush medicine and damper.