It is one of the premier events of the region and holds significant history for the council and for Australia.
Filled with music, dancing, sport, art, information stalls and cultural activities, the three-day festival attracts thousands of people to the small community of Barunga.
This year’s festival was especially significant as it celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Barunga Statement, the first call for a National Treaty in Australia. Representatives from four land councils in the Territory came together this year at the site of the festival and signed the Barunga Voice Declaration, urging Australians to vote “yes” in the forthcoming referendum. Gulf Regional Council Mayor Tony Jack spoke highly of the festival organising committee and the success of the event.
“I would like to acknowledge and thank the Bagala Traditional Owners group for hosting the event and the organising committee who professionally pulled together the festival to ensure it was a great success and enjoyed by all,” he says.
“It is very special to see so many people from all over the Northern Territory and the country gather in Barunga to celebrate Aboriginal people and Aboriginal culture.
“This year has seen a number of new initiatives occur at the festival, which the council is proud to have helped with and supported.
“As the Mayor of Roper Gulf Regional Council, I would like to recognise the work that council staff committed to ensuring that the festival ran smoothly and operated safely.
“The facility preparation is a major undertaking by the council in the lead up to the festival, including preparing the ovals, camping areas, public toilets and sporting facilities. Our staff in Barunga did a fantastic job at making sure the community was ready for the large incoming crowd.”
Roper Gulf Regional Council is looking forward to improving the facilities further over the coming years to make sure the event is well set up for the future.