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The leader of the Bagala clan, Bangardi Lee, came up with the idea of the Barunga Festival, a joyous celebration of Indibenous culture. That was in 1985.

The festival has been held every year since – and attracts about 4000 visitors.

It’s a showcase of music, sport, traditional arts and cultural activities over three days.

In 1988, Barunga was the site of Aboriginal leaders coming together and then presenting Prime Minister Bob Hawke with the Barunga Statement which called for a treaty.

The PM signed the statement at the festival – but the treaty has still not been signed.

It’s a must-do event in June if you want to immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture. And it’s easy to get to – only an hour from Katherine on a sealed road.

Visit and check out our online edition for more imges.