Storytelling through art and song in Brambuk

During NAIDOC week, Brambuk: National Park and Cultural Center saw traditional owners, community members and visitors connect, share stories and celebrate creativity on Country in Halls Gap.

Following the hugely successful summer series, attendees took part in workshops and performances – sharing cultural knowledge through art and music. Each session inspired a deeper connection to culture, the cultural landscape of Gariwerd and Brambuk.

Acclaimed Keerray Woorroong, artist Sherry Johnstone taught the meaning of Aboriginal symbolism. By sharing her story and explaining the use of cultural symbols, participants were asked to intersect symbols with stories from their own lives. Participants shared experiences spinning, drawing and connecting with each other. Each person continued their own narrative by creating a work of art that incorporated symbolism to infuse deeper meaning.

An Aboriginal Artifacts Workshop taught the meaning of cultural objects. Brett Clarke, singer and host of Kirrae Whurrung/Gunditjmara imparted cultural knowledge through deep truth telling, educating participants on the importance of traditional tools for cultural practice including clapsticks, boomerangs and the coolamons.

Woman holding and admiring boomerang with young boy

Participants had the opportunity to learn and view important Aboriginal artifacts

Surrounded by the Gariwerd landscape, the vibrant culture and history of Brambuk is brought to life through the musical performances of Andy Alberts and Lee Morgan.

A comeback performance by one of Brambuk’s beloved artists, Gunditjmara Koorie songwriter Andy Alberts brought joy to the entire audience. Andy – who has been performing in Brambuk since it first opened in 1990 – brought back memories of his time in Brambuk and on Country throughout his performance. A true storyteller, his beautiful country voice and his lyricism evoked the spirit of yesteryear at the cultural centre.

Andy Alberts playing guitar on stage.  A guitarist plays to his right and a bass player to his left.
Andy Alberts performing in front of the audience holding a guitar

Andy Alberts performing his country music in front of the crowd.

With its powerful rock sound, captivated spectators were able to experience Lee Morgan’s strong and dynamic set with a sound that reverberates throughout central Brambuk. Speaking truthfully, Lee, a proud artist from Gunditjmara/Kirrae Whuurung, spoke about his experience growing up on a mission and the journey his music has taken him so far.

A highlight for many was the country recognition hosted by Brett Clarke. With a smoking ceremony and recognition of the various Gariwerd cultural groups in his traditional language, Brett welcomed visitors and community members into the spirit of NAIDOC week.

Traditional owner crouched in the center of the circle tending to smoke.  Visitors surround the circle looking at it.
Groups of participants marching towards the smoke facing Brambuk for the smoking ceremony

Visitors participating in the smoking ceremony

Brambuk: The national park and cultural center was designed in collaboration with the traditional owners of Gariwerd to celebrate the cultures of the Jadawadjali and Djab Wurrung peoples.

Consultation with the traditional owners of Gariwerd has begun as part of a project to modernize and revitalize the Brambuk compound.

The Barengi Gadjin Land Board and the Traditional Owners Indigenous Societies of Eastern Maar and Gunditj Mirring are working together through a strategic partnership committee to guide the future of Brambuk.

Indigenous arts and cultural experiences and programs, new spaces and facilities for members and visitors of the Traditional Owner community, and events will be developed as Brambuk transitions to operation by a new Traditional Owner company that will be accountable to the three Traditional Owner Companies of Gariwerd. Learn more about Brambuk.

Comments are closed.