Bamba Gii Festival.
Bamba Gii Festival.

BAMBA GII: Council support new southwest Indigenous festival

The Bamba Gii Festival, celebrating and sharing Indigenous cultures from the seven Indigenous communities in southwest Queensland at one time is schedule to go ahead this year after being cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

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In the most recent council meeting in Roma, councillors unanimously voted to waive the fees associated with the festival and consider further in-kind financial support.

The South West Indigenous Cultural Trail is a collaborative project between Surat Aboriginal Corporation, the University of Southern Queensland Community Futures team and the local stakeholders of each community included in the trail, to record and interpret Aboriginal heritage in southwest Queensland.

Looping from Dirranbandi to St George and Surat, Roma, Mitchell, Charleville then through Cunnamulla back to St George, the trail comprises a number of different cultural heritage sites across seven towns which hold significant meaning to the local Indigenous people.

The February 24 council agenda states that through hands-on experiences with local Indigenous businesses and community, visitors will be immersed in the oldest living culture on the planet – creating a unique, authentic, cultural tourism experience like no other in the southwest.

The recommendation to council is that they strongly support the festival as it demonstrates their affinity to the Indigenous community, showing support for Australia’s First Nation’s People and as the event will invite a large number of people from across the state to the region, it will provide a wide economic benefit.

Councillor Mark Edwards moved the motion to waive $1248 Basset Park hire fee, with Cr John Birkett seconding it.

Mayor Tyson Golder was absent from the discussion.

Councillors Joh Hancock, Wendy Taylor, Julie Guthrie, Cameron O’Neil, Geoff McMullen and George Ladbrook supported the event.

The festival is to be held at Bassett Park on Saturday, September 25 and will incorporate workshops, events, performances and experiences across a full day program.

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