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Learning Together As Indigenous Festival Comes To Sovereign Hill

May 10, 2017 Attraction No Comments Email Email

Sovereign Hill and the Wadawurrung community are presenting an Aboriginal history and cultural festival as part of National Reconciliation Week, designed to deepen Australians’ understanding of our shared history.

The week-long festivities called ‘Gnarrwirring Ngitj’ (/no,wor-ring nitch), meaning Learning Together in Wadawurrung language, will be held from 26 May – 3 June 2017, and will celebrate Aboriginal stories, traditions and history, as well as the important contribution that Aboriginal People made to the 19th century gold ruches in Victoria.  Some of the highlights of the week include:

A Wadawurrung Corroboree Saturday 3rd June, 5.15pm

A very special performance of traditional Wadawurrung dance and song will be performed by firelight in this one-night-only performance. Food with a bush twist will be available to purchase. While this is a free event, due to its popularity, tickets must be booked prior.

Wadawurrung GoldBar @ The Gold Museum, Thurs 1st June, 6pm

Experience the Gold Museum at night and learn about the history and living culture of Ballarat’s traditional owners, the Wadawurrung people. Enjoy some native nibbles and cocktails while hearing from elders and experts, and even try on a beautiful possum-skin cloak. Gold Museum curators will also take visitors behind-the scenes to get up close with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections.

Narmbool Walk: Learning history and living culture on Wadawurrung Country, Sun 28th May, 1pm

Visit historic pastoral property Narmbool, situated just 30 minutes from Ballarat, for a guided tour to learn about new archaeological finds which deepen our understanding of Wadawurrung land use, cultural practices and economy. Learn about the pre-contact history of this beautiful part of Victoria during a 2-3 kilometre walk past landscape features, bush foods and medicines used by the Wadawurrung people for thousands of years.

Gnarrwirring Ngitj Lecture Fri 26th May, 5.15pm

On National Sorry Day, Sovereign Hill will host prominent local academic Dr. Janice Newton, author of Mullawallah: The Last King Billy of Ballarat, to present the Gnarrwirring Ngitj Lecture in the outdoor museum’s Victoria Theatre. The lecture is free but bookings are essential.

During the Gnarrwirring Ngitj Festival, there will also be a number of events designed for students, including Wadawurrung Dance Education Sessions, where students will learn traditional Wadawurrung dances on a Corroboree sand stage, ochre face painting, and an introduction to Wadawurrung language and culture.

While many events are free during the Festival, due to popularity, bookings are essential. Find out about each event, ticket prices and purchases at

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