CULTURE, spotlight -

20th Garma will embrace honesty, hope

Truth-telling will be at the centre of discussions at the Garma Key Forum in north-east Arnhem Land this year.

The Yothu Yindi Foundation said the official theme for the 20th annual Garma would be ‘Yuwalk Lakaraŋa’ – or truth-telling.

YYF Chairman and Gumatj leader Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu said the process of Makarrata – the settling of differences — could not be achieved without each party first giving an honest account of their grievances.

“Truth-telling is at the heart of the Makarrata process and essential to obtaining a lasting settlement and a united future,” Dr Yunupingu said.

“In the lead-up to last year’s Garma, I cautioned that finding the peace between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people would not be easy, and so it has proved, but we remain committed to a lasting settlement that will heal the divisions of the past and bring the nation together.”

YYF CEO Denise Bowden said the Key Forum was the ideal setting for informed debate and discussion on the way forward.

“It is important that time is taken to get the right outcome for the right reason,” she said.

This year’s Garma – the 20th anniversary of the event – runs from August 3-6 at the culturally significant ceremonial grounds at Gulkula, near the township of Gove in north-east Arnhem Land.

Mrs Bowden said Garma 2018 would be a chance to reflect on some of the achievements of the past.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in the past two decades, but the hard work still lies in front of us.

“As always, we will continue to ask the difficult questions and tackle the challenges that we face.”

Tickets to the annual event sell out months in advance, with more than 2500 people expected to attend in 2018.

For more information and to book a place, visit

Ticket registrations close on Friday, April 27.


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