Adelaide Festival to open dialogue around Indigenous music, Stolen Generations and Uluru Statement

Please note this article contains the name of someone who has died.

Adelaide Festival is on again and it’s jam-packed with entertaining interviews with writers from all over the world and performances that are set to leave audiences enthralled.

The festival takes place from February 28 to March 15, and takes place on the lands of the Traditional Owners of the Kaurna People of the Adelaide Plains. The Writer’s Festival features as part of the Festival and has many different guest speakers.

This year has a strong line-up of Indigenous performances and writer interviews.



Buŋgul was created on Country, in North East Arnhem Land and is a ceremony and meeting place of ritual including dance and song. The performance is the staging of much loved, Gurrumul Yunupiŋu’s final album, Djarimirri.

Directed by senior Yolŋu men Don Wininba Ganambarr and Nigel Jamieson, the performance includes Yolŋu dancers, bringing to life the music performed by songmen and the Adelaide Festival Orchestra.

Djarimirri has been described as “Gurrumul’s gift to the world”. The album presents traditional songs and harmonised chants that are quintessentially Gurrumul. His family is honouring his memory by adding the visual performance element and orchestral composition, which is sure to move audiences to their core.

The Adelaide Festival has described Buŋgul as an important performance to understanding Australian inclusive identity.

“Buŋgul represents a majestic union of two disparate worlds.”

“It points to a potential contemporary Australian identity grounded in and drawing upon the extraordinary knowledge, understanding and wisdom of First Nations People that inspires us all to listen to and care for the precious land we share.”

Buŋgul takes place at the Thembarton Theatre on March 2 and 3.


Writer’s Week

With a diverse line-up of incredible writers, the theme for this year’s Adelaide Writer’s week is Being Human.

The line-up this year has a mixture of journalists, poets, academics, scientists and historians, all of which have authored something inspiring for the audience to lose themselves in. Boasting names like Archie Roach and Megan Davis, there is something for everyone.

The interviews for the AWW will take place from February 29 through to March 5, at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens.


Tyson Yunkaporta

Author of Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking can Save the World, Tyson Yunkaporta is one of the speakers on the line-up. Yunkaporta will expand on the idea that we need to change our thinking in order to change the way of the world in its current form.

Sand Talk has been described as a “radical revelatory book that allows us to reimagine our future”. Given the current political climate we find ourselves in, Sand Talk promotes a powerful message on necessary change.

Yunkaporta will speak on the West Stage at 2.30pm on February 29.


Megan Davis and Thomas Mayor

An influential duo on the line-up, Megan Davis and Thomas Mayor are two people who have been instrumental in the development of the Uluru Statement of the Heart.

Davis and Mayor will explain the development of the Statement and explain the need for Voice, Treaty and Truth. Gracing the East Stage on March 1 at 2.30pm, this is a discussion not to be missed.


Archie Roach

Famed singer Archie Roach has written a memoir, telling his story as an Indigenous Australian music legend.

Tell Me Why details Roach’s life of being part of the Stolen Generations, taken from his home, family and Country. The memoir explores his struggle with mental health, his return to Country and his people, and how music and love has saved him.

Roach will take the East Stage at the Adelaide Writer’s Festival, to discuss Tell Me Why, at 2.30pm on March 4.


Tony Buti and Jennifer Caruso

WA Member for Armadale, Tony Buti, will take the stage with leading Indigenous researcher, Dr Jennifer Caruso.

Having spent time working in Legal Aid after finishing his law degree in 1992, Buti was made aware of the Stolen Generations, something not publicly acknowledged at that time.

Buti has written a detailed account of the life of a sick baby taken from his parents, and the impact that had on Bruce Trevorrow.

A Stolen Life, The Bruce Trevorrow Case explores how Trevorrow became the only member of the Stolen Generations to successfully sue the Federal Government for compensation.

Dr Caruso, an Arrernte woman and a member of the Stolen Generations, wrote her PhD thesis as a reflection on being removed from her family and the historical legacy that has resulted in so much trauma for Indigenous people.

She is a leading researcher on the traumatic legacy resulting from Australia’s Child Removal policies.

Dr Caruso will appear with Buti on the West Stage at 1.15pm on March 5.

To find out more about Adelaide Festival 2020, you can visit their site here.

By Caris Duncan

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