All One Under the Sun cultural festival a resounding success

The All One Under the Sun Fashion Parade.

COMMUNITY members and organisers have declared the All One Under the Sun cultural festival on Sunday 26 May a resounding success.

Around 5000 people came along to celebrate Coffs Harbour’s vibrant multicultural community and enjoy a day of music, dance, workshops and more amidst the beautiful surroundings of the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden.

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Aunty Cindy Kelly from the Garlarmbirla Guuyu Girrwaa Elders group started off the day with a Welcome to Country.

“There were so many highlights,” festival coordinator Naomi Steinborner told News Of The Area.

“Seeing all the smiling faces, the way the community embraced all the activities on offer, and the pride in the cultural community groups who performed and shared cultural activities on the day.

“The performers on the main stage were breathtaking,” Naomi said.

“The sweet melody of Manduway and the Black Figs, seeing the young Ezidi women dancing along to Syrian-born musician Ali Shkaki, alongside the crowd having a big dance to Jumbaal Dreaming and YT Dingo and Clark Webb in the last set of the day.

“We were so lucky to have visiting performers Prodikal-1 from Yuin Country on the South Coast, and Lembaga Buana Music and Dance troupe from Aceh in Indonesia, who were both such engaging and warm performers,” said Naomi.

The fashion parade was a highlight for many people in the ‘Common Ground’ area, bringing people together across cultures to share their fashion and national dress.

Also on offer was sand painting, a chinlone competition, silent disco, talks with Indigenous Elders, a coffee ceremony and cooking demonstrations.

Closing the day, Cordell Lockwood and the Jalay Jalay Gumbaynggirr dancers guided a drumming parade into the audience, and brought everyone together for a fabulous dance and drumming jam while the colour run was exploding in the background.

“This will remain a beautiful image of a connected and vibrant cultural community where everyone could join together and be part of creating lasting memories for all who took part,” Naomi said.

“These events are so important – where people can connect, share and enjoy special events together, as a community.

“Well done and thank you to everyone who came together to make the day happen,” said Naomi.

Councillor Tony Judge opened the festival on behalf of the City of Coffs Harbour, thanking organisers and participants alike for their contribution to the event.

“Events like this are a chance for us to celebrate the many diverse cultures that are important in making the Coffs Coast a great place to live,” Cr Judge said.

“Celebrations included a strong Gumbaynggirr presence and thirteen different cultural groups.

“People from those communities worked hand in hand with each other and the organisers to put together an amazing event.

“It was a chance for us to see what harmony really means here in Coffs.”

The City of Coffs Harbour contributed $15,000 to the festival.

“It was money very well spent,” Cr Judge said.

“Bringing such a large, diverse group of people together to sing, dance, celebrate and connect was an epic achievement by everyone involved.

“The sea of happy faces was enough to show just how well it worked.”

Cr Judge noted that Council funding for this year was a one-off, but said he would like to see an annual contribution to an event like All One Under the Sun.

“We have a unique mix of cultures and people here on the Coffs Coast.

“We should celebrate that and build on it each year.

“Coffs can rightly be proud of the community we have built on the strength of diversity.”


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