Darruyaygam Maagun Culture and Wellness Festival at Bellwood Park

The Darruyaygam Maagun cultural festival is on today, Friday 9 September.

THE Darruyaygam Maagun Culture and Wellness Festival takes place today, Friday 9 September, at Bellwood Park, Nambucca Heads from 10am until 4pm.

The festival is free and all are welcome.

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The purpose of the gathering is to share in healing, in a traditional way.

“We wanted to create healing our way,” Amanda Donovan, Education Director at Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) told News Of The Area.

Amanda runs the Social and Emotional Wellness Program (SEWP) across the Nambucca Valley and Coffs Harbour.

Her program is called Maaning Barrmarrany, meaning ‘bringing families together’ and it is from this purpose that she has guided the offering of today’s event.

Working closely with Troy Robinson, Cultural Officer at BMNAC, the pair have developed the Darruyaygam Maagun festival using Amanda’s expertise and Troy’s experience of health and fitness.

Troy runs a program called Nyanggan Giirrwaa, meaning ‘strong mob’.

“We have created the festival from our cultural perspective, creating unity in community and stable social and emotional wellness with our traditional healing,” said Amanda.

Essentially it is a free community event held on the riverside celebrating wellness and cultural pride while showcasing talented musicians and artists.

There will be an abundance of activities for the whole family, including workshops, fishing and stand-up paddleboarding on the river to name a few.

“Being by the water is very important for us, which is why the festival is on the river at Bellwood Park.

“We heal by the water and feed and share with family.

“Fishing is a big aspect of our culture and will be incorporated in the festivals; and we are bringing stand-up paddle boarding to the river, too.

“Also, traditionally, the women would sit and weave and make special gifts for children with little resources; we are bringing this to the festival.

“At Darruyaygam Maagun together we are sharing and embracing culture, healing and unity in a positive and enjoyable atmosphere.

“We want to bring families together to embrace these traditions and grow forward relieving some of our intergenerational trauma.

“We hope this event can continue to create calm, healing and empowerment ongoing in the future as it grows.

“Hopefully this opportunity empowers community to move forward in a positive way

“Our ancestors guide us; we need to continue embracing what is best for our mob and the best way forward starts with our children being strong in culture and strong in self,” said Amanda.


The inaugural festival will be held at the riverside in Bellwood Park, Nambucca Heads, known traditionally as Baga-Baga.

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