Attended Garma with: My wife, Sandra, and Fred and Angela Chaney, in 2016
Why I think Garma is important: Garma is an excellent model which enables attendees to gain a broader and deeper knowledge of the issues involving indigenous Australians.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: As organisers and managers of the Garma Festival, Yothu Yindi Foundation does a brilliant job of facilitating the aims of Garma.
Sharing My Memories of Garma: Standing in the meal queue and sitting at the communal tables, chatting to other attendees and learning of their reasons for attending Garma; Enjoying the beautiful country in which Garma is located; Participating in group activities; Enjoying excellent coffee!
Attended Garma with: I've attended Garma with Prof Tom Calma AO, the Chair of Ninti One Limited.
Why I think Garma is important: Garma is a forum to address major national conversations as well as celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: One of the best opportunities to network with leaders and communities.
Sharing My Memories of Garma: The conversations, cultural events, dancing, music, art, friendly people, great food and sensational environment.
Noemi Garcia, VIC
Attended Garma with: I haven't attended but saw it was an opportunity to bridge the gap, to learn, to listen, to experience something completely unique.
Why I think Garma is important: To bridge that barriers between cultures - to learn about each other in a safe space. To develop cross culturally.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: To bridge tha barriers between cultures - to learn about each other in a safe space. To develop cross culturally.
Fred Chaney, WA
Attended Garma with: I have attended Garma with colleagues through the Yothu Yindi Foundation, and as guest speaker.
Why I think Garma is important: We say so glibly that Australia is the home of the world's oldest living cultures yet so much we do is destructive of them. Garma is an extraordinary window into the reality vibrancy and continuity of those cultures, the great parallel universe of Aboriginal culture that is unique to us as Australians.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: Nothing just happens, people make things happen. The YYF is the vehicle for ensuring this meeting of our settlement culture with Aboriginal culture happens along with the two way learning we can each offer to the other.
My memories of Garma: Each time glorious windows into people absorbed by dance and music that I do not own but which I prize as part of my country. Often sharp but always helpful exchanges on our past successes and failures, but most important on how together we shape our shared futures.
Edward Tudor, VIC
Why I think Garma is important: Garma brings together people from diverse fields - politics, academia, commerce, education and more - and, free of the buzz of emails and ring of phones, allows all to share knowledge, struggles, ideas and ambitions.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: pledge my support for the Yothu Yindi Foundation because of the strength that it provides to Yolngu people and, in turn, Indigenous people across Australia, and because of the way that it unites Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and organisations in the common goal of celebrating and enabling Indigenous people and culture.
My memories of Garma: Spontaneous conversations, sparked in the dinner queue, but carried all the way home and through the months and years that follow.
Teresa De Santis, NT
Attended Garma with: Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation
Why I think Garma is important: To maintain a strong Yolngu culture
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: To ensure that Yolngu are able to continue to share their culture with others.
My memories of Garma: I have attended Garma from 2004 - 2010 as part of the health team providing health services to participants of Garma.
Alexandra Cunnngham, NSW
Attended Garma with: my Grandma
Why I think Garma is important: It is important to my heritage and culture
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: By donation of $3000
My memories of Garma: It was indescribable. No words. Recommend highly. My grandma adored.
Sophia Carroll, QLD
Attended Garma with: Volunteer Crew 2011
Why I think Garma is important: Garma is incredibly important to so many people for very different reasons. I know for myself it was an incredible way to experience and celebrate Country and culture. It provides a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in learning, listening and sharing, to bare witness to and also be engaged with important conversations.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: I pledge my support to the Yothu Yindi Foundation for its ceaseless and seemingly tireless energy to not simply celebrate culture but also bring it into new areas of awareness. To stay true to it's foundations and create a world where culture is shared.
My memories of Garma: Garma was an incredible experience. Being apart of the volunteer team gave me the time and opportunity to soak up the area, get to know so many people and enjoy every sunset at the spectacular festival site. I got to walk with the rangers and talk about botany, hear stories about the constellations and check out some incredible films and documentaries too. My favourite, without a doubt, was everyday's sunset bunggul... shivers down my spine every time. Such incredible dancers.
Kate Morgan, NSW
Attended Garma with: Friends, Family
Why I think Garma is important: Garma provides a platform for the voices of our Aboriginal population, and those that want the best for them, coming together for the protection of this countries true heritage and to unite with common passion, care and love of our country and its peoples. The lessons learnt and shared have the opportunity to filter out to a broader population and bring strength to the messages. And so I can come and sit on the side of the bunggul everyday from beginning to end. Bliss.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: Integrity and knowledge of how important a foundation like yours is to close divides deserves the support of a nation.
My memories of Garma: My favourite moment was talking to a well educated NSW school teacher who was at Garma for all the right reasons. It was on the second day and he said “I'm most shocked to realise that language and dance is not only done for 'our' entertainment, I thought it was something staged to show culture not actually alive”
Patrick Forman, NSW
Why I think Garma is important: Vital role in healing a nation sick at its core
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: To continue custodianship of and culture
My memories of Garma: I have not yet attended Gama but hope to in 2017
Trinity U, QLD
Attended Garma with: My school, St Francis College in 2016
Why I think Garma is important: I think that Garma is important because it teaches all people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, the importance of the Indigenous cultures and the traditions that the Indigenous people have to offer.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: I pledge my support to the Yothu Yindi Foundation because when I went to Garma, I had a very good time and got to experience how life was for the Indigenous people and how they would live back then.
My memories of Garma: I have created many memories at the Garma Festival in 2016, and one was when we had the Education Fair, which was when we got to interact with the elders and young students from the local neighbourhood. Overall, this experience has taught me a lot, and I have had a great time getting to know the FYA facilitators of the Youth Forum as well as the general population of the people of Nhulunbuy/Gove :)
Dan Bourchier, ACT
Why I think Garma is important: It brings together existing and emerging leaders to discuss, debate, and ventilate the big issues affecting all First Australians - in a safe and significant environment, which also showcasing and sharing culture amongst first peoples and all Australians.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: The work of the Yothu Yindi foundation is crucial in facilitating these debates, while safeguarding culture.
My memories of Garma: There are so many, from long talks with Yolngu elders - learning and gaining insights from their experience; meeting leaders of all sectors of our society; of listening and contributing to big debates; and on being growinded in a sharing of culture.
Leah George, SA
Why I think Garma is important: I am a boat person - an immigrant - like the rest of Australia except for the First People, for whom I have great respect. I have always been uplifted when spending time with Aboriginal people, despite their often fraught circumstances. I look forward to attending a festival with Aboriginal people and people from around the world.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: I saw Yothu Yindi perform in the Edinburg Cathedral years ago. I was too shy to go and speak to them afterwards, but I always followed their music and supported their politics.
My memories of Garma: Next year ...
Lisa Dhurrkay, NT
Why I think Garma is important: I believe that Garma is important to ALL Indigenous and Non Indigenous Australian
Because of I'm proud to be a Yolngu from the North East ArnhemLand and also my mother was one of the people that loved teaching Our Yolngu culture to the outside world - Mrs D.Gurruwiwi
My memories of Garma: Me and my gathu Marli at Garma 2016
Bianca Williams, NSW
Why I think Garma is important: Garma, is an event that has the ability to change the way people think and feel about Aboriginal Australia. Set amongst the drop-back of picturesque Yolngu country in the heart of East Arnhem Land, anyone fortunate enough to attend, is encouraged to bring an open heart and mind. Garma will teach you and your organisation how to work better with Aboriginal people whilst also educating younger generations on actualities of our culture, righting the wrongs of fallacies that are so strong amongst mainstream Australia. Lastly, this event is important as it foster two way learning for Yonlgu and Balanda. One of Yothu Yindi's most famous songs sings of: Now two rivers run their course, separated for so long. I'm dreaming of a brighter day, When the waters will be one!. This is what Garma is about, and that why you should bring yourself or your organisation in 2018.
Why I pledge my support of the Yothu Yindi Foundation: I was born and raised in poverty in Western NSW. I was able to rise from my circumstances and make something of myself, this is an inherent resilience alive and well in Aboriginal Australia to this day! I pledge my support to the Yothu Yindi Foundation as an Aboriginal women off country, I was proud to be able to participate in Garma 2017. The Yonlgu mob with their kindness and the knowledge made the experience all the much richer.
My memories of Garma: My favorite memory of Garma 2017 was connecting with local children and the daily Bunggul! The Gumatj dancers brought the heat every time the enter the sand circle.