Garma Festival

Guest Testimonials

"'We look to Garma as an opportunity for engaging with all stakeholders including the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments.  It is a very valuable opportunity for sharing across a national Indigenous platform, where best practice business development from a regional grass roots approach is shared, and reconciliation in action is achievable.  Our past experience is that Garma participants have expressed the many benefits it has brought to their own corporate and personal journeys along with invaluable friendships created with have lead to promoting harmonious corporate relationships for the benefit of the Yolngu people."

— Eddie Mulholland, Chief Executive Officer (Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation) 15/12/2016 PDF


"Our company has supported Garma since inception and recognize that it offers a personal cultural experience where delegates from diverse organisations are able to engage, learn from each other and be immersed in the richness and strength of Yolngu culture."

—  Klaus Helms, Chief Executive Officer (Gumatj Corporation Ltd) 15/12/2016 PDF


"Garma is setting a standard of excellence and inspiration in terms of Indigenous led-management and unique programming.  Dhimurru is looking forward to making its contribution to what is always a dynamic, new, fresh and exciting Garma coordinated through the Yothu Yindi Foundation platform each year.

Dhimurru believe that all Australian's can benefit positively from the wealth of knowledge engrained from within the Indigenous spectrum presented at the Garma.  We look forward to joining the Yothu Yindi Foundation next year as they host their 19th annual Garma event in Arnhemland."

—  Steve Roeger, Executive Officer (Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation) 15/12/2016 PDF 


"Our organisation is a proud supporter of Garma.  We look forward to joining the Yolngu clans on their traditional ceremonial meeting ground at the 19th annual Garma event hosted by the Yothu Yindi Foundation."

— Yananymul Mununggurr, Board Director (Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation) 12/12/2016 PDF


"Yolngu Radio is proud to broadcast live from Garma festival to bring the wide-ranging benefits of Garma to Yolngu people across the region and our web audience across the world.  Locally it provides access to the transmission and maintenance of Indigenous culture through the broadcast of the bunggul and main stage performances."

— Gaia Osborne, Yolngu Radio Manager (ARDS Aboriginal Corporation) 15/12/2016 PDF


"Sodexo has been a proud partner with the YYF since 2004.  Since then, our team has been attending Garma and providing the catering and hospitality service.  As each year passes, we feel our partnership with the YYF has developed, grown and strengthened as has our commitment to the Yolngu communities."

—  Paul Bean, CEO, Mining Asia-Pacific (Sodexo) December 2016 PDF


“Each year the Yothu Yindi Foundation delivers a professional and world-class global event.  We have been fortunate to witness the continuing growth and innovation of the Garma program scheduling and look forward to another inspiring, educating and entertaining for days come 4-7 August."

—  Tim Gartrell & Mark Yettica-Paulsonm Joint Campaign Director (Recognise) 12/12/2016 PDF


"My thanks to you and the Foundation for another wonderful Garma experience.  It was an intense four days. Being exposed to the reality of Yolgnu cultures.  The richness and depth of the culture is on display in conversation, music, dance, artefacts, and the visual arts.  We are indeed a lucky country to have this and other Indigenous cultures as part of our national fabric."

— Fred Chaney (Garma attendee) PDF


“Each year, we are delighted to participate in Garma by creating an information stall that details our initiatives across the Territory and to have our senior management team and leaders share and learn through the various forums and events.  

We greatly value the opportunity that Garma provides us to connect with individuals, companies and other organisations that are engaged in important work with Indigenous people, communities, organisations and initiatives.

— Vicki Baylis, Chief Executive (NT Department of Education) 15/12/2016 PDF


"For years I've thought Australia was lacking in culture, and spent much of my twenties travelling in search of what I considered "culture"...the architecture of Rome and Barcelona, the culinary delights of get the drift.  What I discovered at Garma is that the richest culture is right here in my country...and the people who live it, want to share it.  It's my culture too and one of which I am very proud."

— Tanya Orman, Channel Manager (NITV), December 2016 PDF


"Carers Australia represents Australia's 2.7 million unpaid family and friend carers who care for somebody requiring assistance because of disability, age, mental illness, chronic or terminal illness or dementia.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are overrepresented in caring responsibilities yet underrepresented in access to services and payments.  We use the Garma experience to shine a light on all those carers who should be recognised and supported yet often missed out."

—  Ara Cresswell - Chief Executive Officer (Carers Australian) 15/12/2016  PDF


"Batchelor Institute is a regular attender of Garma.  There are a number of leaders within and connected to our organisation that are engaged in developing government and industry policy or have an interest that impacts the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community."

— Professor Robert Somerville AM, Chief Executive Officer (Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Education) 12/12/2016 PDF


“As a visitor of many years I have seen Garma grow as a place of Indigenous Knowledge and how this is transformed into today's world of policy and economic reform with Indigenous knowing at the forefront.

NAISDA's Developing Artists who have attend Garma have expressed the profound effect it has had on their cultural learning from an artistic and political perspective."

— Kim Walker, Chief Executive Officer (NAISDA Dance College) 13/12/2016 PDF


“Our Agency attended the Garma Festival for the first time in 2016.  We look to Garma as an example of sharing best practice business development from a regional grass roots approach, and reconciliation in action.”

— Lizzie Gilliam, Regional Manager NT (National Disability Insurance Agency) 12/12/2016 PDF


"Experiencing Garma is a way to immerse stakeholders in the Indigenous culture and current Indigenous affairs - to learn, to listen and to develop networks and build new relationships.  It provides a great form of induction for anyone not already engaged in an organisation's RAP work, and an excellent development opportunity for those who are already involved but would like to expand their networks and re-engage with the reasons why we all work in this sector."

—  Andrew Penfold AM, Executive Director (Australian Indigenous Education Foundation) 15/12/2016 PDF


“It is true to is rhetoric.  This is not so much a Festival as a ceremony and the Yothu Yindi Foundation is not principally a festival promoter but a pillar of community development in a neglected region.  We value their support of the arist communities of Northeast Arnhem and proudly stand by them in their mission to enrich the lives of all Australians through sharing Yolgnu philosophy and art.

This is actually a unique event which does the impossible-brings two culturally separated communities together over an intellectual knife edge in a logistical black hole.  If it had not achieved total success annually for the last two decades it would be hard to imagine how it could work.”

— Will Stubbs, Co-ordinator (Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre) 09/12/2016 PDF


Over awed

By the calibre of speakers at the forum, just incredible, I feel very honoured to have heard presentations by Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Marcia Langton, Mick Gooda, Noel Pearson, Pat Dodson, and Fred Chaney, yourself and others.  Never in my lifetime would I have thought that I would be listening to speakers such as these people who are so dedicated to the welfare of their people and their lands.  

— Carole Hamilton (Garma attendee)  PDF


Friday 4 - Monday 7 August

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