Join in and celebrate the oldest living culture on earth

The Gai-mariagal Festival, a celebration of the oldest living culture on earth, is currently taking place until 14 July. With local events planned including workshops, performances, bush walks and art activities, there is something for everyone.

Raising awareness of First Nations peoples’ culture and heritage in the Northern Sydney region, the festival is centered around the significant dates of Sorry Day, 27 May; National Reconciliation Week, 27 May to 3 June; and NAIDOC week, 7 to 14 July.

Susan Moylan-Coombs, festival co-chair and founder, says this year, more than ever, is a time to come together under the theme of ‘Keep the flame alive’. Susan is a Woolwonga Gurindji woman from the Northern Territory.

The festival will celebrate 23 years of raising awareness of First Nations culture and heritage. “I continue to feel grateful to all the festival committee members who contribute amazing events each year,” says Susan. “We do it because it is about weaving all our communities together so we can find the unity in our communities.

“We are keeping the flame alive and fanning the flames into the future so we can all appreciate and recognise the importance of Country, culture and heritage of this ancient land and the oldest surviving living cultures on the planet.”

Susan says that at the heart of what the organising committee does is to create a new understanding between the wider Australian community and the original peoples of Australia. She invites everyone to continue to commemorate and celebrate together.

For more information, visit or the Willoughby Council website.


5 June

Chatswood Library | Free

This talk explores the practical and spiritual connection between Aboriginal people and trees, from an indigenous perspective.

Re-right Collective, Make Yourself at Home, 2021


13 June to 14 July

Art Space on The Concourse, Chatswood | Free

Themes of de-colonisation, domesticity and survival through art and community are explored in this exhibition by the Re-Right Collective. Carmen Glynn-Braun and Dennis Golding bring hand-held objects that are drawn from childhood memory and lived experiences to create a sanctuary in the colonial landscape. X-Change is a Willoughby City Council curated exhibition in partnership with the Gai-mariagal Festival.



15 June | 5.30pm to 10pm

Caley’s Pavilion, Ku-ring-gai

Wildflower Garden, St Ives | Cost $155

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Australian native foods, botanicals, culture and rituals at this five-course degustation dining experience. Created by Indigiearth owner and Ngemba Weilwan woman Sharon Winsor, the event combines her culinary training with an unparalleled knowledge of Aboriginal food. This is bush tucker dining at its finest.



22 June and 12 July | 10am to 12pm

The Creative Library, Manly | Free

Hear captivating stories shared by Aboriginal knowledge holders while learning traditional weaving techniques.


10 July | 4pm to 5.30pm

Mosman Youth Centre | Free

Immerse yourself in a space of warmth and connection with Aunty Time, a unique workshop led by Aunty Suzie and Aunty Caroline. These sessions are about forming meaningful connections, inclusion and having a yarn with the aunties. Free pizza is included for all participants.



10 July | 2pm to 3.30pm

The Creative Library, Manly | Free

Tegan Murdoch from Ngumpie Weaving will run this Aboriginal bracelet-weaving workshop for young people aged eight and over. Take home some colourful creations.



11 July | 10am to 11.30am

St Ives Showground | Free

Find out about the cultural dance of First Nations people with this NAIDOC Week event. Participants will have the opportunity to learn cultural dance and song in this fun, interactive session with Gawura Cultural Immersions.