Bunjilaka Ngargee opening festival

04 September, 2013

Aboriginal dancers
Alan Brown junior with his son Cedric at the Koorie Pride Festival.

The new landmark exhibition First Peoples will open to the public with a festival day celebrating Koorie culture through music, dance, family activities and food, on Saturday 7 September, 10.30 AM to 4.00 PM.

Told through the voices of Victoria's First Peoples and utilising cutting-edge multimedia, Aboriginal languages, artefacts and contemporary artworks, this new world-first museum experience opens on Saturday 7 September in Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum.

For one day only, Melbourne Museum is bringing together some of Victoria's best Aboriginal performers to celebrate the opening of First Peoples.

Don't miss special performances by musicians including Archie Roach, Kutcha Edwards, Yung Warriors, Dave Arden, Maza Sisters, Deline Briscoe, Benny Walker; as well as dance performers Dardee Balagamdail, Gindan Jalbu, Snakey Ellis dance group, Palanu dance group, and Jindi Warabuk.

Koorie-themed activities for Boorais (children) will be held throughout Melbourne Museum as part of the festival day. The First Peoples exhibition provides a compelling resource for learning about Koorie culture."

First Peoples is a shared endeavour of Museum Victoria and the Victorian Aboriginal community, representing an entirely new approach to exhibition development. This new experience of Koorie history, people and culture will surprise and enlighten millions of visitors over the next decade," said Caroline Martin, Manager of Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum.

 "Like Koorie culture itself, First Peoples is dynamic and living – aware of 2,000 generations past, looking to the future, but deeply rooted in the present."

Highlights of First Peoples to be unveiled on the festival day:

  • Creation Cinema – a visually stunning, immersive light and sound experience transporting visitors to the time of Creation through the story of Bunjil (the wedge-tailed eagle)
  • Deep Listening Space – Koorie people aged 8 to 72 speaking about identity, community and culture
  • Visitors' own virtual human guide to the exhibition, "the Messenger"
  • Stories and objects telling how the First Peoples lived before European settlement, highlighting Aboriginal Australia's complex social, cultural and economic systems
  • More than 600 historic and contemporary artefacts from across Victoria and Australia, from the Museum Victoria Collection, one of world's premier collections of Aboriginal cultural material
  • Contemporary artworks commissioned from Koorie artists
  • a hands-on activity area encouraging children to learn about Koorie music, games, tools, patterns and designs; and a display of Aboriginal children's toys, brought to life through beautiful animations

Bujilaka Ngargee (festival), Saturday 7 September, 10.30am to 4pm
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson Street, Carlton.
Entry to the festival and First Peoples is included with Museum entry
(adults $10, children and concessions FREE)

For further media information, interviews or images, please contact: Arunee Wilson on 03 8341 7136, 0478 314 014, awilson@museum.vic.gov.au 

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