Baker Boy, Gurrumul big winners at National Indigenous Music Awards

For the second year, the late Gumatj singer, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, was posthumously honoured at the National Indigenous Music Awards (Nimas), with three major awards including artist of the year.

His recently released Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) picked up album of the year and its title track won song of the year at the awards.

Djarimirri was the first Indigenous language album to debut at number one on the Aria charts earlier this year.

“The history he has made taking a true Australian language and heritage to number one proves the strength of the underlying cultural identity of this nation,” Michael Hohnen, creative director at his label Skinnyfish Music said at the time.

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‘One of the most profound experiences of my life’

Sometimes, in order to learn, you need to slow down and shut up. Which is exactly what my TV crew and I were told to do when we entered the sacred ceremonial grounds at Gulkula in North East Arnhem Land, the home of the Yolgnu clan for more than 50,000 years.

While flying along the red dirt road to the campsite for the Garma festival, I carefully read the “behaviour protocols” provided by the Yothu Yindi foundation. They state: “Remember you are on Yolngu land and entering Yolngu time.

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Art Awards dominated by Yolngu artists

A Yolngu artwork on aluminium depicting fish traps and the flow of water to the sea in the Arnhem Land wet season has won this year’s overall prize at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

This year five of the seven winning works are from Yolngu artists, including four from the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, an Aboriginal arts centre in Yirrkala.

The judges chose 66 finalists from more than 300 entries across the country.

“For me, the strength of the Yolngu work speaks to happy artists who are being well supported and artists who are being encouraged to be adventurous,” Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, one of the award’s judges, said.

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Yunupingu calls out government over land

The colonisation of Australia was wrong and illegal and more land should be handed back to traditional owners, says activist Galarrwuy Yunupingu.

Aboriginal leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has told the federal government it must face up to the fact the colonisation of Australia was wrong and illegal and more land should be handed back to traditional owners.

Dr Yunupingu, a 70-year-old land rights activist and leader of the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu people, opened the 20th Garma Festival in East Arnhem Land, where he made the remarks, on Friday.

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Rare glimpse of Arnhem Land funeral ceremony filmed to promote understanding of Yolngu law

Funeral ceremonies in the Northern Territory’s Indigenous communities are often spoken about, but rarely seen by outsiders.

At a homeland burial site near the Arnhem Land community of Galiwin’ku, water, smoke and songlines have been used to cleanse clan members and guide a spirit home.

Senior clan members have allowed the ceremony be filmed, in the hope that non-Indigenous people — known as balanda — can learn about the ceremony’s place in Yolngu society.

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Dictionary for children who speak Yolngu Matha languages a decade in the making

“The kids are growing and not knowing how to write their own Yolngu Matha name,” laments Jane Miyatatawuy, a former teacher from the Top End coastal communities of Ramingining and Milingimbi.

In a step to providing better resources for children who speak Yolngu Matha languages, a new and improved illustrated dictionary has been created — containing close to 300 words and watercolour pictures.

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Leaders’ pace on reform ‘too slow’

Senior indigenous leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has admonished Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten for the slow pace of indigenous constitutional recognition, almost a year after he believed both men were going to make the issue a ­priority in the parliament.

Penning a heartfelt chairman’s essay for his Yothu Yindi Foundation’s annual Garma Festival in August, Mr Yunupingu, a leader of Northeast Arnhem Land’s Yolngu people, expresses disappointment that the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader have not translated their forceful words at last year’s event into adequate ­action.

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Baker Boy to headline inaugural Giiyong Festival

Triple J Unearthed winner of 2017, Baker Boy (AKA Danzal Baker), will headline the inaugural Giiyong Festival at Jigamy on September 22.

The Indigenous hip-hop artist from Arnhem Land has two Hottest 100 hits to his name, has performed at the National Indigenous Music Awards, and supported international acts 50 Cent and Dizzee Rascal. He’ll head to the Far South Coast fresh from his first Australian tour.

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Daughter of Arnhem Land honoured

Raised on Yirrkala mission in Arnhem Land in the 1950s, Ms Marika was initially tutored in traditional bark painting by her artist father Mawalan Marika, who encouraged her and her sisters to paint the ancestral creation stories of their clan, an activity typically reserved only for Yolngu men.

In addition to her forging her own artistic path, Ms Marika has assisted other artists and become a powerful advocate for the protection of Indigenous art and culture.

As a traditional landowner at Yirrkala, she is both inspired and determined to ensure her Yolngu language and homeland in Yalangbara (Port Bradshaw) – one of the most significant sacred sites in north-east Arnhem Land region – is protected and recognised.

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