A momentous five-day celebration of First Nations arts and culture begins today at the Adelaide Convention Centre and online.
Purrumpa, from the Kaurna language word meaning ‘to blossom’, is set to be the largest national gathering of First Nations arts and culture, convened by the Australia Council, in 50 years.
It brings together Elders, emerging leaders, artists, arts workers, performers and thought leaders for deep listening, performances, keynote speeches, ceremony, yarning circles and storytelling across multiple artforms.
Minister for Indigenous Australians the Hon Linda Burney MP and Arts Minister the Hon Tony Burke MP will be among those attending.
Minister for Indigenous Australians the Hon Linda Burney MP said: “It’s an honour to be invited to Purrumpa on Kaurna Yerta, for the largest national gathering of First Nations arts and culture in 50 years.
“Purrumpa is an opportunity to celebrate the enormous artistic and cultural contribution of First Nations people, who maintain one of the oldest continuing cultures in the world. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the past, but also look forward to the next 50 years.
“I look forward to joining Pat Anderson, Thomas Mayor and Moogy Sumner for discussions about the Uluru Statement from the Heart and our national journey to a referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to parliament.”
Minister for the Arts, the Hon Tony Burke MP said: “It’s an honour to be involved with Purrumpa at such an important time for First Nations arts and artists. Events like Purrumpa lift up First Nations voices and help shape our national identity. The first pillar of our landmark National Cultural Policy will be First Nations first – and I know the ideas and discussions here will help inform that. This Government is committed to safeguarding First Nations culture through the arts and I look forward to listening respectfully and carefully to the conversations Purrumpa sparks.”
The program features First Nations creatives and thinkers, including Rhoda Roberts AO, Djon Mundine, Pat Anderson AO, Michael Mansell, Professor Dr Marcia Langton AO, and Bob Weatherall in conversation with his son Warraba Weatherall.
South Australian youth arts organisation Carclew will be showcasing emerging First Nations artists, with music and dance performances, live podcasting, artist talks, poetry and more.
SA Minister for the Arts Andrea Michaels MP said: “South Australia is honoured to be hosting this important national gathering of First Nations arts and culture and we have invested to support its success – the largest national gathering of First Nations arts and culture, convened by the Australia Council, in 50 years. That’s quite a milestone.
Not only is Purrumpa a significant platform for First Nations artists from across the country to share important stories through artistic excellence, it is a celebration that offers an opportunity to reflect on the past while we look forward. We reflect on the 50 years since the first national seminar on Aboriginal Arts in Australia was held in Canberra.
We look forward to reflecting on how far we’ve come, the future and new beginnings.”
Australia Council Executive Director First Nations Arts and Culture Franchesca Cubillo said: “Purrumpa is a chance for us to come together to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of the past 50 years of investment in First Nations arts and culture.
This important gathering will enable First Nations led conversations and considerations around the future advocacy of First Nations arts and culture, to ensure the continued blossoming of our arts and culture for generations to come.”
The last national gathering of this kind was held in 1973, hosted by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board (now the First Nations Arts and Culture Strategy Panel). It was a milestone moment that set out policy, encouraged excellence and the preservation of First Nations culture through creative expression
Purrumpa is presented by the Australia Council, together with the First Nations Arts and Culture and Strategy Panel.