Scholars learn about indigenous Australia

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TEN Australia Awards scholars from PNG studying in Australia experienced the country’s indigenous cultures and traditions during the Garma Festival.
The four-day festival, organised annually by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, exposed the awardees to indigenous cultures and contemporary issues, fostering greater cross-cultural understanding.
The group gathered in Gulkula, a cultural gathering place for the Gumatj clan of northeast Arnhem, where they immersed themselves in indigenous culture, listened, observed and learned.
They took part in guided country walks, indigenous astronomy tours and Yolngu kinship workshops.
They also shared meals with Yolngu community members and danced with Yolngu tribes at the evening bunggul, a traditional ceremonial dance, sharing in ceremonies that link the Yolngu to their land and to each other.
It was part of the Australia Awards PNG on-award enrichment programme.
For many of the Australia Awards participants, Garma highlights the importance of cultural identity.
Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship student at the University of Adelaide Gima Kilamanu-Naime said Garma was an awesome event that not only provide a avenue to be educated about indigenous Australia, but also to learn more about oneself.
“It has grounded me,” she said.

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