• Natalie Ahmat at the Garma 2018 Opening Ceremony. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Natalie Ahmat shares the sights and sounds of Garma 2018.
Natalie Ahmat

3 Aug 2018 - 6:52 PM  UPDATED 3 Aug 2018 - 7:07 PM

Hello from Gulkula, on beautiful Gumatj country on the Gove Peninsula in northeast Arnhem Land!

What a privilege it is to be able to return to this special place - my fifth visit - to cover Garma 2018 for NITV News. And this year is particularly special, as Garma celebrates its 20th anniversary.

20 years of Garma: Two decades of hope, honesty and determination
Twenty years of Garma

The first day of Garma is always dedicated to education and our young people. Around 100 local and interstate students participate in a day long education fair.

Meanwhile, over at the Garrtjambal Auditorium, Yolngu leaders and senior Aboriginal educators share their stories and vision for the future.

Mid-afternoon, we’re all called to the dance ground by the sounds of the yidaki, for one of the most important and powerful moments of Garma - the opening bunggul. As the sun sets over Gulkula, local clan groups share their stories, songs and music, in a celebration of Yolngu culture, ceremony and tradition, passed down over thousands of years.

Watch: Garma 2018 Opening Ceremony

Tomorrow, the ‘hard politics’ of Garma begins, with the official opening of the Key Forum.

The theme for Garma this year is “Truth-Telling” — one of the three central pillars contained in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Truth, along with Treaty and an Indigenous voice to parliament are sure to be at the centre of many of the lively debates, discussions and dialogues that will take place here on Gumatj country over the coming days.

Natalie Ahmat will present a special edition of NITV News from the Garma festival at 7:25pm from Saturday 4th - Monday 6th August on NITV.

'We would call it nation-destroying': Labor senator condemns Downer's 'nation-building' comments
NT Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy has hit back at comments made by former Liberal leader Alexander Downer who has said his family are ‘nation-builders’.