• The crowds at this years Barunga Festival were its biggest in 30 years. (Elliana Lawford, NITV)Source: Elliana Lawford, NITV
The iconic Barunga Festival in the Northern Territory drew it's biggest crowd yet for it's 33rd year.
By
Elliana Lawford

Source:
NITV News
15 Jun 2018 - 5:16 PM  UPDATED 15 Jun 2018 - 5:16 PM

Last weekend the immersive cultural event filled the small community, situated 80 kilometres southeast of Katherine, with music, dance, art and sport.

For more than three decades the festival has been inviting visitors from surrounding communities, interstate and overseas to connect with and learn about First Nations culture.

Andy Peters told NITV News he likes seeing his community come alive with people.

"I like having all the people around here, we see big mob people come here from all around Australia and the world."

The festival first began in 1985, and has been the birthplace of many political promises.

At the three-day celebration 30 years ago, then Prime Minister Bob Hawke was handed the Barunga Statement, and he promised a Treaty.

This year, the promise of a Treaty emerged yet again, with Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the four land councils, pledging to work towards a Treaty with the First Nations people of the NT.

The festival also had Yidaki making workshops, basket weaving sessions, and a spear throwing competition.

The festival is a place where mob from all over come to catch up with each other and enjoy the sport, music, art and dance.

Some of Australia's biggest up-and-coming Indigenous musicians also performed at this year's event.

Yirrmal Marika told NITV News: "It makes me proud to be a new generation Indigenous musician and to sing powerfully and firm with my spirit and my ancestors looking at me."

Bagala man Bangardi Lee created the festival back in 1985.

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