This month, Sydney’s streets and arts spaces will come alive in a one-of-a-kind
festival that celebrates the diversity and strength of Australia’s Aboriginal society,
complete with dancing, singing, music and storytelling, as well as parades and
Held from 14 to 24 November across various city locations, Corroboree Sydney is also the product of nine of the city’s major arts and cultural
institutions – including the Art
Gallery of NSW, State Library and Sydney Opera House – coming together for the first time in a fusion of culture, history and
Not to miss
is the festival’s official opening event, Gurung Parade (gurung
means “child” in the Gadigal Aboriginal language). From Sydney’s iconic Hyde
Park, the city’s primary school students will walk along Macquarie Street
carrying hand-made native Australian waratah flowers to acknowledge and
celebrate local Eora culture (meaning “the people” or “from this place”). This
will be followed by a free
concert and picnic on Government House Grounds – the very place where Europeans
witnessed the first corroboree (an Aboriginal word used to define ceremonial dance and theatrical performances) more than two centuries ago.
highlight is the Elder’s circle morning teas. Aboriginal culture is based on
respect, and Aboriginal Elders are seen as the spiritual leaders of their
Indigenous communities. The teas, held at various times and locations
throughout the festival, offer attendees the opportunity to personally chat
with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders in an intimate environment.
Not for the
faint-hearted, a modern interpretation of a corroboree will be held in Walsh
Bay on 22 November with the adults-only The Bitch is Black. The contemporary
drag show features top Indigenous drag queens, musicians and award-winning
filmmakers in an eclectic, theatrical performance.
programme of traditional and contemporary events is available online.
Tatyana Leonov is the Sydney
Localite for BBC Travel