Perth: Birak Concert to showcase indigenous culture

Pictured (L-R) Phil Walleystack, Natasha Eldridge, Delta Oui Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au   d490101
Pictured (L-R) Phil Walleystack, Natasha Eldridge, Delta Oui Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au d490101

INDIGENOUS voices are taking centre stage at Perth’s Birak Concert on Saturday.

The Merindas, Mau Power, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Delta Oui, Natasha Eldridge and more will perform at Supreme Court Gardens.

Birak is the Nyoongar word for the season we are currently in – the warm summer months of December and January, with cool sea breezes in the afternoons.

Organiser and performer Phil Walleystack said he expected 20,000 to 30,000 people to pass through the event, which will run alongside other City of Perth Australia Day celebrations.

“So many people come through with their facepaint and flags and they say g’day, they say hello and hang around – they love seeing culture celebrated on this day,” he said.

“Having this concert, even though the date offends a lot of people, I see it as a way that we can still showcase and celebrate the strength of our culture on a day that’s so hurtful.

“We can show how powerful our culture is and there’s nothing that’s going to turn it down.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture will be celebrated at the event through music, dance, art and food, with a strong message about preventing youth suicide throughout the day.

“With the big crowd, it’s important we put across the social issues happening in our community,” Mr Walleystack said.

“The acts will say a personal message to the crowd about preventing youth suicide, supporting our kids and empowering youth.”

The free Birak Concert takes place on Saturday, January 26 at the Supreme Court Gardens and kicks off at 3pm.

Along with music and dance performances, there is an Elders marquee, community stalls, live radio broadcast and historical displays.

If you are struggling with your mental health, there is help available from the following services:

Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au

Headspace 1800 650 890 www.headspace.org.au

Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Heath Service sewbmh.org.au.