Shire sponsors celebration of culture

The Makaru Arts Festival, which will be held for the first time in the Perth Hills in July, got a financial boost this week when the Shire approved a contribution of more than $15,000.

Darling Range Connect applied to the Shire for funding to help cover the running costs of the $61,633 festival, which has received backing from Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt.

Shire President Sue Bilich said it was the first time the Shire had supported a Naidoc Week event.

‘We are very pleased to support this amazing community project,’ she said.

Organisers plan for several events throughout the day at the Kalamunda Farmers Market, Bibbulmun Track, Jorgensen Park and the Zig Zag Gallery.

Proposed activities include the festival launch, artist tours along the Bibbulmun Track, traditional construction methods, a collaborative performance workshop, and Makuru gallery exhibition and themed stalls.

Festival director Della Rae Morrison explained the meaning behind the festival.

‘Makuru, pronounced Mug-a-roo, is the June/July Nyoongar winter season,’ she said.

‘Nyoongar people would return to inland hunting areas to prepare their camping grounds for the next season of Djilba, for the heavy rains and cold nights when witchetty grubs were in abundance.

‘The Nyoongars would stock up on fire tools and bush medicines.’

In a letter to express his support, Mr Wyatt said Darling Range Connect had a positive track record for strengthening the community with their events.

‘With a strong background in education, health and Aboriginal affairs, I can see not only the educational benefits of such an event but the mental and cultural benefits of providing a celebration of culture, environment and community,’ he said.

Darling Range Connect have applied for sponsorship for $46,793 from various outlets and have secured $12,000.

The Makaru Arts Festival is proposed to be held on Sunday, July 13.