The East Arnhem Community of Milingimbi is winding down after a busy four days of culture and healthy lifestyle with the 31st Gattjirrk Festival.
This years theme - 'Healthy People, Strong Culture, Active Lifestyle' saw people from across North East Arnhem Land participate in the festival.
Festival founder, Lapulung Dhamarrandji, said “Building bridges, connecting cultures is the foundation of the Gattjirrk Yolŋu Aboriginal Corporation and this event has brought bukmak, everyone together: Yolŋu ga Balanda (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people). It's been a great success."
East Arnhem Shire Council's 'Youth Radio Umbakumba' presenter, Joel Mamarika, has been recognised for his oustanding talents winning the 'Best Emerging New Radio Talent' award at the 15th National Remote Media Festival in Ntaria, Central Australia.
Both Joel, and radio guru and Youth, Sport and Recreation Mentor, Percy Bishop, were invited to attend the Festival which ran from the 2nd – 10th October, and was attended by film makers, editors, broadcasters, and producers, which CAAMA Radio hosted with other partnerships including IRCA.
Joel’s family and nearly all of Umbakumba followed Joel and Percy’s journey to the Desert and back, listening as Joel was inter-viewed live on CAAMA Radio and as Joel and Percy ran CAAMA’s breakfast show one morning.
“I will never forget this….it is the best experience I’ve ever had in my life,” Joel said.
Joel was interviewed on several radio shows and as well as a television interview.
“It was a fantastic opportunity and wonderful event,” said Percy.
“Our days were full with our days going from 8am to 10pm daily for eight days with a one day break. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Joel attended “IPAD” story collection work shops, editing and producing his work which was then presented for the award night.”
Percy speaks in glowing terms of Joel's achievements and acknowledging his hard work which has seen Youth Radion Umbakumba go from strength to strength.
“Joel is the first Warnindilyakwa to ever attend such a prestigious event, the first to ever be nominated and the first to ever win,” Percy said.
“Joel had never travelled that far, or visited the Central Desert before. He made new friends; the desert mob; burnt his lips in the desert heat which was dry and hot with no moisture. (The lip moisturiser I’d bought him in Darwin wasn’t so silly anymore!) He experienced things he’d never done before, met new people, good people, like minded peo-ple, similar but not the same, who are all moved by the power of the arts and media.”
EASC would like to like to thank FAHCSIA and the ALC who were major contributors, sponsoring both Joel and Percy to the tune of $7000 to ensure they were able to attend this conference.
"We would not have been able to have at-tended without their support. Also I must mention NT Young Carers and EASC who also assisted" said Percy.