Celebrating strong and resilient community spirit brings generations together.

Posted on 5 November, 2015

Yalata is an Aboriginal community 220km from Ceduna on the Far West coast of South Australia. It is home to some 300 Anangu people. 

2015 is a very important year for the Yalata community. It marks the 60th anniversary of the granting of land to the Lutheran Church to form the settlement of Yalata for the Anangu people who were displaced from their tribal lands by the nuclear testing at nearby Maralinga. It also marks the 40th anniversary of Yalata Community Inc., an Anangu elected governing council formed by the Anangu community to assume control from the Lutheran Church. 

To acknowledge and celebrate these significant anniversaries, community members worked closely with volunteers, staff and service providers to hold a three day festival on an important site within the Yalata community.   ICV volunteers Bev and Les from NSW and ICV staff member Sarah were invited to help with the event management, which has resulted in a close and strong relationship between ICV and Yalata community.

Sarah says “It was a real honour to be involved in such an important event for the Yalata community and to see the Anangu people celebrate their rich history.  To see our volunteers Bev and Les work closely alongside key community people who were keen to learn new skills was wonderful. It demonstrated how ICV’s strength based approach to community development really empowers people and benefits the whole community.”

The festival showcased how strong and resilient the community has been over different generations. It featured art, crafts and bush medicine workshops.  Discussions were held around campfires about the future of the community, and traditional food included roo tail stew and steak, wombat and damper. 

A kids disco on the first night was a great success, and the finale concert involved local and national artists. The icing on the cake was a singing performance by the Yalata children.

The festival was such a success, plans are now underway for next year’s event and ICV looks forward to being involved again.