Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - RESIDENTIAL -

IN­DIGE­NOUS poets shared mov­ing sto­ries of the Lost Gen­er­a­tion, fam­ily and land rights in a rare per­for­mance of their work at the launch of the month-long York Fes­ti­val.

Bal­ladong El­der Janet Kick­ett said it felt amaz­ing to share her po­ems at last week­end’s pro­gram of mu­sic, arts and other cul­tural events in the his­toric town.

“It was the first time I’d shared the hard sto­ries in pub­lic; it is eas­ier done through po­etry,” she said.

“There were so many peo­ple there and they were such an ap­pre­cia­tive crowd.”

Sis­ters Janet and Yvonne Kick­ett and Ros­alie Quar­ter­maine read a se­lec­tion of their po­etry cre­ated dur­ing Com­mu­nity Arts Net­work’s Northam Noon­gar po­etry project in a per­for­mance ti­tled Bilya Kep Waangkiny, mean­ing river wa­ter sto­ries in the Noon­gar lan­guage.

An open mic ses­sion fea­tured read­ings from York El­der Merle Narkle-Good­win, a tribute to Noon­gar sol­diers by Daniel Hansen, sev­eral pieces by pri­mary school stu­dent Hay­den Kick­ett and a clos­ing per­for­mance by award­win­ning ac­tor-writer Mait­land Sch­naars.

“An event like this gives a voice to the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially women in Abo­rig­i­nal and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

The po­etry project is part of CAN’s Rekin­dling Sto­ries on Coun­try govern­ment­funded pro­gram.

Other at­trac­tions at the launch in­cluded walk­ing tours with guide Rob Gar­tonSmith, art work­shops, con­ver­sa­tions with York lar­rikins, a gold hunt and chil­dren’s shows.

A stand­out high­light was the in­au­gu­ral Run­ning with the Lambs ‘ninja-war­rior style’ ob­sta­cle course – a draw­card for 50 chil­dren dressed as prime lambs for a chance at a prize.

Not to be out­done, two teams of par­ents com­pleted the course at the end of the event, in­spir­ing or­gan­is­ers to con­sider an adult ver­sion for next year’s pro­gram.

Fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Jenny Gar­roun said the town was bustling with at­mos­phere.

Pic­ture: Lynn Gri­er­son

From right: Es­mer­alda Harmer, Linda Otimi, Kauri Whareaorere, Coen and Kristy Liv­ing­stone par­tic­i­pat­ing in a Com­mu­nity Arts Pro­gram with the Shire of York.

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