Lake Bolac is a sacred site – a gathering has happened here for tens of thousands of years. In the eel migration season our great clans gathered for special and important business, especially the exchange of ceremony, marriage and lore and despite the enormous challenges our people have faced, we are still here.
Today, the festival continues to bring people from all walks of life out on to country to gather by the water on sacred lands – to this place where we share, learn, remember and we celebrate. A place where we meet in friendship.
The festival is held in the autumn, reflecting the season when the eels traditionally begin their migration to the sea to spawn. At this time indigenous people from surrounding areas gathered around the lake and along the Salt Creek to harvest the eels, trade and hold ceremonies. From 2005 to 2014 the festival was held annually and since 2016 bi-annually.
It is a relaxed and friendly festival offering plenty to engage all ages – truly multi-generational.
The core activities of the Festival are:
The Healing Walk which now takes place a few months prior to the Festival;
The Art Auction which serves as a fundraising evening and Festival opening on Friday night
The Festival Forum which gives a platform to notable Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal speakers to give informative presentations based around the Festival theme;
The Twilight Ceremony, a crowd favourite in which the audience gathers around a large outdoor fire to enjoy traditional Aboriginal dance and other creative performances, usually related to the Festival theme;
Live Music, featuring Australian and international talent, in keeping with the Festival’s mission;
Workshops that engage the Festival community in learning about local Aboriginal culture and other relevant topics, as well as providing engaging, learning activities for families.
“What an amazing vibe. The little festival with a big, beautiful heart!”
“It was sensational, we had the best time; relaxing, inspiring, creative, friendly environment, a good time for the whole family”.
“A truly moving and revelatory experience. Thank you”.
“A welcoming and friendly atmosphere! Lots of great people happy to talk, share and get involved”.
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