Freedom Day Festival - blackfella, whitefella unite as one


One morning fifty years ago, our Gurindji elders broke unforgettably from the industry that had taken our land and oppressed us for generations. Envisioning a brighter future for our people, they walked from Lord Vestey’s Wave Hill cattle station into the unknown, and never looked back. The action they took on 23 August 1966 became known as the Wave Hill Walk-off, and changed the face of modern Australia. At our Dreaming place of Daguragu, they fought for Gurindji land rights and built our new home. Today, we ask you to come and celebrate their achievement. Let us share the meaning of the Walk-off with you today. - From the leaders of Daguragu and Kalkaringi communities. Video:


Freedom Day Festival  August 19th - 21st 2016
50 years since Wave Hill Walk Off
Stockmen protest for equal wages
Birth of Aboriginal Land Rights

50 Years | Freedom Day Festival

ngumpin, kartiya karru-la jintaku-la - blackfella, whitefella unite as one

Commemorating fifty years since the Wave Hill Walk Off

Celebrating the birth of Aboriginal Land Rights

Come and share our culture and vision for the future

twitter Freedom Day Festival @freedomday50


Programme (scroll down)

50th Anniversary Freedom Day Festival - Aug 19th - 21st 2016

In 1966, Vincent Lingiari gathered over 200 Gurindji and walked 16 km to Jurnarni (Gordy Creek) and later to Daguragu, a Ngamanpurru (Conkerberry) Dreaming place eight kilometres from Kalkaringi and now an established Gurindji settlement. 'In 1975, after 9 years of persistent campaigning and a change to a more liberal federal government, the then Australian Labor Prime Minister; Gough Whitlam, flew to Daguragu to grant the Gurindji a lease for 3,236 square kilometres of land around Daguragu.
Freedom Day | YouTube


General Festival Enquiries

P 1300 88 50 54

Marketing & Media

John Burgess
Little Rocket
P 03 9014 7735
M 04 0609 2421

Creative Director

Penny Smith
Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation
P 04 2717 7779

Festival Director

Phil Smith
Gurindji Aboriginal Corporation



Aboriginal people’s 1966 strike and walk-off from British lord’s Northern Territory cattle station became a precursor to land rights legislation almost 10 years later.


The Aboriginal Land Rights Act: The past, present and future 


'If complete Aboriginal control of the key financial institution of land rights was accepted unanimously as a desirable objective in 1984, why is this not the case in 2016? 


’In a battle that has been going on for nearly as long as the existence of the Land Rights Act itself, the Kenbi claim has been the focus of numerous court cases and claim hearings, and hostility from a succession of Northern Territory governments.'


Afternoon Concert

Take some time to sit down, unwind and enjoy the beautiful music that we have to offer throughout the afternoons.



Lead singer Eleanor’s magical voice paired with her father’s skillful guitar playing and harmonising, captivate audiences with their honest, emotive tunes about family,

country and culture.

Sun: 12pm / Kalkaringi School Stage



Janey and Ethan Dickson are another popular up and coming music duo from the Top End. They perform beautiful soulful music that will no doubt earn them a few new fans.

Sun: 2pm / Kalkaringi School Stage



Two of Australia’s most experienced Hip Hop artists are joining forces to deliver a special one-off workshop. Learn from the best as they guide you through the basics of writing, dancing, and performing to your audience.

Sun: 3.30pm / Kalkaringi School Stage



Borroloola favourites Sandridge Band are known for their hard edged rock ‘n’ roll and reggae mix. Combining traditional and contemporary songs, they create music that reveals what life is like living in a small community.

Sun: 5pm / Kalkaringi School Stage



Neil Murray first appeared in the early eighties as a founding member of the Warumpi Band, which over three albums and twenty years of performing propelled contemporary indigenous music into mainstream Australia, yielding such classic songs as My Island Home, Blackfella Whitefella, Fitzroy Crossing, Jailanguru Pakarnu, Stompin Ground, From the Bush and Waru. His songs explore the nations conscience and heartland, elevating themes of universal significance along the way. His live performance always captivates and inspires, winning new converts.

Sun: 6.30pm - 7.15pm / Warnkurr Concert Stage



Local Larrakia/Kungarakan/Yangman/Gurindji singer songwriter Robert Mills plays a fusion of traditional Aboriginal music, funk, reggae and soul. He’s earned a reputation of encapsulating his audiences with his eclectic sets and amazing energy.

Sun: 7.30pm - 8.15pm / Warnkurr Concert Stage



Sunset Liverpool Band come from the community of Maningrida in Arnhem Land, which has a long history of celebrating traditional music and culture. These guys continue the legacy combining an alluring mix of reggae grooves and traditional music.

Sun: 8.15pm - 9pm / Warnkurr Concert Stage


Punpurru (Everyone Together) Concert



The Sunrize Band have been writing music since the early 80’s and toured extensively both internationally and nationally with the likes of Santana, Paul Kelly and Yothu Yindi. In 2012, Sunrize Band was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Indigenous Music Awards, recognising their great contribution to Australian Music. Still residing in their hometown, Sunrize Band members are still able to take care of traditional business whilst being the rock stars and role models of their community.

Sun: 9pm - 9.45pm / Warnkurr Concert Stage



We’re excited to welcome the Mambali Band from the community of Numbulwar, East Arnhem Land. The energetic Mambali Band infuse rock and desert reggae, highlighting their rich culture, dance and language.

Sun: 9.45pm - 10.30pm / Warnkurr Concert Stage



Lajamanu Teenage Band exploded onto the national music scene over 20 years ago as a pioneer of the distinctive desert reggae sound. With feature articles in Rolling Stone Australia, gigs all over the Central Desert and Top End, as well as East Coast tours and reviews. Get set for an epic show as these local legends from Lajamanu (115km south of Kalkaringi) brings everyone to their feet to belt out their songs and dance the night away!

Sun: 10.30pm - 11.15pm / Warnkurr Concert Stage