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Mayali Mulil Festival this weekend

08 September 2017

Traditional owner families in Kakadu National Park have come together to deliver an exciting new cultural festival that is set to extend the tourism season for the world-famous park.
The family of Jessie Alderson of the Murumburr clan are opening the doors to Kakadu Billabong Safari Camp with three days of traditional artisan activities, performance and cultural immersion.
Mayali Mulil Festival will run at Kakadu Billabong Safari Camp from September 8 – 10, and sand will fly as groups of dancers celebrate a continued connection to country and traditional values while working in the tourism industry and caring for country.
“We want to do this for our people by our people for the world to see our home,” matriarch of the family Jessie Alderson said.
The festival is being delivered by Jessie’s family, with daughter Mandy Muir seeing great potential of coming the together of Bininj people for a happy reason, extending the tourist season and a ground-up approach to 
community development.
“We don’t want to rely on other people for our livelihood, we want to grab the extensive skills in finance, event management, graphic design, business and then things like carpentry and logistics we have in the family to deliver a great weekend for everyone,” the renowned tourism industry person said.
“We will be working with various stakeholders like Gagadju Lodge at Cooinda, other tourism operators, traditional owners and government partners to ensure the success of the event.
“We see this as our way of sharing our culture, our connection to land and our understanding of the experiences visitors are seeking on a cultural level when visiting the park.
“This is the shoulder season so as the festival grows, we expect this to extend the season and as a result increase the people travelling to the park and help all the tourism operators in the region.”
Music greats such as Mandy’s sister, the internationally known singer/songwriter Shellie Morris will take to the stage as well as traditional songman Djakapurra Munyarryun from north-east Arnhem Land, emerging artist Dhapanbal Yunupingu (daughter of the lead singer of Yothu Yindi) and Nabarlek Band.
A corroboree of dance will feature throughout the program as well as the opportunity to sit down and learn about local weaving, screen printing and art with artefacts being made, displayed and on sale.
A close focus is on the environment and stallholders will need to blend in with the natural landscape of the site on the banks of the Jim Jim River System. Visitors to the festival can book accommodation with the many accommodation sites in the park, the closest being Cooinda Lodge, as well as being on-site camping at Kakadu Billabong Safari Camp and self-camping sites.
The festival is supported by Festivals NT, Kakadu Tourism, Kakadu National Park, Blueridge Engineering and Cooinda Lodge.
No alcohol is allowed on-site and the venue is a heritage-listed site, so visitors are asked by the owners to respect the environment and landscape.