Yila Healing Festival: A celebration of Nature and local Aboriginal Culture

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Footsteps Along the Trail


We have taken huge strides these past few months towards a truly impactful and inclusive Yila Healing Trail with strong foundations. It looks more and more like a community adventure moving into unchartered waters but always keeping Country as the focal point for our journey.

This festival is a journey of learning and healing. Since our vision for this gathering received its funding green light in January 2023, it has lived true to its name, and we are here today to share a story of reconnection and healing. We continue to work towards reconnection 

We became aware that the use of the word “Yuin” in our title had a history that was difficult and problematic for some members of our community .What we learned was that the contemporary realities of this land require recognition of the rightful Traditional Custodianship and that this includes in part, the Jerrinja people. For a deeper understanding of this evolving narrative, we would like you to explore the details presented HERE. The result? We will move forward as the Yila Healing Trail, adopting a powerful word that means “to bring” in Dhurga, our local language.

As the Trail grew over these last months with so many wonderful Shoalhaven locals coming on board for events and offerings we just knew that one weekend wasn't going to be nearly enough. With this in mind and after a thorough re-evaluation and reframe we are excited to announce the new unhurried, all-embracing official extension from 2 days to 10.

The new dates for the festival are:
October 11 – October 20th, 2024.

There is no doubt that the world is in need of healing, and together we are grounding it in the Shoalhaven through action and clear intention so that come October, the roots of the Yila Healing Trail will be deep and enduring.

We are now called the Yila Healing Trail

Community Connection

The Shoalhaven is a thriving buzz of amazing opportunities for all of us to be part of it all. Each newsletter we'd like to bring your attention to what's happening locally.

This newsletter we focus on :

Cultural Connection

Thank you to Jules Brooker of Little Forest Farm Milton for this amazing vision from a Birriga Bunaan, (Djirringanj language for corroboree) we attended in January at the base of Mother Gulaga mountain in Tilba Tilba. You can see a short video here

This was an epic coming together of Community from up and down the NSW South Coast, to dance, share a yaan and bring healing to people and Country. 

As a supportive ally, being present at the biggest gathering to dance around the mountain for 150 years, was a total gift. The fundamental reciprocity between Country and Culture was palpable and it felt like the mountain was listening to every beat.

Birriga Bunaan was inspired by the incredible work of Alwyn Doonan who in 2019 walked 8,500 km in his role as Wunyungar(meaning Messenger and a name given to him by his traditional Gooreng Gooreng Elders). He carried the message sticks specifically representing three stages of Australia’s story: creation, colonisation and healing, to parliament from his homelands in Cape York to Canberra only to be met by our then prime minister, Scott Morrison’s refusal to meet with him.

Determined to bring about healing he called for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities to come together and dance on their traditional lands on December 1st 2019 to uplift our Country and the peoples and heal from the trauma. Over 100 Communities heard his call and danced that day.

In the words of Warren Ngarrae Forster, Yuin Community member, who worked to bring it all together  and continue the dance : “Our heritage keeps us on track of where we have come from and where we have got to go. We do what we have to do to keep it alive and keep it strong. There’s a spiritual fulfilment seeing the pride come out when you teach our traditions. I’m proud to be who I am and proud of my heritage.”

We will bring together an open hearted Corroborree, hosted by the Elders, here in the Shoalhaven at Nowra Showgrounds to kick off the Yila Healing Trail on Friday October 11th 2024. All visitors and residents will be invited to share this moment with Community.

For more info on how to get involved –visit www.yilahealingtrail.au

Get Involved

Poetry Therapy Workshop with Eartheart Ecotherapy

Poetry is often at the forefront of the conversation we are all wanting and needing to have. Join us at this workshop with Ecotherapist  and poet Kerry Valeontis-Coombs.

Stay tuned for final date :

Learn More

Jervis Bay Stargazing
with Dimitri & Caroline

Immerse yourself in a breathtaking sea-breeze experience under the stars and learn about the vastness of the universe from our passionate astrophysicist.

Enjoy laser guided naked eye astronomy and tips and hacks on navigation using the stars

Learn More

A Community Game of Carked-It

Carked it is a card game about life, death and beyond. it encourages better conversations around dyingand death.

We will bring community together to run a rotational game that will be full of stimulating conversations, sometimes confronting, often funny and always moving the dial forward as we learn together.

Book Here

Gangagruwan Corroboree at Winderong Farm

Widthow Yulunga  (Hello & Welcome),  

Gadhungal Marring invite you to join them for a Gangagruwan (Kangaroo Valley) Corroboree. Walk beside them and learn to care for Country together in a beautiful place that holds a powerful story.   

Book Here

At the heart of the Yila Healing Festival lies our community.

We deeply appreciate your interest in what we're creating here. Your enthusiasm and willingness to participate are what make this all possible. Let's come together, contribute our unique gifts, and make the Yila Healing Festival an unforgettable adventure.

We can't wait to see the magic we'll create together.

Thank you from all of us here at the Yila Healing Festival


Copyright © 2024  Ngungwulah Aboriginal Corporation, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
[email protected]


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