Sunset Launch of the Milbi Festival
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor, Councillor Jack Dempsey and staff; festival partners; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands on which we gather, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people here today. I’d particularly like to thank the Traditional Owner Elders for their welcome to country and recognise their peoples’ continuing connection to land, waters and communities.
What an absolute pleasure it is to be here for the launch of the Milbi Festival!
Today is the start of what promises to be an absolutely jam-packed, ten days of world-class activities, shows, workshops and events.
For a relative newcomer to the festival scene, it is remarkable how quickly the Milbi Festival has rooted itself in the annual calendar. Year-on-year, its fame spreads, so that now, only three years since its inception, visitors are planning their stay in the beautiful Bundaberg region to coincide with the events on offer here at the festival.
And such events they are! They celebrate the very Best of Bundaberg, encompassing its art, culture, Indigenous heritage, and its incredible, unique, environment.
The Festival is full of opportunities to marvel, and to learn.
One thing I have learned that will remain with me is that Milbi is a Gurang word for turtle. This makes it the perfect name for the Festival, marking as it does the opening of turtle season.
The name of Mon Repos has become synonymous with marine turtles right across the State and beyond, and the area as a whole is justly famed for its care of, and connection to, the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
This is a truly special part of Queensland, and I applaud the Festival for showcasing it so brilliantly.
My congratulations and thanks go to the Bundaberg Regional Council, festival sponsors and partners for their organisation and support, and to the many volunteers, artists, performers and contributors without whom there could be no Festival.
The range of opportunities for artists, arts and community organisations to get involved is what marks the Milbi Festival as a true community celebration that offers something for every generation.
And now, I know you are as eager to listen to Emily Wurramara as I am, and so I hasten to conclude my remarks and yield the stage to this incredibly talented ARIA-nominated artist.
Thank you and have a wonderful night!