Festival highlights heritage

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Noongar educator Larry Blight.
Camera IconNoongar educator Larry Blight. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

As people around the State enjoy a day off this Monday, there is a festival taking place in Albany to celebrate the reasons for the public holiday.

The WA Day Festival at the Museum of the Great Southern is designed to remind people about the history of WA and how lucky we are to call this place home.

Larry Blight will be teaching indigenous tool-making on the day. He said the method was unique to the South West.

“There is actually a lot of chemistry involved, mixing crushed charcoal with resin from grass trees,” he said.

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“Getting just the right amount of coal strengthens the resin and gives a strength like steel.

“It is a very uniquely south-west Australian style and we have been teaching that for thousands and thousands of years. You don’t want it to disappear.”

Mr Blight will create an axe out of the bush products at the festival. While he was proud to share his ancient culture, he said WA Day was an opportunity for all cultures to come together.

“Down at the museum is where Major Lockyer set foot on Menang country and there is a lot of significance in that for everybody,” he said.

“One of the Noongar names for that spot was Kaarlinup, which means place of fires and that lots of good things were happening down there.”

The Albany Photography Club will run a one-hour forum to share tips on the best ways to capture the region’s stunning landscape.

A community art piece called ‘Our Coastal Landscape’ will be a special highlight as artist Trish Robinson co-ordinates community members’ contributions to the painting which is made up of small canvasses.

There will be a free sausage sizzle, stage performances, a short film screening by Screenwest and children’s activities. The Albany WA Day Festival takes place from 10am to 3pm on Monday.

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