The 2018 Garma Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary, hosted by the Youth Yindi foundation. This report outlines some of the festival's highlights. The theme of truth-telling – Yuwalk Lakaranja - resonated throughout the festival, setting the tone for discussions in the key forum and challenging audiences to confront the unpleasant truths of Australian history.

  • The 2018 Youth Forum sponsor, the CSIRO, took a unique approach to engaging students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning, working with Yothu Yindi Foundation and Yolngu elders to create a program that melded traditional science and new science together.
  • With ‘truth-telling’ the theme for this year’s gathering, talks were once again dominated by the vexed issues of Constitutional Recognition, the push for an Indigenous ‘voice’ to Parliament and Treaty, alongside sessions on remote health and YYF’s push for an overhaul of funding aimed at addressing Indigenous disadvantage.
  • The Yothu Yindi Foundation has been working with Yolngu organisations, family and clan groups over the past four years to advise the Commonwealth Government of a preferred regional governance model. The Northern Territory Government have been notified that their local decision making policy on Indigenous Affairs will align with the Dilak Council authority in terms of future development regionally. This work attempts to replicate a similar Yolngu structure of the past that was effective for local decision making.
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