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THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY INC.                       MEDIA RELEASE                   February 27, 2013


Broome takes over Sydney’s Martin Place

Festival for the Kimberley, Friday, March 8


The Festival for the Kimberley will transform Sydney’s Martin Place into the Broome markets, replicating the vibrant atmosphere of Australia’s first truly multicultural society, the stalls, the colour and the entertainment, all day Friday, March 8, from morning to evening.

Enjoy live music, dancers, speakers, camels, a life-size whale puppet, a sneak film preview, organic food, mango smoothies, beer and wine from Western Australia and more.

Entertainment highlight include Indigenous male poledancer Matty Shields who brought the house down on Australia’s Got Talent’s heats and finals (performances at 8am, noon and 5pm).

On the music side, there will be:

·         2012 ARIA Awards nominees Paul Greene & the Other Colours (1.30pm).

·         Rhythm Hunters mix Japanese Taiko drumming with Aceh influences (1pm).

·         Arnhemland singer-songwriter Gambirra who was Unearthed by Triple J (5.20pm).

·         Gondwana pianist Pasko (12.20pm).

·         The “Fijian Jack Johnson”, Knox (5.55pm).

·         Sye McRitchie(8.15am), The Barefoot Band (6.30pm) and loads of street musicians from Playing for Change, whose global band will play Bluesfest and support Robert Plant.


Other attractions include:

·         Australia’s largest organic restaurant, Agape, will be serving a Broome-inspired menu.

·         Preview of Kimberley animated film Lurujarri Dreaming (2pm).

·         Camels (like on Broome’s Cable Beach).

·         Lifesize spouting whale puppet.

·         Lifesize dinosaur footprints as found along the Kimberley coast.

·         Many speakers including Telstra chairman and environmentalist Geoffrey Cousins.

·         Market stalls, and Western Australian beer and wine served in the evening.


The festival aims to highlight the incredibly multicultural laidback lifestyle of Broome (one of the few places to escape the White Australia policy) and the spectacular Kimberley, which is under threat from industrial development.

The Kimberley has Australia’s most pristine coastline, home to the world’s largest humpback whale nursery and threatened dolphins, sea turtles and dugongs.

But it is now threatened as oil and gas giants Woodside, Shell, BP, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and Mitsui plan to build a gas processing plant on the stunning red cliffs of James Prices Point, a significant Indigenous heritage site and home to the longest chain of dinosaur footprints on the planet.

More than 20,000 people attended last weekend’s Concert for the Kimberley in Fremantle with the John Butler Trio and Missy Higgins, and thousands are expected to attend the Festival of the Kimberley in Sydney as people become more aware of this threatened iconic landscape.

Wilderness Society Kimberley Campaign Manager Glen Klatovsky said: “The Kimberley faces an historic moment. Will it retain its unique social and environmental heritage, or will it become another industrial zone? Some of the key decision makers reside in Sydney’s CBD. Today is a first step in telling this extraordinary story to the people of our largest and most powerful city.”

Broome is an incredibly vibrant community that escaped the White Australia policy, a multicultural melting pot of indigenous, European, Japanese and Malay culture.

Many of the artists appearing at Festival for the Kimberley are of Indigenous extraction from around the Asia-Pacific, including Arnhemland, Aceh and Fiji, and all are concerned with preserving the environment and Indigenous heritage.

Quotes from the artists about the Kimberley

Paul Greene: “The Kimberley is a treasure, not for its minerals and gas, but for its unique beauty that will only increase in value as time goes by. Don’t let mining companies spoil the Kimberley for good and do not mistake what the real value of the Kimberley is.”

Matty Shields: “I am honoured to be invited to be part of the Save the Kimberley campaign to showcase its beauty and sacredness. One of my dearest friends was very active and involved within the Kija and Kimberley communities until his passing. I hope to make him proud and raise awareness of what’s happening in the Kimberley.”

Rhythm Hunters’ Rendra Freestone: “All natural systems support the ongoing life of everything on this planet. The Kimberley is no different. We’ve got to stop destroying the future of our children.”

Gambirra: "Excessive consumption, waste, corruption, greed and power is out of control. Sacred country, its people and animals are under threat. The Kimberly must be protected and preserved for its Indigenous people, future generations and for the planets own sake. It is our duty to stand up for what is right as individuals and as a society.”

Knox: “It is important and crucial to the spirit and heart of humankind to protect and love the Earth and our Indigenous sacred spaces. Without respect, love and nature, we are lost.”

The day will be broadcast live at