Gumbaynggirr elders share dreaming in new cultural program

The Gumbaynggirr Dreaming experience is based at Galnyamba Friday Creek Retreat.
The Gumbaynggirr Dreaming experience is based at Galnyamba Friday Creek Retreat.

GUMBAYNGGIRR elders Aunty Shaa and Uncle Martin have extended an invitation to create your own sacred stories, spiritual journey experiences and life connections.

A new cultural program called Gumbaynggirr Dreaming has been established at Galnyamba Friday Creek Retreat, tucked away in a bushland setting 20 minutes west of Coffs Harbour in the Orara Valley.

Surrounded by waterways, bushland and remnant rainforest, the retreat offers one to four day programs with local elders who specialise in story, art, song and dance.

Visitors may sit in a circle, hear of sacred locations and rituals, visit sites of significant importance to local legend and reconnect with mother earth through activities such as hand mapping and banner creation.

"Gumbaynggirr Dreaming shares the richness and wisdom of dreaming and caring for land, waters and all life in this country," Aunty Shaa said.

"It was local elder Aunty Elaine who believed now is the time to bring people together from all nationalities and walks of life to share the wisdom of the ancient Gumbaynggirr culture.

"The programs were created in her later years of life as she opened up a way forward for a future where everybody has a place."

Retreat owner, Miriam Landolt, said those attending the programs feel blessed to be invited to glimpse into this ancient world.

"Gumbaynggirr people have lived here for thousands of years and with that comes ancestral knowledge," she said.

"Elders offer to share the stories so visitors too can feel this same connection to place and people, and take it into the global community."

The program is the subject of an 18 month project by the Swiss National film crew which goes to air in Europe in early 2015.

Details on joining the program can be found at

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