Saltwater Freshwater Festival on the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores on Australia Day.
Saltwater Freshwater Festival on the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores on Australia Day. Trevor Veale

Saltwater Freshwater promotes the spirit of sharing

THE spirit of sharing, love and communication will underscore Saturday's free Saltwater Freshwater Festival at Jetty Foreshores, 10.30am to 5pm.

The event includes language workshops led by local Elders, all-day live music and is a living showcase of Aboriginal culture from across the Mid North Coast - Coffs' Gumbaynggirr people, along with the Dunghutti, Biripi and Worimi people.

Chris Spencer, a Gumbaynggirr man and general manager of Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance, said on average, 65 per cent of festival attendees are non-Aboriginal people seeking to understand and celebrate the history of the region's First Nations.

Saltwater Freshwater Festival.
Saltwater Freshwater Festival. Trevor Veale

"For us that's extremely heart-warming, sharing information has historically been the way that Aboriginal people communicate and love each other."

Mr Spencer said: "Saltwater Freshwater projects link Elders with young people in a cultural knowledge transfer, and it's a two-way sharing.

"Elders give traditional knowledge, and young people teach their Elders about technology, such as smartphones, how to record conversation and videos," Mr Spencer said.

"You see big smiles on both sides."

Aunty Bea Ballangarry and her grandson Cooper McInally.. 24 JAN 2019
Aunty Bea Ballangarry and her grandson Cooper McInally.. 24 JAN 2019 TREVOR VEALE


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