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    Celebrating Australia’s Most Authentic

    Aboriginal Dance Festival

    Friday the 30th of June to Sunday the 2nd of July 2017

    LADF 2017

The Festival

Highlighting the many diverse Communities, language, song, dance and stories.

THE DANCE COMPETITION

THE DANCE COMPETITION

Traditional Aboriginal Dancers from around Cape York compete with Traditional Dance Cycles that have been handed down through millennia. For the 35th Laura Dance Festival we are taking it back to grass roots: 2017 will continue with the competition for the Festival shield.
FEATURING THE VOICE FINALIST BLACK INDIE

FEATURING THE VOICE FINALIST BLACK INDIE

Born in the far north of Australia and cutting his teeth by writing original music while listening to everything from rock and blues to traditional styles, Black Indie has become a singer-songwriter to be reckoned with.
CAMPING ON COUNTRY

CAMPING ON COUNTRY

The Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival 2017 acknowledges the Agayrra Timara Land Trust as the Traditional Owners of this Land. Festival camping is a great way to really experience the essence of being on country.
The Cape York Art Award

The Cape York Art Award

We encourage all Indigenous Artist from Cape York to enter the prestigious Cape York Art Awards. Application Forms will define "established" and "emerging" artist. There will also be category from Cape York Schools, stay tuned.

What's Happening

@ the 2017 Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival

  • Overview

    Overview

    The Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival is an exciting biennial gathering in Cape York Peninsula, highlighting the many diverse Communities, language, song, dance and stories.

    Witness the passing on of Culture across the generations, along with showcasing the strength, pride and uniqueness of Aboriginal people.

    Over 5,000 people travel to Laura from across the nation to enjoy this Festival for three days; over 20 Communities participate across the region, with up to 1000 performers.


    Come along to share, respect, and celebrate our unity as a nation.

    Come along to share, respect, and celebrate our unity as a nation.

    FEATURING:

    • Australia’s most Authentic Indigenous Dance Competition
    • Story Telling
    • Contemporary Dance show
    • Night Entertainment featuring well known Cape York artists – to be announced.
    • Unique Indigenous stalls
    • Cape York Aquisitive Art Awards
    • Celebrating and Camping in a Remote Australian location on Aboriginal Lands.
     

  • The Program

    FRIDAY 30th JUNE

    9:00am Official Proceedings: Welcome to Country
    10:00am - 6:00pm Traditional Dance groups compete throughout the day
    7:00pm Feature Display Dancers (in addition to the dance challenge featured dancers)
    7:30pm Night Entertainment
    7:30pm - 9.00pm Traditional Dance groups compete

    SATURDAY 1st JULY

    9:00am Opening & Welcome
    10:00am - 3:00pm Traditional Dance groups compete throughout the day
    3:00pm Judging of the Cape York Acquisitive Art Awards
    4:00pm - 6:00pm Traditional Dance groups compete
    7:00pm - 10:00pm Night Entertainment Featuring Mikhael Laxton

    SUNDAY 2nd JULY

    10:00am - 2:00pm Final Dance Groups compete for the 2017 title.
    3:00pm Winners Announced and close of Festival
    6:00pm - 7:00pm Outdoor Movies

    DOWNLOAD FULL PROGRAM HERE

    Please note: The program may change throughout the festival. Keep up to date with program changes on the board at the festival.

  • HEADLINE ACT - THE VOICE FINALIST BLACK INDIE

    HEADLINE ACT - THE VOICE FINALIST BLACK INDIE

    Born in the far north of Australia and cutting his teeth by writing original music while listening to everything from rock and blues to traditional styles, Black Indie has become a singer-songwriter to be reckoned with. After appearing on The Voice (Australia) as a finalist and winning over his homeland, he decided to move to Canada and carve out a new sound.
    FEATURING SACRED CREATIONS

    FEATURING SACRED CREATIONS

    Sacred Creations Contemporary Dance Group led by Kuku Yalanji choreographer Tamara Pearson. Sacred Creations dance to the music of their ancestors, steeped in ancient culture. The dreaming is their origin. Conected to their lands. Their bodies is their story canvas.
    LATE NOTICE

    LATE NOTICE

    Late Notice is a long running covers band with a couple of originals that's been playing to cairns and surrounding areas for up to 20 years. In the band is the four Oliver brothers Alan (Drums), Jimmy (Bass), Phillip (Vocals R/Guitar), and Mark (Vocals L/Guitar). Adding a bit of his own blend is brother man Peter. Lyons playing second lead guitar and midi keys as well.
    MOP AND THE DROPOUTS

    MOP AND THE DROPOUTS

    The group came together in Brisbane in the early 70s and is still playing today. Mop; Lead guitarist-vocal (Dennis Conlon) Bimbo; Bass guitarist-vocal (Robert Duncan) Chinny; Rhythm-vocal (Lance O'chin) Crow; rhythm-vocal (Ronald Conlon) Chook; Drummer (Colin Fewquandy) Richard Conlon; (Bass 2) Russel Doctor; (Backup). Released a song called Brisbane Blacks in 1982 and the song is still as powerful today as it was back then. Racial Discrimination, Mothers Eyes and Dancing Aborigines are some of the other original songs.
    OUR JUDGES: Fiona Wirrer - George Oochunyung

    OUR JUDGES: Fiona Wirrer - George Oochunyung

    Judge Panelists in the “Dance Challenge”

    Choreographer/Writer/Freelance Performer

    A graduate of James Cook University (B Ed), NAISDA Dance College (Diploma of Dance), Sydney and Queensland University of Technology (Master in Education, Major in School Guidance and Counselling) Fiona Wirrer-George is a freelance performer, educator writer and choreographer. Descending from the Mbaiwum/Trotj, Alngith/Liningithi Wikway Nations of Western Cape York Fiona also has strong traditional ties to the Wik of Cape York through her maternal great-grandmother. Fiona has just completed a Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology and is currently on-line lecturer of post-graduate students at James Cook University, Cairns Campus. Fiona will also be commencing her PhD Studies in 2017. She is also Deputy Mayor of her home community of Napranum. She has authored five books and three stage plays and her works have been show-cased both national and international.

    Fiona is also currently choreographer of the CIAF fashion show (2015/2016).

    OUR JUDGES: Murandoo Yanner

    OUR JUDGES: Murandoo Yanner

    Murrandoo Yanner is an activist; a champion of Indigenous rights. He is a Gangalidda man from Moungibi (Burketown) in the lower Gulf of Carpentaria. He is a director of the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (CLCAC), the Gulf Region Aboriginal Corporation (GRAC PBC) and chairman of the Gangalidda Garawa Native Tile Aboriginal Corporation (GGNTAC PBC). Through both his campaigning and work primarily through the CLCAC, he has made numerous contributions to the rights and opportunities of Indigenous peoples in the Gulf of Carpentaria. This includes areas of native title nationally such as the High Court case Yanner v Eaton 1999, environmental sustainability and economic development initiatives.
    GUEST ARTIST:  Teho Ropeyarn

    GUEST ARTIST: Teho Ropeyarn

    Teho Ropeyarn is an emerging artist and curator from the community of Injinoo, Cape York Peninsula, and lives and works in Cairns. Teho graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2009 from the University of New South Wales – College Of Fine Arts, Sydney. Teho is a descendant of the Seven Rivers Peoples of Angkamuthi, and Yadhaykana clan group, located on the west and east coasts of Northern Cape York Peninsula. He has extended heritage to Moa, Badu and Murray Island in the Torres Strait and Woppaburra – Great Keppel Island and the Butchalla people from Fraser Island. Passionate about his career as a curator and supporting emerging artists, Teho’s area of focus surveys the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, culture and traditions of Far North Queensland. Teho was selected as one of ten participants to undertake the Wesfarmers Indigenous Arts Leadership intensive program at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra in 2013. In January, Teho commenced a new position at the Cairns Regional Gallery as Assistant Curator. Prior to taking up the new role, Teho worked for UMI Arts Ltd as Gallery Curator. In May, Teho was invited by the Australia Council for the Arts to attend the Venice Biennale as part of a large contingent of First Nations curators from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Norway. Teho also had an opportunity to explore Paris visiting the Musee de Louvre and Musee du qaui Branly.
    SEAN CHOOLBURRA

    SEAN CHOOLBURRA

    Sean Choolburra is one of the most popular and versatile Indigenous performers in Australia today. He has a long 25+ year’s career as a didgeridoo player, dancer, singer, actor, songwriter, and comedian. Sean is one of few comedians who choose not to use "profanity"building his craft around those early comic pioneers. Sean creates his unique brand of comedy which sets him apart and is therefore suitable for audiences of all ages. As a comedian Sean's audiences whether corporate, private or public sector, or community are always delighted by his wit, energetic delivery improvisations, and non-stop dance moves.
    ASHLEIGH CAMPBELL

    ASHLEIGH CAMPBELL

    Ashleigh Campbell is a young curator working in Far North Queensland. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from USQ, Toowoomba and a Masters in Art Curatorship from the University of Sydney. Over the past two years as Curator at Cairns Regional Gallery she has worked to deliver over 40 exhibitions including major solo exhibitions by artists including Alick Tipoti, Greg Semu, Claudia Moodoonuthi, Catherine Hunter, Toby Cedar, Robyn Glade-Wright and Brian Robinson. Ashleigh recently returned from a journey across the Torres Strait Islands working with respected artists and Elders who produced contemporary and customary lei and body adornment for the exhibition ‘Lei it on’, a partnership between Cairns Art Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria and Gab Titui Cultural Centre. ‘Lei it on’ will be presented at Cairns Art Gallery during Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. (Exhibition runs 24 June to 27 August 2017).

  • Maintaining Country

    Maintaining Country

    One of the silent factors is to look after Country in order to help maintain the dance ground for the future. The use of environmentally-friendly materials by stall holders, ‘dry’ toilets, we will be looking towards the recycle bags courtesy of the Laura School initiative, and the education of vehicular traffic through the festival site. Laura Rangers and other Ranger groups from the Cape will be involved in keeping country safe for our visitors.

    Official Proceedings

    At the start of any event or when travelling through Country, we acknowledge the land on which we gather and where possible Local Elders welcome visitors onto their Country. The Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival 2017 acknowledges the Agayrra Timara Land Trust as the Traditional Owners of this Land.

    Welcome To Country

    Welcome To Country

    This will be followed by the Handing Back of the Winners Shield from the 2015 Festival, by Lockhart River. Community Representatives accompanying the Handing Back of the Winners Shield Ceremony are called to receive their invitation to be on Ang-Ngarra Dance Ground.

  • Sarpeye Dancers

    Sarpeye Dancers

    Sarpeye Dancers

    Sarpeye Dancers

Be Part Of The Festival

Highlighting the many diverse Communities, language, song, dance and stories.

Dance GroupsRegister your Dance Group

Dance Groups
Register your Dance Group

The Challenge is only open to Cape York communities and the affiliated communities where Cape York people reside. View Communities

Cape York communities and the affiliated communities where Cape York people reside.

  • Aurukun
  • Coen
  • Cooktown
  • Injinoo
  • Kuranda
  • Lockhart
  • Mapoon
  • Mossman Gorge
  • New Mapoon
  • Npa
  • Pormpuraaw
  • Wujal Wujal
  • Umagico
  • Yarrabah
  • Woorabinda
  • Palm Island

2017 Challenge extends an invitation to the first contender of Cape York Challenge, Groote Eylandt.

Learn more

Stall HoldersRegister your Stall

Stall Holders
Register your Stall

Only the community food stall holders from Cape York communities will be given a fixed stall all other stall holders, including other food vendors, arts and craft and information stalls will be required to erect a marquee (or other covering), not more than 3m x 3m and noiseless generators not more than 7KVA.

Learn more

VolunteerGet involved...

Volunteer
Get involved...

Jobs include kitchen hand and service, garbage collection, cleaning of ablution blocks, assistance with dance group at stage area (only), entry points to dance ground in traffic control. All volunteers will circulate on a rotational basis.

Learn more

Buy Tickets

Book online through TryBooking.com

Dates of Festival

June 30th, July 1st and 2nd 2017
Gates open on the 28th June to allow people who arrive & set up camp.

  • 3dayfestivalpass
  • Adults - $150.00
  • Concession - $100.00 (must show photograph ID & Concession Card, includes students and Centrelink recipients)
  • Seniors - $100.00 (must show senior citizen card)
  • Children - (5 - 15 years) - $50.00
  • Cape York Communities prices to be negotiated with local councils
  • sundayfestivalpass
  • Adults - $60.00
  • Concession - $40.00 (must show photograph ID & Concession Card, includes students and Centrelink recipients)
  • Seniors - $40.00 (must show senior citizen card)
  • Children - (2 -15 years) - $25.00
  • Cape York Communities prices to be negotiated with local councils

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE GATE

(All tickets purchased under the category of Cape York Community will require proof of residence at the gate otherwise full admission price will be charged). Cape York Community members who are Indigenous people and recipients of Centrelink payments residing in communities north of Mossman, including Yarrabah, Palm Island, Woorabinda and Kuranda. Proof of residency must be shown.

GOLD SPONSOR

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SILVER SPONSOR

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BRONZE SPONSOR

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Qld CoA Stylised 2LS mono

Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival is proudly supported by the Australian Governments Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

Previous Winners

Showcasing past winners of LADF.

  • 2015

    2015

    The winners for Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival 2015 was Kawadji Wiimpa from Lockhart River
  • 2013

    2013

    The winners for Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival 2015 was Injinoo Dancers from the top end of the Northern Peninsular Area
  • 2011

    2011

    The winners for Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival 2011 was Injinoo a community in the Northern Peninsula Area of Cape York in Queensland.

Participating Communities

  • Aurukun

    Aurukun

    Aurukun sits on the west coast of Cape York near Cape Keerweer – the site of the first attempted European settlement in Australia. The community of around 1,500 is on the traditional country of the Wik, Wik Way and Kugu Aurukun is famous for the battles for land rights led by its bold and intelligent people, the strength of its culture and it’s fine dancers and artists. 

  • Coen

    Coen

    Coen, in the centre of Cape York, began as a small gold mining fort in 1877 and is now an important supply point on the road to the northern communities and the tip of the Peninsula.  It is home to around 400 people including Umpila or Kaanju as well as descendants of the Umpithamu, Umbuygamu, Ayapathu, Olkolo and Lama Lama groups.  

  • Cooktown

    Cooktown

    Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Cooktown is located about 2,000 kilometres north of Brisbane and 328 kilometres north of Cairns, by road.

  • Hope Vale

    Hope Vale

    Hope Vale, north-west of Cooktown, is home for about 1,500 people from thirteen clan groups who mostly speak Guugu Yimithirr and other related languages. The Guugu Yimithirr people hosted Captain James Cook in 1770 and Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson compiled a word list of the Guugu Yimithirr language including the word Gangurru that became Kangaroo.

  • Injinoo

    Injinoo

    The small Injinoo Aboriginal Community was an Aboriginal settlement and later Anglican mission established on Cape York by a community led by a Wuthathi man, Allelic Whitesand.

  • Kuranda

    Kuranda

    Kuranda is a town and locality on the Atherton Tableland in the Shire of Mareeba, Far North Queensland, Australia. The town of Myola is also located within the locality of Kuranda. It is 25 kilometres from Cairns, via the Kuranda Range road.

  • Lockhart River

    Lockhart River

    Lockhart River is a coastal Aboriginal community situated on the eastern coast of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia.

  • Mapoon

    Mapoon

    Mapoon Aboriginal Community is located at Port Musgrave, western Cape York in Far North Queensland, Australia. A Presbyterian mission was established at Mapoon in 1891 with the aim of providing education and health services to the Aboriginal people.

  • Mossman Gorge

    Mossman Gorge

    Mossman Gorge is located in the southern part of Daintree National Park in Far North Queensland, Australia, 80 kilometres north of the regional town of Cairns and about five kilometres from the cane-farming town of Mossman.

  • New Mapoon

    New Mapoon

    New Mapoon is an area south of Seisia and west of Bamaga at the tip of Cape York Peninsula, adjoining the Lockerbie Scrub. At the 2006 census, New Mapoon had a population of 346.

  • Northern Peninsula Area

    Northern Peninsula Area

    The Northern Peninsula Area (NPA)Region is a local government area in Far North Queensland, Australia, covering areas on the northwestern coast of Cape York Peninsula.

  • Pormpuraaw

    Pormpuraaw

    The Aboriginal Shire of Pormpuraaw is a special local government area which is located on western Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia. It is managed under a Deed of Grant in Trust under the Local Government Act 2004.

  • Wujal Wujal

    Wujal Wujal

    Wujal Wujal is a small Aboriginal community on the north and south sides of the Bloomfield River in northern Queensland, Australia. It has an area of 19.94 square kilometres of land. At the 2006 census, Wujal Wujal had a population of 326.

  • Umagico

    Umagico

    Umagico, originally and still locally known as Alau, was one of several traditional Aboriginal camping sites on the western beaches of Northern Cape York Peninsula. The Gumakudin people are thought to have traditionally occupied Alau prior to first contact.

  • Yarrabah

    Yarrabah

    The Aboriginal Shire of Yarrabah is a special local government area in Far North Queensland, Queensland, Australia, east and southeast of Cairns on Cape Grafton.

Become a Sponsor

To become a Sponsor of the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival there are 3 levels:

gold star
Gold Sponsorship

Starting at $10,000

In return sponsors will receive:

  • Secured area for Camping
  • 4x Adult Weekend Passes
  • Promotion on our Website
  • Mention of Sponsorship at the festival

Enquire Now

silver star
Silver Sponsorship

Starting at $7,000

In return sponsors will receive:

  • 3x Adult Weekend Passes
  • Promotion on our Website
  • Mention of Sponsorship at the festival
  •  

Enquire Now

bronze star
Bronze Sponsorship

Starting at $4,000

In return sponsors will receive:

  • 2x Adult Weekend Passes
  • Promotion on our Website
  • Mention of Sponsorship at the festival
  •  

Enquire Now

Contact Details

Postal:

PO Box 7573
Cairns, QLD 4870

Phone:

(07) 4019 6229

Email:

Important

This website may contain images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed away.

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