Media Release – Unique culture opportunity for Sydney

Sydneysiders will have the rare opportunity to experience First Nations cultures from around the world when hundreds of cultural custodians, entertainers and speakers converge on Darling Harbour later this month.


The eighth gathering of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide will run over four days at the International Convention Centre, kicking off on 26 November with a Parade of Nations and including a strong program of more than 200 presentations.


To help celebrate First Nations cultures, the Gathering Place will be open to the public as a free event, involving traditional dancers, Indigenous musicians, market stalls and cultural and healing activities.


“Visitors will be exposed to thousands of years of history and tradition, travelling from New Zealand to Norway within the one venue,” said Kim Gates from the organising committee.


“They’ll have an opportunity to see and learn about ancient cultural practices and talk to the custodians of these cultures, including Aboriginal Elders and healers from remote parts of Australia.”


The Gathering Place, which will be set up on Cadigal country, will also include market stalls selling traditional art and artifacts made within communities, and supporting ongoing First Nations community development.


A line-up of international artists will perform on the centre stage, featuring Grammy Award winner Rocky Dawuni, APRA winner Jess Beck and up and coming artists like Dane Kennedy, Microwave Jenny and Nadeena Dixon.


“Ceremony will remain at the heart of the Gathering Place, with cultural dance from around Australia and across the world,” said Ms Gates.


“There’ll be dreamtime stories with Nana Miss Koori, story-telling with respected Elders, traditional weaving, bush medicine demonstrations and traditional healers revealing remedies from 60,000 years ago.


“The Gathering Place is the lifeblood of the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide gathering and we’re proud to be able to invite the people of Sydney to join us and share in this unique event.”


Located in the Gallery on Level 2 of the International Convention Centre, the Gathering Place will be open daily from 9:00am to 5:30pm on 27 and 28 November and 9:00am to 3pm on 29 November. School groups must register.


You can find out more about Healing Our Spirit Worldwide: The Eighth Gathering, hosted by The Healing Foundation and the University of Sydney, from the event website –


Media enquiries:

University of Sydney: Rachel Fergus, 0478 316 809,

The Healing Foundation: Jane O’Brien, 0499 877 441,