The Kimberley is one of the world’s last remaining frontiers, a huge expanse of land covering 423,517Km2. The Kimberley is also home to a rich indigenous culture with 28 different indigenous language groups In The Kimberley alone. This week I celebrated this 40,000 year old culture and our local community at the Barramundi Concert which is held in Kununurra in May of each year. 2015 was the tenth year that the concert has been running and it honestly just gets better and better each year!
The Barramundi Concert began in 2006 and was initiated and driven by Rio Tinto Argyle Diamonds to promote indigenous participation and inclusion in the Ord Valley Muster. It has since grown large enough to be a stand-alone event and in 2010 Argyle Diamonds handed the Barramundi Concert to a community committee to oversee the organisation of the event. It is now 100% community driven and 100% indigenous owned.
The 2015 Barramundi Concert began with an awe-inspiring welcome to country dance by Kununurra’s Mirima Dancers. As the sun set on another beautiful Kimberley day, the signature sounds of tapping sticks, didgeridoos and voices singing in dialect reverberated throughout the 2000 strong crowd. Male dancers of varying ages dressed in traditional red loin cloths with their bodies decorated in white ochre paint sprayed dust off their feet as they danced bare foot to the songs of their land and their people. I never tire of watching the Mirima Dancers. To see young boys dancing alongside their father or uncles, brothers and cousins is just beautiful to watch and there is such power in the dance, and the connection between the dancers and the musicians, which also include women. It’s a very proud moment, not just for the performers but as an observer as well.
The night continued on with stunning performances from both local and visiting acts. This is a community event that attracts a significant local audience but I noticed a lot of out-of-towners in the mix as well who were sitting back on their deck chairs and taking in the celebration.
I watched Patrick Davies from Fitzroy Crossing as he performed soulful blues and roots music, before jumping backstage where I met and photographed Kerrianne Cox and her band. Kerrianne hails from Beagle Bay in the West Kimberley, and said she’s been waiting many years to be invited to the Barramundi Concert. Her performance was also incredible with powerful vocals and beautiful lyrics. B2M the headline act come from the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory and have a very unique R’n’B sound with influences from their homeland. They had the crowd on their feet for much of their set with original and cover tracks including a Michael Jackson number which had the kids dancing up a storm! Then to close the night, Fitzroy Xpress returned to the 2015 Barramundi Concert stage with popular numbers like Home Sweet Home, Rodeo Road, Little Bit of Country and Headin back to you. Fitzroy Xpress are award winning artists taking home a Deadly Award in 2006 for their album Home Sweet Home and are seasoned performers.
If you do find yourself in Kununurra when the Barramundi Concert is on I definitely recommend packing the deckchairs and heading down to enjoy the entertainment and share in the celebration. It’s a great family night out and a wonderful celebration of everything Kimberley!
About Freshwater’s 52 Weeks of Adventure Challenge
Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments is based in the picturesque town of Kununurra in The Kimberley region of Western Australia and is managed by Kimberley local, Ebony Muirson and her fresh enthusiastic team.
Over 12 months Ebony and her team will be venturing out into their pristine backyard to experience and chronicle 52 different Kimberley adventure experiences. That’s a new adventure every single week for an entire year!
We’re inviting you to come along for the ride by following the blog and joining us on Facebook and Instagram. We will also be announcing an exceptional competition during 2015 so sign up today for your chance to WIN.
On top of this we’re also running a #FresherAdventure photo contest which you can enter or vote on here.
We look forward to seeing you on our journey!
About the Author
Ebony is a Kimberley local and avid adventurer, who moved to Kununurra with her family as wide-eyed 8 year old on a hot and humid April day in 1992. Ebony’s adventures as a child growing up in one of the world’s last remaining frontiers inspired her to pursue a career in tourism where she would be able to share her love of the region she calls home with people from across the globe. Ebony has spent years working on the remote Kimberley Coast before returning to Kununurra to manage Freshwater Apartments. In 2012 Ebony was selected as a North West Ambassador through Australia’s North West’s Characters of the Kimberley campaign.
Ebony loves nothing more than helping create a once in a lifetime holiday for visitors to the Kimberley and looks forward to sharing her own Kimberley Adventures throughout the following 12 months.
Please JOIN THE ADVENTURE by following our blog, as Ebony and her team chronicle 52 weeks of unbelievable Kimberley adventure experiences.