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Gurrugurru Showcase 2021

The Tree of Knowledge Festival kicked off once again at the Workers Heritage Centre on Friday Night April 30th and was truly a Community Celebration Evening with a focus on being a family friendly event.

There was a large crowd comprising of locals and 'ex pats', the Labour Day Weekend traditionally drawing family, friends and former residents and serving as a 'Back to Barcy' celebration.  Tourists and visitors also were in attendance and enjoyed a fantastic night of varied entertainment made all the more special by the stunning setting of the Workers Heritage Centre's massive gardens and landscaped grounds surrounding the billabong.


To open the evening's non-stop entertainment the Central West Aboriginal Corporation in collaboration with Red Ridge Interior Queensland presented the very first debut of 'Mayta' (meaning long ago) a fantastical and memorable theatrical performance of a local Aboriginal story, hit centre stage at the Workers Heritage Centre.  In one vibrant showcase of wearable art and costumes, stage performance, professional choreographed dance routines and a 3D virtual landscape was developed to transform the Workers Heritage Centre.  An aboriginal story adapted into a moving story of song, dance and high tech digital animation and transported the audience to a time of gathering and tradition. With a cast of over 50 people, including children and adults the production was an immersive story telling experience, enjoyed by all and brought to life a tale told by local Barcaldine residents - Janeece Thompson and Wendy Scott of the CWAC.  'The significance of the storyline is connected to the caring of Country' said Janeece. 

A Story of six spirits - sharing the story of the sun, moon and eclipse 'Maya' was by all accounts a show stopping event.


One community made dress (of eleven wearable art dresses) featured in the storytelling performance represents the spirit of the animals.

‘The Spirit of the Animals is very powerful and strong.

She has amazing healing powers through her animals.

The Spirit of the Animals loves not just a single animal,

but all animals and has a connection to all of them.

The Spirit of the Animals tells us that everything is

interconnected,  people, plants and animals, landforms

and celestial bodies are part of a larger reality.

In the world, nothing is lifeless, everything is alive;

animals, plants, and natural forces, all are energised by  this Spirit.’


Leroy Wilson -  Bidjarra / Kara- Kara man (Carnavon Gorge & Springsure) who was raised in Barcaldine captivated the crowd when he performed his debut of specially written and recorded new song titled 'Barcaldine' especially for the "Mayta Performance'.

Local Barcaldine acoustic singer and songwriter Louise Winters entertained the crowd with her beautiful voice and guitar playing. We are so lucky to have such a talented pool of musicians in our community. Red Ridge Interior Queensland and the Central West Aboriginal Corporation are proud to celebrate the culture, traditions and creativity of our outback Regions and taking Central Queensland one step further to becoming a hub for all things creative.


Busby Marou, an Australian blues and roots musical duo comprising of Thomas Busby and Jeremy Marou.  Originally from Rockhampton, they have been described as “fast becoming a national treasure”. And the Barcy and visitor crowd were excited to have them perform and bring their unique sound to the Opening Night of the Tree of Knowledge Festival.


Known for their distinctly Australian storytelling and gifted musicianship, their performance was one to remember.


Rhiannon Matthews - singer songwriter from Longreach finished off the night with an awesome performance.


Wow, a memorable solid packed evening of entertainment, the vibe was magical, the crowd were appreciative and all set amidst stunning relaxed surrounds.

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