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Daminmin for the Win Win

Celebrating its fourth year on Limilngan-Wulna Country, the Daminmin Arts and Culture Festival is a growing grassroots event, and a must on your Dry season calendar.

By Jenna Hoare

TAKE A SHORT road trip from Darwin along the Kakadu Highway and you’ll find the leafy property of Lynette and Graham Kenyon – the Traditional Owners, Custodians, cultural guides, and founders of Pudakul Aboriginal and Cultural Tours. 

The Kenyon family and Darwin Community Arts (DCA) carefully curate the Daminmin Festival each year, inviting attendees to connect on Country over three magical days. DCA Creative Producer and rural resident Anna Weekes says the event sprung from a series of workshops with Pudakul. 

"We were dreaming about a festival ... We wanted to highlight the Traditional Owners living in the rural area, who live a life very connected to their Country and culture.” 

Festival goers can soak up First Nations’ music, art, and culture – all while camping on lush grounds with spectacular views overlooking the water lilies floating on Pudakul Billabong. 

"The Moiya Experience is new this year. That's the bush tucker experience on Thursday night … it's going to be incredible,” Weekes says. 

The 2024 program has evolved from an on-Country collab between Jim Moginie, founding member of Midnight Oil, and Grant Kenyon. 

“This is the first time Jim has been involved with Daminmin Festival and it's been a beautiful thing. This is new music and a new collaboration," Weekes says.

Adding to the impressive talent on stage, Moginie performs alongside Territory-born singer-songwriter Leah Flanagan, debuting their album on Saturday evening. 

"It is an absolute pleasure and honour to be able to present these new songs with the incredible Jim Moginie for this year's Daminmin Festival. To perform these songs publicly for the first time by the beauty of the Pudakul billabong is going to be magical,” Flanagan says. 

Visual artist Christabel Blackman has also teamed up with Lynette and Tarizma Kenyon to create a series of installations. While there’s plenty on at this family-friendly event – weaving, clap stick making, bush foods and medicine, dyeing techniques and drawing sessions – Weekes says the festival invites you to unwind in nature. 

“Attendees can kick back under the stars to watch local short films screened as part of the NT Travelling Film Festival. Please book ahead, even if you attend only by donation, and please donate what you can for this Top End community festival.”

Daminmin Arts and Culture Festival 

Photo: Mark Sherwood

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