ANGLESEA’S dried-up river mouth set the scene for the fifth Sun Bear Children’s Festival Indigenous Twilight Ceremony, opening a weekend of wildlife awareness and nature conservation.
Circled around the fire and guided by the sounds of Lyndon Perry’s didgeridoo, the crowd took part in an interactive Wayapa Wuurrk earth healing practice led by Thaedra Frangos, connecting everyone deeper to the earth and all its elements.
The sequence finished with a celebrative jump for joy, followed by adults hugging each other and sharing their feelings of the experience while kids ran off to play under the starry night.
Possum Pete took a group on a spotlighting adventure to the other side of the river and into the bush around the waterfront caravan park.
After a night at the caravan park, the Sun Bear Committee Kids rolled out of their tents and swags to help set up Sunday’s festival day with all the colourful artworks with messages like ‘This is My Hood’ and trees with ‘Not for Sale’ to raise awareness for endangered wildlife and habitat protection, created over two terms of shaping the festival at their weekly Crafternoons.
The kids decorated the site with Bellbrae school students’ wonderful wildlife bunting, and last year’s wildlife posters adorned the site again too.
A group of parents and children sat on the grass and made bush craft with sticks and wool. Kids ran balancing hooded plover eggs on spoons attempting to dodge other kids pretending to be dogs. Families sculptured clay animals and animal head dresses at the art station. Others listened to the endangered orange-bellied parrot talk.
“We had so much fun at this amazing festival,” said Irina who made a clay whale and turtle with her daughter. “I wish there were more people like this in the world.”
There was more fun learning with Ecologic and GORRC’s wildlife and nature conservation stalls and activities, and SCARS, Peace Bro and Wildlife Rescue Rangers and Animals Asia’s experiences of wildlife rescue.
Donations are still welcome at sunbearfestival.com.