Every 26 January, Sydney is home to Yabun, a major Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander festival that brings together leadership, community, celebration, protest, dance and music – lots of music! Yabun, after all, does translate as ‘song with a beat’ in the local Sydney Gadigal language.

Tens of thousands of people flock to the festival to celebrate the survival of our people, cultures and spirit. Sydney-based organisations always take advantage of the huge and diverse crowds to showcase their work and services, as well as catching up with community. NCIE is no exception.

They say this year was the biggest Yabun so far, and it was definitely huge for the NCIE. It could well have been the hottest Yabun so far too, so the NCIE’s fans were in high demand. Along with the fans, NCIE staff also tempted festival goers with Job Ready founder, Aunty Beryl Van Oploo’s legendary Lemon Myrtle biscuits produced in the NCIE’s kitchen – yum! The IDX (Indigenous Digital Excellence) team presented a virtual reality game and the Children’s Services team painted up lots of young (and not so young) faces with Aboriginal flags and designs.

NCIE Fitness Centre Manager, Eric Lesa with Aunty Beryl Van Oploo and Selina Finau from NCIE Accommodation and Conferences.

The NCIE Fitness crew roamed the site with free fitness passes and info on the gym, pool and our latest joining offer, backed up by a core team of NCIE staff who were at the stall all day connecting with community and sharing information on our enterprises and programs and everything we do here at the NCIE.

Our Talking About Tobacco Use (TATU) team brought their strong message about leading a smoke free life and the importance of talking about tobacco use within our communities. The team recorded its largest amount of Quitline referrals from an event, with over 60 people beginning their quit smoking journeyand many more looking for support on their journey.

Aunty Pam Jackson, TATU Manager John Leha and IDX’s Celeste Carnegie

The TATU team also grabbed some time on camera with some familiar faces such as NRL Indigenous Community and Player Engagement Manager, George Rose, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley, country king Troy Cassar-Daley, hip hop crew Street Warriors (pictured below), South Sydney star Cody Walker and many more awesome community members talking about the importance of living a smoke-free life and enjoying the day.

More photos from day are on NCIE’s Facebook page with a special mention to Aunty Pam Jackson whose deadly Aboriginal umbrella hat went OFF on Insta!

A huge thank you to everyone who came to Yabun Festival, we were proud to be a part of such a huge event. Big congrats to all the Yabun team and volunteers and Koori Radio for their hard work in running the event, and to the musicians, dancers, artists & stallholders that made the festival deadly.