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Visitors to the York Festival were treated to a heartfelt, compelling and rare live performance of Noongar poetry.

The poets shared moving stories about family and connection to country, as well as memories of the stolen generation and land rights.

“It felt amazing share my poems. It was the first time I’d shared the hard stories in public, it is easier done through poetry. There were so many people there, and they were such an appreciative crowd.” Said Balladong Elder Janet Kickett,

The poems were created during Community Arts Network’s Northam Noongar Poetry Project.

An open mic session included readings from York Elder Merle Narkle-Goodwin, a tribute to Noongar soldiers by Daniel Hansen and several pieces by primary school student, Hayden Kickett.

The event was wrapped up with a powerful closing performance by Award winning actor/writer Maitland Schnaars.

“An event like this gives a voice to the community, especially women in Aboriginal and rural communities. Performance poetry itself, ties in with traditional oral storytelling and is such a powerful way to reclaim identity” Said Maitland.

Photographer Natalija Brunovs captured some beautiful photos at the festival reading… check them out on the CAN website.

Group poets York festival NatalijaBrunovs Yvonne Kickett by Natalija Brunovs

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