‘Healthy mind, body and spirit’: FUSE returns to Naarm with Ganbu Gulin: Lore

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‘Healthy mind, body and spirit’: FUSE returns to Naarm with Ganbu Gulin: Lore

Words by Jacob McCormack

Darebin City Council’s annual spring festival, FUSE is again returning to Naarm this year.

The festival will be spread across multiple venues, all presenting an array of modalities of art and offering a range of opportunities for community members to interact with one another and this year’s program.

The opening event for the 2023 festival is Ganbu Gulin: Lore, which means One Mob in the Woi-Wurrung language. The event will act as a chance for citizens to be formally welcomed onto Country, and includes a smoking ceremony and cultural workshop with the Djirri Djirri dancers.

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Ganbu Gulin: Lore has been curated by FUSE Curator-In-Residence, Maylene Yinarr. Maylene is a Kamilaroi, Wiradjuri, Kuku Djungan and Gangalidda woman, artist and Director of the emerging global community Mindful Mob.

Maylene is excited about Ganbu Gulin and encouraging of anyone who is looking for a way of connecting with community and to a sense of place.

“I want to share that it’s a great time to keep gathering together as a community and for everyone to celebrate everything that we’ve thrived through over the last couple of years,” says Maylene.

Woven into the event Ganbu Gulin: Lore this year is the notion of honouring the lore, healing and songlines that thrive within First Nations culture and communities today. As well as honouring these aspects of culture, Ganbu Gulin has been curated to celebrate this year’s NAIDOC theme For Our Elders, with a line-up of incredible First Nations talent and Eldership.

“Tying in with the 2023 theme for NAIDOC this year,” Maylene continues, “which is For Our Elders, Ganbu Gulin will be celebratory of our Elders. Our lineup is predominantly from the Elder community. We deserve this space, and it’s important we get opportunities, but it’s always so important to make sure that we’re keeping space for Elders.”

Making up the lineup for this year’s event are the likes of Uncle Bill Nicholson Jnr, Djirri Djirri Dancers, Murrundaya Yepengna Dancers, Timmy Commerford, Maylene Yinarr, Aunty Janice Bakes, Uncle Robert Bundle, Uncle Herb Patten and the renowned Deans of Soul.

Rounding out the rest of the offerings for Ganbu Gulin will see The Mindful Mob Healing Markets and Workshops scattered around the space. For Maylene this is a relatively new venture, but something that she is very proud to share with people.

“Mindful Mob really relies on the participation of our members to share what inspires them on their healing journey,” says Maylene. “We are all coming into the space, wanting to heal and to be healed. We have a lot of generous community members sharing all sorts of things that have made such a huge difference to them and the way that has changed their lives for the better. For example; becoming healthier, a healthy mind, body and spirit.

“With these markets we don’t only want to base them in Melbourne, but up in Brisbane too. We have members there as well. I’ll go all the way around the world where our members are. This is our second healing market, so we are still finding our way, getting onto our feet and creating what it is we want to deliver to the world.”

And there is a massive emphasis on establishing a global community, one that is inclusive and accepting of cultures and traditions from all around the world.

“Because Mindful Mob comes from a First Nations perspective, and how we tap into our ancient roots and our ancient healing tools that have been passed on from our family members and our elders, we are also up to listening to other members from other cultures and other traditions.

“At the moment we have members from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Sweden, Bangladesh, India and Norway as well. We’ve also got some people in the group who are First Nations Canadians. It’s really utilising the internet and the world of social media to share knowledge.”

With the ethos of Mindful Mob – and with Maylene’s practical implementation woven into the curation of this year’s FUSE festival opening event – festival goers are sure to experience a welcoming environment that fosters the sharing of culture.

RSVP to Ganbu Gulin here and find out more about FUSE Festival here.

This article was made in partnership with Darebin City Council.