Power & Water Desert Harmony Street Parade

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So many local businesses, organisations and individuals took part in the Power and Water Desert Harmony Street Parade! This is the event that traditionally signals the start of the annual Desert Harmony Festival, and joining in this year were: Power and Water Corporation, the Tennant Creek Fire Brigade, Julalikari Night Patrol, Tennant Creek Women’s Refuge, the Barkly College contingent – the high school drummers and the colourful primary school float, St John Ambulance volunteers and cadets, Kelly’s Ranch riding school, Anyinginyi Health, the residents and staff of Pulkapulkka Kari, Dion Beasley and Joie and Tony, the Clontarf Foundation, students and staff of Elliott School, Anne Wilson, the Alpurrurulam bat, Winky the bus, a dog or three perhaps…

To everyone who participated and to those of you who lined the street in your deck chairs and cheered the Festival floaters on – thank you!

Barkly Regional Arts would also like to thank: Festival volunteers Carmel Edwards, Meg McGrath and Ziggy Santos for their help on the day; T&J Contractors and Little Rippers for vehicle loans; Barkly Shire Council for road closures; our Youth Arts Manager Emma Newman for her enthusiasm, lantern initiative and excellent organising in the lead-up; and our fabulous on-staff photographer Sandy Edwards (whose credit for most of the photographs on this blog you might not have spotted in the side bar!)

We’re also extremely grateful to the Power and Water Corporation for its generous financial support of this year’s parade.


Festival Community Forum


Come and share your thoughts and ideas for the Desert Harmony Festival

  • What did you think of this year’s Festival?
  • Do you want to keep the Festival program local or not?
  • Is there somethhing you’d like included in the 2012 Festival program?
  • Do you want to hold an event as part of next year’s Festival?


Monday 24 October  5.30 – 6.30 pm

Tanami Room 2, Tennant Creek Training Centre, 65 Staunton St, Tennant Creek

Refreshments provided

Enquiries: please call Karin at Barkly Regional Arts on 08 8962 2799

Can’t make it? Email us your thoughts: karin.riederer@barklyarts.com.au

Last chance to see Barkly Captured!

‘Fantastic photos – beautiful country and people’

‘Fab, fab, fab…loved it! What a great peek into Tennant Creek and the Barkly. Thanks to all you photographers!’

‘A great way to capture the spirit of the Barkly by the people who live here’

‘A really rich, lovely exhibition’

‘Very cool!’

Come and see what visitors are raving about!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What: Barkly Captured photographic exhibition

Where: Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, Tennant Creek

When: Until Tuesday 20 September; Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 4.00 pm; Sat-Sun 9.00 am to 4.00 pm

Exhibition entry is free.

This project was made possible by Festivals Australia, an Australian Government program which supports cultural activity at regional and community festivals.

It is also supported by Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre, and Fuji Australia.

That’s it for 2011!

It’s all been very quiet here at the blog… But out in Desert Harmony Festival land we’ve had the blockbuster Barkly College Primary School Concert, superb Song Peoples Sessions concert and CD launch, vibrant Regional Art Market, a huge DanceSite, and the inaugural BAMFest, which took the Festival out in true Barkly style with fantastic music that had the crowd up dancing into the night!

Pics and wrap-ups will be popping up on the blog soon, once we’ve munched our way through all the delicious brandy snaps that Joie baked for the Festival team. But right now we want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our funders, sponsors, amazing Festival performers and artists, hard-working volunteers and staff and, of course, our wonderful and enthusiastic audiences.

Here I Am Film Screening

When filmmaker Beck Cole’s directorial debut screens in town tonight it will be like a homecoming for her.

Beck has big family connections here and, although she grew up bouncing between Alice Springs and Adelaide, she also travelled the 500km north to Tennant Creek countless times to visit relatives.

Here I Am, which tells the story of an Indigenous woman, Karen, trying to rebuild her life after being released from jail, received an outstanding ovation at its world premier at the Adelaide Film Festival earlier this year.

Now it’s locals’ turn to be entranced by the film on Wednesday, 31 August, as part of the Desert Harmony Festival – and what better way to watch it than under the stars in the leafy gardens of Nyinkka Nyunyu. “I’m very fond of Tennant,” said Beck down the crackly line of her mobile as she tried to negotiate Sydney traffic with two young children. “I’ve a big mob of family there and I’m glad the film is going to be screened in town.”

Beck Cole, left, on set with Shai Pittman as Karen. Image courtesy of Scarlett Pictures

Beck started writing the tale of an Indigenous woman “on the brink” after she had her first daughter five years ago. “I was drawn to making a film about mothers and their children. And I also thought that I wanted to deal with some of the difficulties that women have and experience throughout life – particularly women that live an underprivileged sort of life,” she said.

Then life intervened. Beck’s idea was put on the backburner as other projects came her way, like co-writing and directing the SBS history series First Australians and being involved with the fly-on-the-wall documentary on her partner Warwick Thornton’s acclaimed feature film Samson & Delilah.

As a consequence the story changed dramatically through time with the only constant being the main character Karen, played by Shai Pittman. Beck had a “really strong idea” about who Karen was and the kind of life she would lead in attempting to make good and reconnect with her past.

Here I Am has been a long journey for me but the reason for wanting to tell this story has always been the same,” said Beck. “I strongly wanted to make a film about a family of women on the brink of no return. A family that has suffered loss, grief, anger and resentment but was glued together by love – and in this story love is a child.”

Central to the production of Beck’s film was producer Kath Shelper. “We share a great friendship as well as a working relationship, both of which have developed over the past seven years or so we have been a team – along with our third wheel Warwick Thornton,” said Kath, who runs Scarlett Pictures in Sydney. “Together we have a terrible sense of humour, which often gets us into trouble.

In fact, it’s the humour and joy which Beck hopes the audience will mainly get out of watching Here I Am. “I hope that the audience will come away with a sense of joy and hopefully a smile on their face because although the film does deal with many difficult issues and emotions and obstacles that Karen goes through, I hope the audience really wants to back her up and see that she gets to where she wants to go.”

Here I Am screens at Nyinkka Nyunyu on Wednesday, 31 August, at 7.30pm. This event is free.

Song Peoples Sessions

Only 3 days to go until the not-to-be-missed Song Peoples Sessions concert this Friday 2 September!

Featuring Warren H Williams and the Warumungu Songmen, and Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen, the Song Peoples Sessions celebrates song as the essence of Indigenous knowledge, language and culture.

Winanjjara, the double Song Peoples Sessions CD by Warren H Williams’ and the Warumungu Songmen, will be launched at the concert.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can listen to two sample tracks from Winanjjara and one track from Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen’s forthcoming album Ngambala Wiji li-Wunungu: soundcloud.com/song-people-sessions

Come on a journey to the heart of Indigenous culture with the Song Peoples Sessions.

When: Friday 2 September at 7 pm

Where: Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, Paterson St, Tennant Creek, Northern Territory

This is a free event. Cafe open. No alcohol.

Take a tour of the Song Peoples Sessions blog: http://songpeoples.tumblr.com/

Read the article in today’s Age:


Opera Australia’s Oz Opera presents La traviata

Opera Australia’s Oz Opera drove in off the highway from Mt Isa on Monday night, and by 8.00 am the next morning the tech crew were hard at work unloading and setting up in the Civic Hall.

Excitement had been building for weeks in Tennant Creek for this satellite Festival event. Two years ago, when Oz Opera last came to town, people were enthralled by Madame Butterfly. And on Tuesday night, their expectations for another magnificent Oz Opera performance were met: La Traviata, Verdi’s great love story, was a huge hit.

Thank you to Mrs Judy Nixon, Francine McCarthy and the Patta Aboriginal Corporation for the Welcome to Country. And a big thank you goes out to Ross, Alan, Peter, Sam, Jordan and Dirk – locals who were employed to assist the Oz Opera crew and without whom the show might not have been possible!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.