Ngurra Kujungka’s annual Martu Youth Festival was held recently in Nullagine. This year’s event was the largest in the history of the carnival, bringing together more than 1,000 people from eight communities in the Western Desert.
The Martu Youth Festival used to be held three times a year and is the one of the few opportunities communities have to play in organised sport competitions. The three-day carnival features men’s, women’s and junior football, women’s softball and junior basketball. The range of sports the communities compete in means the entire family can get involved in the festival.
The carnival is run by Ngurra Kujungka and many community members participate in the umpiring of games. Ngurra Kujungka assist with travel and equipment and WA Football, V Swans, the West Coast Eagles, Swan Districts Football Club, the Police, Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service, the Shire of East Pilbara, Fair Game, Mission Australia, Basketball WA and Softball WA all assist in the delivery of the festival a variety of ways, including talent ID, program management, training and first aid.
Nullagine’s population grew by 700 during the week of the Festival, allowing the communities the chance to come together to complete cultural activities, and conduct sorry business with families and communities that may have been affected by death over the past year. Each day there was free fruit and a BBQ run by Ngurra Kujungka and associated organisations.
“The carnival is a great week! Every community is having fun while competing against each other with great sportsmanship.”
“To be able to experience the spirit of the festival, and witness and be included in the cultural activities is amazing, it is a great way to reset and more importantly to remember “the Why” in why we do our jobs” WA Football Commission Pilbara Regional Specialist, Vicki Agnew.
Congratulation to first-time football champions, Nullagine, on winning the 2020 football competition.