About the Ngargee

Three men dancing

📷 Wayne Quilliam: Yaluk-ut Weelam means ‘river home’ or ‘people of the river’. Ngargee means 'gathering for celebration'.

Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee provides a platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers and artists to present their works to diverse audiences.

Produced by the City of Port Phillip in collaboration with the traditional custodians of St Kilda, the Boon Wurrung people, and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the Ngargee (festival) has featured world-class Australian musicians.

Over the last fifteen years, Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee has played a pivotal role for emerging Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and First Nations talent and featured many of the country’s most admired artists in various stages of their careers including Dan Sultan, Lady Lash, Archie Roach, Kutcha Edwards, Leah Flanagan, Alice Skye, Baker Boy, Emily Wurramara and many more.

The Ngargee was conceived as part of local celebrations for a visiting Papuan New Guinean delegation during the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Originally a one-off event in O’Donnell Gardens, it grew to a full program of music, dance, film and technology, with a marketplace and a sustainability program, showcasing new works created through Council-run arts programs.

Now a vibrant one-day gathering, the Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee name and visual identity is firmly grounded in local culture. The name 'Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee' was gifted by N'arweet Carolyn Briggs, Chairperson of the Boon Wurrung Foundation, and loosely means 'People, Place, Gathering'. The Festival visual identity features Bunjil, the creator spirit, by Aboriginal artist Reko Rennie.