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Mountain Tales

The ‘Mountain Tales’ event at Bathurst Winter Festival celebrates the sound, imagery, taste, smell of collective experience and the binding powers of storytelling. In light of the rise of digital technologies, narrative often becomes a fragmented and individualised phenomenon; here we wish to honour the idea of storytelling as a binding social force.

This community event embraces the mixture of voices that have come to shape both historical and modern-day Australia and the regional township of Bathurst. Its ceremony of lanterns, drums, film, song, and poetry opens our ears and eyes to the stories of Wiradyuri elders. Anyone and everyone are also invited to tell their stories informally as we gather around the fire. Everyone has their own story to tell. And everyone has their own truth to tell. The event traverses and celebrates difference in giving birth to words, sounds and images that tap into our most ancient and modern desires that all revolve around the need for belonging.

Mountain Tales is a reminder of the tactile and physical power of collective narrativity in which stories about Wahluu/ Mt. Panorama – a special place to many people – are shared and commemorated. It also encourages one to reflect upon the fact that we all live in a multi-cultural society and a township that has a rich history of memory and forgetting.

Supported by the Regional Arts Fund and Charles Sturt University Community Partnerships this live event at Tremain’s Mill on Keppel Street offers you an opportunity to be both a spectator to and participant in storytelling — you are all invited to partake in the light, sound, food, and festivities.

A collaborative moving image artwork by Nicole Welch, Wiradyuri Elder Wirribee + Kate Smith

An immersive work exploring Wiradyuri Ngurambang Ngayirr. Wiradyuri Elder Wirribee shares part of the narrative of Custodianship of Country, collaboratively working with local Artist Nicole Welch’s work that is linked to care-taking the environment. This work explores shared understandings between First Nation and Non-First Nation women, connecting to the landscape from Tarana along the Wambuul/Macquarie River to Wahluu/Mt. Panorama offering a space for contemplation toward a healing of people, community, place, and shared stories.

Wiradyuri Ngurambang Ngayirr –  English Translation

Wiradyuri Ngurambang – Wiradyuri Country       Wiradyuri Ngayirr Ngurambang –  Wiradyuri sacred Country

Wiradyuri Yiramilin – Wiradyuri Sunset.              Ngurang – HOME (place, town, nest or burrow of animals, hut, camp)

Wambuul Bila – Macquarie River.                       Ngayirr – sacred

Wahluu Ngurang – Wahluu HOME.                   Wahluu Ngayirr Ngurang – Wahluu sacred HOME

Wiradyuri Wir – Wiradyuri air, sky the Heaven

Drone capture – Henry-Denyer Simmons + Audio Engineer – Tim Roebuck

What is country?

Fast Cars & Dirty Beats

By Yanhadarrambal Flynn

Small girl holding large red car lantern

Mountain Tales at Tremain’s Mill

Bathurst Winter Festival, Saturday July 2nd

12- 4pm – Lantern Making (BMEC)

5.00 – 9pm – Food + drink + live music

6.30 – 6.45pm – Lantern Procession from BRAG on Keppel St.

6.45 – 7.30pm Drum circle + Storytelling + Poetry

7.30pm –  Screening Wiradyuri Ngayirr Ngurambang + DIY Film Festival


Mountain Tales acknowledges the Wiradyuri people, the traditional custodians of the land where I live and their continuing spiritual, cultural and physical connection to the land now known as Bathurst. Sovereignty was never ceded and this always was and always will be Aboriginal land.