Gai-mariagal Festival 2024

26 May to 9 July

Willoughby City Council is proud to be a contributor to the Gai-mariagal Festival. Founded in 2001, the festival celebrates First Nations people and culture in the Northern Sydney region.

The festival occurs each year from Sorry Day, 26 May through to the end of NAIDOC Week in mid-July.

This year’s theme for the festival is Keep the flame alive.

Willoughby City Council is a member of the festival committee and hosts several events to showcase First Nations culture and knowledge and encourage the local community to participate, listen and learn.

Funding for this project has been provided by the NSW Government.

Gai-mariagal Festival

Sorry Day

26 May 

Sorry Day, also known as National Sorry Day, is an annual event in Australia observed on May 26. It offers a chance for people to come together and take steps toward healing for the Stolen Generations, their families, and communities. The Stolen Generations refer to children who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.

This day provides an opportunity for Australians to acknowledge the impact of these policies, reflect on the injustices faced by Indigenous communities, and promote healing and reconciliation.

Sorry Day events often include community gatherings, educational activities, and formal apologies from various organisations and institutions. It is a time for Australians to show solidarity with Indigenous peoples and commit to ongoing efforts to address the consequences of past wrongs.

National Reconciliation Week

27 May to 3 June

National Reconciliation Week is an annual event in Australia, held from 27 May to 3 June. The theme for 2024 is 'Now More than Ever'. It is a time for Australians to learn about and reflect on the shared histories, cultures, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to explore how each person can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Reconciliation Australia   Reconciliation NSW


7 July to 14 July

NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration in Australia that recognizes and celebrates the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC stands for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, which is responsible for organising national activities during this week, this year’s theme chosen by the National NAIDOC Committee, is 'Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud'.

NAIDOC Week typically takes place in the first full week of July. It provides an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories, participate in celebrations of the oldest continuous living cultures on earth, and support their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.