We’re hosting a series of activities, workshops, talks and displays for Australia’s largest festival and celebration of heritage and culture: the Australian Heritage Festival. The theme for the festival in 2018 is ‘My Culture, My Story’.

Parramatta has a unique identity as a gathering place for many different cultures and we’re aiming to share Parramatta’s rich history with the community throughout the Australian Heritage Festival.

Australian Heritage Festival Program 2018
Event Description
The following events are hosted by the Research & Collection Services and Visitor Services teams and will require bookings unless stated otherwise.
Making Parramatta Home – Stories of Parramatta’s past

Fri 4 May, 9am-2pm

Farmers Market, Centenary Square, marquee opposite Parramatta Town Hall

No bookings required.

Come by and chat with the Research & Collection Services team about how we can help you research your family, house and community histories; see our displays about the Aboriginal peoples and waves of migrants from all over the world who made their home here in the City of Parramatta.

We’re also interested in capturing stories about your heritage and life in Parramatta.No bookings required. More information about our ‘Waves of People’ report.

Fertile Ground – Bush tucker and tools display and demonstration

Fri 4 May, 11am-2pm

Farmers Market, Centenary Square.

For more information, see Eventbrite

Drop by the Parramatta Farmers Market anytime between 11am and 2pm to check out this demonstration of traditional bush tucker, medicine and tools, many derived from local plants. 

Gain some Aboriginal cultural insights and hear stories of Darug life at this traditional gathering place.  No bookings required.Come and chat with Uncle Chris Tobin, one the traditional custodians from the Darug nation.  This is a great opportunity to handle traditional tools, ask questions and explore Darug culture.

Art in the Park – Learn traditional ochre painting techniques

Sun 6 May, 10.30am-1pm 

Parramatta Park – Gawi Shelter  

Bookings required, see Eventbrite

Join Chris Tobin to discover the traditional Aboriginal art of painting with ochre. Parramatta Park is the heartland of the Burramatagal clan of the Darug nation. Learn the cultural significance of local plants and animals while helping to create some living murals.

This workshop will give you the opportunity to hear stories of Aboriginal life as you learn the basics of a traditional cultural practice. Participants will assist in painting temporary artworks in natural ochres on beautiful eucalyptus trees within Parramatta Park.

Fertile Ground – Bush tucker tastings,  cooking demonstration

Fri 11 May, 11am-2pm

Farmers Market, Centenary Square

For more information, see Eventbrite

Drop in to the Farmers Market anytime between 11am and 2pm and check out this demonstration of bush tucker preparation using traditional ingredients of the Aboriginal people of the Parramatta region. 

Pick up some cultural insights while you enjoy a free bush tucker tasting.  No bookings required.

Art in the Park – Aboriginal weaving workshop

Sat 12 May, 10am-1pm

Parramatta Park – Gawi Shelter

Bookings required, see Eventbrite

Traditional custodians from the Darug nation share their culture and story whilst passing on weaving techniques as passed on to them. 

Participants will contribute to an art installation making up the clan groups of the Sydney region onto a knowledge tree.  The passion and strength of Julie and Corina lies within their ancestors, their people and above all, custodianship of ngurra – country.  They will share with you their culture and story whilst in the weaving space, including passing on weaving techniques as passed on to then.The style of weaving will be coiled weaving.  There will be an opportunity to begin weaving your own coiled basket and to learn about the oral history of the coiled weave, fibres used and their purposes.

Both Julie and Corina’s cultural practices are woven into a contemporary framework by providing a platform for all participants to come together to learn many important aspects of culture. You will walk away feeling culturally enriched.

Experiment and Survival in Colonial Parramatta

Fri 18 May, 10am-1.30pm

Parramatta Park: Dairy Cottage, Old Government House, Lachlan’s Restaurant

Bookings required, see Eventbrite

This tour offers a rare glimpse into several lesser known aspects of our nation’s multi-layered history. It begins with an exploration of the Dairy Cottage, a rare surviving 18th century settler’s cottage, complete with audio-visual, interactive and archaeological displays.
En route to Old Government House delve into the agricultural experimentation that ensured the survival of the fledgling colony. Immerse yourself in a tour of Old Government House, the colonial seat of government, where ten governors lived, deciding the future of New South Wales.By now you will have worked up an appetite, so relax and enjoy your “Settler’s Lunch” at Lachlan’s Restaurant.Refreshed and revived, take advantage of your free entry to the major new exhibition “Tales from the East: India and NSW” to discover the little known story of the colony’s trade and cultural connections to the sub-continent.