New National music, arts and action festival tackles justice and welcome

New National music, arts and action festival tackles justice and welcome

Popular musicians Katie Noonan, Archie Roach and Blue King Brown, as well as a host of refugee advocates, academics, religious groups and development Organisations, have joined forces to launch “Beyond”, a new national justice festival.

To be held in Canberra on the October Long Weekend (2-5 October), the festival aims to tackle national and international justice issues, including indigenous rights, asylum and refugee policy, and equality.

“Beyond Festival has been a work in progress for some years and is birthed out of 30 years experience with the Black Stump Festival,” said festival coordinator Robert Howie.

According to Mr Howie, the timing is perfect for such an event. “Given the ongoing controversy around refugee policy, and on the back of a federal budget that has ripped billions of dollars from the poorest of the poor, we are more convinced than ever for the necessity of community voices to stand united on issues of welcome, justice and compassion.”

“Add to this the unfolding horror for Rohingyan refugees in limbo in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand, and the Prime Minster’s recent comments relating to services for remote indigenous communities, and the case becomes clear that we need to work out better ways of living together. Beyond Festival aims to be part of that new conversation.

“These are issues of national significance, so Canberra was the obvious location choice.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have musicians of the calibre of Katie Noonan, Archie and Blue King Brown at our first festival – and loads more besides, as well as outstanding community leaders such as Rev Tim Costello.”

Full details and tickets for the festival are available at www.beyondfestival.com.au, with further line-up announcements to be announced this month.

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