Blacktown Council chatter June 24

Grass Roots World Music Festival @ Blacktown Arts Centre
Grass Roots World Music Festival @ Blacktown Arts Centre

BLACKTOWN'S diverse community came out in force to sing, dance, eat and create together as part the Grass Roots World Music festival on Saturday for Refugee Week 2014.

The free event, organised by the Blacktown Arts Centre, SydWest Multicultural Services and Cultural Arts Collective, aimed to celebrate the cultures and talents of western Sydney.

The event brought together ancient African ceremonies, village songs, sacred music, delicious food and lively dancing on the Blacktown Arts Centre stage at Flushcombe Road from 2pm.

The Grass Roots festival featured a dance spectacular by Ghanaian ensemble Karifi of St Marys, and the Uruguayan Condombe of Lonja (Fairfield) and Shohrat Tursun Trio's new compositions, fusing Uyghur, African and Western music.

Other performers included the Global Drumming Parade, East Turkistan and Ghana fusion music makers the Shohrat Tursun Trio, Sydney-based Pakistani Sufis the Qawwalli Party, the Cemal Kurdish Music Ensemble, Choirs In The Round featuring Ekalesia Metotisi Samoa-I-Blacktown and The Sydney Sonata Singers, Vietnamese classical guitarist Ngoc Tuan Hoang, Liberian women's dance, Nepali Dancers, MC Esky and Afghani folk performers.

It’s Timely Whitlam exhibition

It’s your last chance to see the It’s Timely exhibition at the Blacktown Arts Centre. The exhibition, framed around the two speeches Whitlam delivered in Blacktown in 1972 and 1974 and marked the 40th anniversary of Whitlam’s ALP Policy Speech in Bowman Hall, Blacktown, will close on Saturday. Offered in partnership with The Whitlam Institute, University of Western Sydney, it documents the changes that transformed life and culture in Australia in the Whitlam years. Details: 9839 6558.

Blacktown City annual Pet Festival

The Blacktown City annual Pet Festival will return in November and the council is seeking stall holders. The pet festival will include free vet checks, limited free micro chipping for Blacktown City pet owners, live pet caricatures and more. For stall and sponsorship enquiries, contact Charisma Parra on 9839 6000 or

NAIDOC Week 2014 

NAIDOC Week 2014 will be marked with two free family fun days, including at Blacktown Showground on July 12 from 11am to 4pm and another free event at Jamison Park at South Penrith on July 11 from 9.30am. Both events will feature kids’ activities including face painting. The South Penrith event will feature animal farm as well as mixed netball and football games. All ages are encouraged to attend, especially the elderly.

Author Michael Robotham to visit Blacktown

Meet Australia’s master of psychological suspense, Michael Robotham, the two-time winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Book of the Year. What is he currently working on? How does he come up with ideas? How does he keep writing such amazing, white-knuckle ride books? Hear Michael Robotham talk about his craft and his latest book, Life or Death at Max Webber Library, Blacktown on July 8.

Doonside Village Festival 

The Doonside Village Festival will take place on July 12 from 9am to 3pm at the corner of Cross Street and Hill End Road, Doonside. The festival will feature a range of food and craft stalls, stage entertainment by local performers, free rides and emergency service displays. Please note there will be road closures in place throughout the day. Details: 9839 6000.

Mayoral Creative Writing Prize 2014

Adults and children aged seven years and above who live in Blacktown are invited to enter the Mayoral Creative Writing Prize 2014. The theme is ‘Feel the need… the need to READ’. Entrants can submit poems and short stories, which must be original works of fiction. Entries close June 27. Details: or 9839 6677.

Blacktown City Family Fish-In

The annual Blacktown City Family Fish-In will return on for two great weekends in August, when around 450 salmon trout will become game to all fishing enthusiasts at the Emerton Leisure Centre. Entry to the pool is free, however for those who wish to fish, adults pay $11 and children under 12 pay $5.50 per one hour session. Details: 9839 6000.


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