History of the Festival

The Furneaux Islands Festival began when two Island events came together as a way of celebrating both the past island heritage and the continuing island community.

The Brown Boys playing at the Christmas dance, Cape Barren Island hall 1949

Judy Jacques and Sandro Donati in 2013 with the museum exhibition ‘Celebrating The History of Music and Dance of the Furneaux Islands’ curated the first event. The exhibition explored the rich musical history of the islands and demonstrated the deep connection between music and the community.

As a part of the museum exhibition it was always intended to stage a live concert revisiting the musical heritage on display.

When the Flinders Council decided to move the 2014 Australia Day celebrations to a day other than the 26th it was decided to join the two events and have a free community day with a program that showcased the musical heritage in the grounds of the museum.

Saturday January 25th 2014 saw the first Furneaux Islands Festival with a glorious day of music, food and community.

The Furneaux Islands Festival is:

* a celebration of the shared cultural history of the community within the Furneaux Islands.
* It aims to promote awareness and pride within the whole community, the unique aspects of the islands and their important place in Australian history.
* It celebrates the strong sense of community and seeks to provide opportunities and support for our young people.
* It values the high level of volunteer participation from within the community.
* It seeks to promote the islands as a place for positive visitation and experience.
* It invites the community to reflect privately on the place and meaning of the ‘Australia Day’ holiday.