Malandarri Festival

Friday 17 – Saturday 18 June 2022, Borroloola Showgrounds

The Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Gurdanji and Mara peoples invite you onto Yanyuwa Country to celebrate culture through music, and dance.

Special guests this year will be the  Dhambul Dancers (Devil Dancers) from Numbulwar; Dave Spry performing with Roper Gulf musician Barnabus Timothy, and Dr Shellie Morris who is working toward the debut performance of The Woman’s Cultural Song Project.  A powerful cross cultural collaboration of the Tiwi Strong Woman’s Choir joining voices with the Borroloola Women’s Choir.

Arrkula Yinbayarra (together we sing) is a project born of a passion for women’s voices to be elevated and heard in languages that are endangered but have a strong culture of songlines, dances and connection that have always been linked to country.

Dr Shellie Morris has spent many years being invited to communities around the world but her relationship with the Borroloola Songwomen is one of the most special, due equally to her journey of discovery and her familial ties to the region as a Yanyuwa woman. She has been working since 2008 with women from the different language groups connected to the Borroloola area in a collaboration to create a women’s cultural song group that celebrates the living languages of the region. This gathering of women was a vision of Marlene Timothy who dreamed of strengthening the traditional languages Yanyuwa, Marra, Garrwa and Gudanji with new songs created together. While Dr Morris is Director of the group, Shellie considers herself a student under the strong Songwomen of the languages, dance and culture and the two-way learning between all to sit, listen, create and sing has been one of the most rewarding of her career so far.

The Malandarri Festival is a family friendly, drug and alcohol free event. Entry each day is by gold coin donation and children under 16 are free. Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the food available to purchase from the market stalls. Gates open at 5pm on Friday and 2pm on Saturday.

The 2021 Malandarri Festival has a COVID-safe plan in place and is a community-only event.


A focus for Borroloola is the development of opportunities within the arts and cultural sector for local artists and arts workers and the delivery of the annual Malandarri Festival. The Malandarri Festival Director and Cultural Events Officer, Marlene Timothy, a senior Yanyuwa/Garrwa woman leads the Indigenous Traditional Dance Program community engagement in Borroloola and Robinson River, ensuring the Festival and related activity is community-driven.

The Malandarri Festival celebrates both traditional and contemporary arts and cultural practices from Borroloola clan groups, the Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Gurdanji and Mara peoples. The festival, formerly known as DanceSite, is part of a range of ongoing artistic and professional development opportunities offered throughout the year based in Borroloola and the wider Gulf of Carpentaria region.


Marlene Timothy

Malandarri Festival Director and Cultural Events Officer

Waralungku Art Centre
Robinson Road, Borroloola NT 0854