RESPECT, kindness, embracing your culture, being proud of your story and sharing your strength - the Nyiirun Djiyagan Wakulda Women's Festival in Port Macquarie today (May 7) achieved that and more.
The annual event attracted more than 500 people from across the Mid North Coast, It was hosted by the Djiyagan Dhanbaan strong sister movement at the Birpai Aboriginal Lands Council grounds.
Painting, dancing, music, health and wellness tents, bush tucker, a yarning circle, story telling and a sound tent all combined for a shared experienced designed to empower and celebrate women of all ages.
Elders from the Birpai, Dunghutti, Biripi and Worimi mobs gathered to discuss and reflect on the important role they play in the community in connecting young people with their culture and sharing their knowledge with future leaders.
"We want our young women to be proud of their culture and heritage, who they are and what they are," Vicki Taylor said.
Mary-Lou Buck said "it's all about respect".
Organiser Rhonda Radley said the festival will continue the theme from this year's International Women's Day campaign - Choose to Challenge.
"I think we need to aim for equality, equity, kindness and truth-telling," she said.
"What comes from that education and a space to hear, to listen, to think, learn and know. This is Ngarra - and this is all of these things.
"I think some people need to be challenged and make themselves available to connect."
Ms Radley said the festival will be an opportunity to welcome conversations in a loving and respectful way.
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