The putalina Festival celebrates Indigenous music and culture and is a gathering of people from across the state who are united by blood and/or purpose. I can trace my ancestry to a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman, so now that we’re in Tasmania, I’ve been keen to introduce my girls to their people’s community. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre organises the music festival each year, providing a terrific line-up of local artists for the crowd who today battled the sun, wind and rain (sometimes simultaneously) to show their support.

Aboriginal, Indigenous Australian flag, flying at putalina, Tasmania, January 2015
As an annual event — putalina Festival — celebrates the Tasmanian Aboriginal community’s reoccupation and reclamation of this Oyster Cove site in 1984.

putalina land, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
A short drive south of Hobart, putalina is a beautiful location on Oyster Cove just north of Kettering. It was originally the site of mistreatment of Indigenous Australians by European settlers, but the current generations of Tasmanians have transformed the land's energy to infuse it with good memories and hope.

We arrived a bit late, and judging by the number of cars parked for kilometres up the road, arriving earlier would have been better! We first assessed the children’s entertainment (deliberately avoiding the ice-cream vendor who was parked close by — much to Lana’s chagrin).

putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
A couple of children's rides are operating to one side of the main stage area.

Lana and Brioni at putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
Lana enjoys the ride while Brioni spins the cup by twisting the wheel in the centre.

Cali and Brioni playing at putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
And then they're off into the bouncing castle!

Once the girls were comfortable with the procedure of the rides and the layout of the festival, I set up our blanket in front of the main stage to watch the acts. The girls could come and join me for the entertainment or return to the games.

putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
"We're all about that bass, 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass," this group sings, and half the crowd sings along.

kanaplila-ripana dance group at putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
The first performance by the kanaplila-ripana dance group is about escaping from the boogeyman.

Performer at putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
Taylor Hughes wows the crowd with her voice and presentation.

The weather was extremely schizophrenic, alternating between brilliant, burning sunshine and icy rain. Some spectators were prepared with raincoverings and umbrellas, but other moved locations according to their comfort levels.

Picnicking at putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
During the rain, we take refuge under a tree to one side. At the top of the site, the elders are protected from the sun and rain by marquees.

putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
A free barbecue lunch is on offer — with kangaroo sausages and wallaby steaks being served alongside more conventional fare.

putalina Festival, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, January 2015
The spectators move back into the sun after the rain.

We left mid-afternoon when the girls complained about being cold (despite wearing their snow jackets). I felt disappointed to a couple more hours of the eclectic range of performers but now that we know about putalina Festival, we can add this to our calendar of events for next year!