Geelong Gathering adds Scottish concert in 2013

Geelong Gathering adds Scottish concert in 2013

Geelong’s new-look Highland Gathering will add a major Scottish folk music concert to its growing list of attractions when it moves to Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus, on the first weekend in March next year.

The concert will be from 7.30pm at the KD Stewart Centre, at Deakin and cost will be $25 for adults and $15 for those 15 years and younger, plus booking fees.

The Gathering committee has incorporated the highly successful Concert for the Clans, held the last two years at the Potato Shed, Drysdale, under its umbrella and plans to make it a permanent feature in future years.

Concert for the Clans organiser Ade Kelly, said he believed the Gathering as a long-term expression of Scottish culture in Geelong was the appropriate venue to showcase Scottish folk music and he looked forward to helping introduce and expand the event.

“Outside the Australian Pipe Band Championships and Bundanoon, Geelong was the biggest such event in Australia and our objective is to win back our rightful place in that regard,” president of the Geelong Highland Gathering Association, Mr John Fraser said.

“The Deakin site, which has much of the ambience of Queens Park in terms of its amphitheatre surrounds, additionally has more room, easier traffic access from the Geelong Ring Road and other facilities such as the KD Stewart Centre where the Concert for the Clans will be held.

“We are looking forward to our new home at Deakin and the end of our nomadic existence of recent years,” he said.

The Concert for the Clans will feature highly-acclaimed local group Myra McRae with her band Clan, headed up by Scottish-Australian singer and musician Myra who is well-known on the Australian Celtic folk music circuit.

Two top Melbourne Scottish folk music groups, Taliska and Red Cat, will also perform and again both are widely sought after.

Taliska, a four-piece group, received rave reviews at the Port Adelaide Celtic Festival and, as with Red Cat and Myra McRae with Clan, have also performed at the National Celtic Festival, at Portarlington.

The concert will also include solo piping and drumming segments – and a stramash – all performers on stage in a full-on musical finale.

Tickets are available on-line through links on the Geelong Highland Gathering website, the Concert for the Clans website and

While solo piping and drumming competitions on Saturday, March 2, are free events, entry on Sunday will be: Family, $40; adult. $15; Concession, $12; children 5--16, $8 and under-five, free.

Further information can be obtained at 

Posted By mick

Updated : 3rd December 2013 | Words : 422 | Views : 13878 | Comments : 1

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Geelong Highland Gathering
Geelong Highland Gathering

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Geelong Highland Gathering renews 156-year-old reconciliation with Aboriginals

The Geelong Highland Gathering and the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative will revive a 156-year-old tradition at this year’s Gathering at Deakin University.


At this year’s gathering, on March 3, the local Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative will provide a Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony as part of the official opening, have a display in a marquee and didgeridoo playrs will join other musicians during the day on the music stage.   


In 1858, the second year of the original Geelong Highland Gathering, local Wathaurong people were invited to take part: perhaps one of the earliest examples of reconciliation in Australia.


It is, perhaps ironic, to look back into history and see that many of the early Scots immigrants to Australia were victims of what have become known as the Highland Clearances, dispossessed people.


Hundreds of thousands of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders were forced to leave Scotland in the 100 years following the battle of Culloden, the last battle on British soil, as the Government of the day tried to break the Gaelic culture.


Many displaced Scots were among the wave of immigrants, convicts and free settlers, who displaced Indigenous Australians from their homelands, including Geelong.


But only a year after the first Geelong Highland Gathering was staged on the “plains of South Geelong”, east of today’s Bellarine Street, and later on the recreation reserve of the Commun Na Feinne Society – the founder of the Gathering – Aboriginals were a part of it.


Local Gaelic-speaking Scottish historian, Cliff Cumming, has written: “The Highlanders in Geelong had a great deal of interaction with the Aborigines and, from the time of the second Highland Gathering, n 1858, the Aborigines were a part of the competitions.


“It became the habit, that on the eve of the Highland Games, the Aborigines would stage a Corroboree to which the local townspeople would go and, the following day, the Highlanders would then hold their “Corroboree” (i.e. the Highland Games) which involved the Aborigines as both spectators and as competitors.”


On the Aboriginal side, Uncle Dave Tournier, today’s Wathaurong Cultural Heritage Language Officer, reminds us that Dan Dan Nook (Derdanook) was a Wathaurong man who competed in the early Highland Games and won a Gold Medal proclaiming him to be “the fastest man in Geelong”.


A chief of the Barrabool clan of the Wathaurong, he died of tuberculosis in the Geelong Invalid Asylum in 1870.


He is buried in the Western Cemetery and sadly, after his death, only one traditional Wathaurong remained living in the Geelong area according to Uncle Dave.


Meet Uncle Dave and other local Wathaurong Co-operative Indigenous people – and listen to the didgeridoo among the pipes and drums - at the 2013 Geelong Highland Gathering: and remember, “reconciliation” was around in 1858!


For further information please see

Posted By mick on Thursday 28th February 2013 @ 23:48:50