Sydney Opera House Marks The Badu Gili Festival of First Nations Culture

badu gili

Sydney’s Opera House has been put to good use with its beautiful sails being used to launch the Baud Gili Festival of First Nations.

Filling our Sydney sky with bursts of colour, the Opera House lends its power to promote the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ 150th anniversary celebrations. In what is its first collaboration with the Sydney Opera House, the annual Badu Gili festival kicked off this month.

The work of six leading Aboriginal women artists represented in the Art Gallery’s permanent collection will light up each evening in a six-minute animation on the sails, as the Gallery leads up to the completion in 2022 of its Sydney Modern expansion project, designed by SANAA. 

Badu Gili 2021: Wonder Women weaves together the work of artists from across Australia: Wadawurrung elder Marlene Gilson; Yankunytjatjara woman Kaylene Whiskey; Luritja woman Sally Mulda; Western Arrarnta women Judith Inkamala and Marlene Rubuntja, and the late Kamilaroi woman Aunty Elaine Russell. 

This is the first all-female line-up for Badu Gili. Badu Gili – meaning ‘water light’ in the language of the traditional owners of Bennelong Point, the Gadigal people – is a free daily experience that explores First Nations stories in a spectacular six-minute projection on the Opera House’s eastern Bennelong sails. 

Written by Robyn Foyster

With over 30 years experience as a journalist and TV producer, Robyn Foyster is the owner and publisher of the lifestyle websites, and

Robyn was voted one of the 30 most powerful women in media at the 2015 B&T Women In Media Awards.

Previously, Robyn was the Publisher and Editor of Australia's three biggest flagship magazine brands - The Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day and New Idea.

Robyn won Editor of the Year at the 2007 Magazine of the Year Award and under her helm The Australian Women's Weekly won the inaugural 2008 Australian Magazine Award for Australia's best mass market magazine and New Idea won the MPA's coveted Magazine of the Year award.

She can be contacted on [email protected]


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