Boomerang Festival director Rhoda Roberts.
Boomerang Festival director Rhoda Roberts. Marc Stapelberg

Call for investment in culture as Boomerang Fest kicks off

AS THE 2018 Boomerang Festival kicked off today, there were calls for the state government to invest more money in indigenous arts.

Boomerang Festival director Rhoda Roberts welcomed the "very small amount of money” they receive to support their festival, which runs in conjunction with Bluesfest.

But she said investing in Australia's indigenous arts and preserving their stories made economic sense.

"97% of visitors to Australia want an indigenous experience and 24% are receiving that experience,” she said.

"Often, they think they have to go to Central Australia to receive that experience.”

With a diverse host of incredible talents on show with her event, Ms Roberts said that couldn't be further from the truth.

"It comes back to tourism opportunities for Aboriginal peoples across the country to be economically independent,” she said.

"Cultural tourism is a way we can... bring a different lens to that story.

"If you even get a taste of the Boomerang Festival, you will see local people's acts.

"You will see acts from across the country.”

Bluesfest director Peter Noble said while he supported the Boomerang Festival's inclusion in his event, he believed it should warrant a separate festival.

He said New South Wales was "far behind” other states in supporting indigenous creatives.

"NSW again seems to be not only lagging behind, it's not even in the race... when you compare it to the other states and what they're prepared to do,” he said.

The Boomerang Festival will run until Sunday.

Visit boomerangfestival.com.au.