Laura Quinkan Dance Festival Stuns Crowds With Aboriginal Art and Culture

The Laura Quinkan Festival has stunned 5000 participants with its artistic depiction of Indigenous history and culture.

Credit: Laura Quinkan Dance Festival

Caution: Please note this article contains the names of people who have died.

After being cancelled in 2020, the Laura Quinkan Festival took place in July. While restrictions limited audience numbers, the festival still held a 5000-strong audience in far North Queensland. The festival took place on traditional Bora ground in Quinkan country, and over 20 communities gathered.

The festival took place as a means of demonstrating traditional Indigenous stories through dance, song, and cultural performances. Aside from being the host location for the festival, the Bora ground is also home to Australia’s most significant collection of rock art. Since the festival’s start in the 1980s, it is the oldest running cultural festival for Indigenous culture.


Kuku-Thaypan Yalanji woman Patty Morris Banjo was part of the celebrations that occurred in Queensland. Being deaf, however, allows her to partake in a different aspect of traditional dance. As part of the stolen generation, she was raised by her foster family to dance through ballet.

She told the ABC how she was still able to dance to the beat of the music perfectly, receiving standing ovations for her performances.

Credit: Carli Willis (ABC Far North)

She now dances for her traditional and cultural roots, having established the Indigenous Deaf Dance Group (IDDG) in 1998. The group was developed with Priscilla Seden who has since passed away. Banjo attributes the group’s success to her, stating how they dance on wooden floors so as to feel the vibrations of the music “and we respond to the ground, and we can link to the music through our eyes”.

The festival is set to take place again in 2023. Find tickets available for sale here.

Watch the captured video below to see what went on this year!

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