The festival showcases our rich history

There is an array of activities taking place during the 23-day festival in April.

The 2022 Heritage Festival schedule has been released, with more than 150 activities taking place over the 23-day celebration of local culture and history in April.

From its rich First Nations heritage to the European settlers of the early 1820s, archaeologist Meg Walker says our city’s history is all around us – under our feet and in the traditional owners and descendants who still inhabit our town.

The Canberra Archaeological Society (CAS) archaeologist says the upcoming Heritage Festival is an important event to teach locals about this history and how it has shaped who we are today.

“A lot of people don’t know anything about Canberra except that it was ‘planted here’ or man-made,” Meg said. “But there’s a lot more to our story than that.”

“The Heritage Festival is a fun and engaging opportunity to share little snapshots of life in Canberra before cars, buildings, phones and the internet.”

A CAS event includes a field day at Crinigan’s Hut Ruin in Amaroo, where children become budding archaeologists.

“We’ll show them how people lived in the mid-1800s, when people entertained themselves with old-fashioned dolls, toys, and marbles. Children today are always fascinated that people can be entertained by so little,” Meg said.

“They may not have had much, but these early European settlers were important in building relationships and establishing local community. They came as settlers and ex-convicts but were able to start a new life here.

Crinigan's Shack in Amaroo

Pictured: Crinigan’s Hut in Amaroo.

That’s what the Heritage Festival aims to do: transform sometimes intangible concepts like ‘heritage’ into tangible and meaningful things for all Canberrans.

Winanggaay Ngunnawal Aboriginal Language Corporation President Caroline Hughes echoes that sentiment, saying the Heritage Festival plays an important role in our city’s journey of reconciliation.

“The Heritage Festival gives us the opportunity to learn more about our past, better understand the present and look to the future,” said Caroline.

Her organization hosts Ngunnawal language sessions, which she says are an informal, fun and engaging way for people of all ages to engage with First Nations culture and history.

“We offer everyday Canberrans the opportunity to learn an ancient language; the language of the very first speakers of this country,” Caroline said.

“It is important that the Ngunnawal language is not considered to belong only to the Ngunnawal peoples. We hope the wider community will engage with this so that we can hear our language spoken by everyone.

“I encourage everyone to come and have fun.”

The Heritage Festival 2022 runs from April 9 to May 1, 2022, with a Kid’s Week from April 18 to 22. This year marks the 39and annual festival and offers more than 150 activities. The theme for 2022 is “Curiosity”. Click here to consult the program of activities.