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Rangebow brings gourmet, culture and comedy


by Victoria McGuin


The Rangebow Festival is a three-day celebration of the creative life and spirit of the Range communities, with a focus on diversity, inclusion, sustainability and reconciliation.

Events include a world premiere play, enchanted garden, sound-bath, cabaret, opera, and a stunning exhibition of Indigenous art, curated with the help of Quandamooka artist, Libby Harward of Munimba-Dja Aboriginal Gallery in Maleny. This very special experience will include our First Nations brothers playing a blown-glass didgeridoo, created by acclaimed local glass artist Tina Cooper of Montville.

The hugely popular Forage Fire Feast with Aunty Dale Chapman also returns - this was a sell-out event during 2022’s festival.


“It was fabulous last year,” said Aunty Dale, “I really enjoyed it, which is why I am so happy to come back this year!


“The NAIDOC theme for 2023 is ‘For Our Elders’, and my chef team decided to pay homage to me as their elder, through Forage Fire Feast, which is very kind.”

Aunty Dale is one of Australia’s leading Indigenous award-winning chefs and she will work alongside a team of seven talented chefs, including Chris Jordan of Three Little Birds, using sustainable, ethically sourced bushfoods and local produce.


“The team cook with passion, they use sovereign foods and botanicals, showcasing flavours from the local land,” shared Aunty Dale.


“We will start with canapes on the lawn and a smoking ceremony. There will be a yarn with Aunty, and then we will be elevating the Sunday Roast with gorgeous lumps of game, meat and fish.


“Expect vibrant colours and deep flavours, with extra touches between courses, and to finish, pannacotta, a cup of tea and foraged grain biscuits.


“It will be a culinary adventure.”


If that’s not enough, you will be entertained by Australia’s godfather of Indigenous comedy, Sean Choolburra, while enjoying the stunning menu.

Sean’s unique comedy style is built on storytelling and his performances are suitable for all ages. He also provides solo cultural performances and workshops to schools, communities, and corporate organisations.


“I’ve been busy doing three one-hour shows a day to different schools recently, so that’s 15 shows a week – pretty exhausting!” Sean shared with me when we recently caught up.


Sean’s career has seen him perform at festivals such as Woodford, and the Adelaide Fringe, and major events such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the NRL Indigenous Games.

Sean and Aunty Dale’s family are connected, and he explained to me how much he was looking forward to hosting Forage Fire Feast.


“I love Aunty Dale’s food. I remember having some wattle seed and bush pepper popcorn, which was so good!


“I’m not so great at cooking, except Mexican food,” Sean admitted. “I don’t know why that is, but when we go to Mexican restaurants, my family say, ‘Man, your Mexican is 100 times better.’


He stopped for a moment to consider. “I wonder if Mexicans have ‘Aussie Tuesday’ nights? You know how we have Taco Tuesdays, and people often have Friday fish and chips…


“I reckon tastebuds are open to any culture and society, it’s our minds that aren’t.”

Sean is based in Townsville, having moved back home during Covid. “I’m looking forward to coming to the hinterland and experiencing the different foods, the dance and music at Rangebow. It’s going to be good to be in the area, meet all the local people and be part of it.”


If last year is anything to go by, Forage Fire Feast will sell out – so secure your tickets early!


Forage Fire Feast – a First Nations Gourmet and Culture Experience is being hosted by Flaxton Gardens, 313 Flaxton Drive, Flaxton on August 10, from 6-10pm. For tickets visit therangebowfestival.org


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