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Indigenous Festivals and Community Development: A Sociocultural Analysis of an Australian Indigenous Festival

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Festivals and events are widely recognized as having the potential to deliver sociocultural benefits for host communities and destinations. In countries such as Australia, Indigenous communities are looking towards festivals as vehicles to facilitate capacity building, self-determination, and reconciliation. Given this context, this article utilizes Brisbane's Annual Sports and Cultural festival as a case study to identify and critically examine the sociocultural benefits of festivals; and to identify and discuss those key critical factors which promote positive sociocultural benefits and sustainable community development through the staging of indigenous festivals. through a qualitative research approach, semistructured, in-depth interviews were undertaken with 18 Queensland local and State government actors and key stakeholders of the Annual Sports and Cultural festival. the findings revealed that the festival creates positive sociocultural benefits not only for festival participants and attendees but also for the wider indigenous community. Such benefits include the development of social capital, cultural preservation, and reconciliation, all of which are arguably significant factors in the facilitation of sustainable community development.
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Keywords: INDIGENOUS FESTIVALS; SOCIAL CAPITAL; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-04-01

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  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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