nhangara barayi

World Class Training Facilities and Dance Studios


“The words nhangara barayi meaning ‘’dancing ground’’, were respectfully gifted to NAISDA from the Darkinjung language. They are a proud declaration of NAISDA’s connection and belonging to our creative home here on Darkinjung Country. As a unique gathering place intrinsically linked to community and storytelling, nhangara barayi fosters belonging and relatedness in a creative, nourishing space. It is a place where our young people come together to learn, share and celebrate the richness of our cultures through the powerful voice of dance, language and song.”

On Thursday 27 June 2019, NAISDA opened nhangara barayi, a unique, purpose-specific dancing ground and living learning space situated at Cottage One within the grounds of the NAISDA campus.

nhangara barayi was officially launched by Dr Nerida Blair, Chair of NAISDA Board of Studies. NAISDA welcomed students from Darkinjung Barker College as the first community group to perform in the space in collaboration with Darkinjung Elder Uncle Gavi Duncan from Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council. The event also included performances by NAISDA’s Developing Artists.

As a sand dancing ground, nhangara barayi ensures cultural learning, engagement and performance takes place in a live, outdoor creative space, grounded on Darkinjung Land. This increases authenticity of experience for performers and audiences by being intrinsically linked to the richness of place, culture and people.

nhangara barayi also provides an opportunity for NAISDA to increase connection with community and is a unique venue for community gatherings, workshops and performances welcoming our Aboriginal Community, Elders, Cultural Tutors, school children and audiences to gather for cultural sharing, learning, connection and celebration.

nhangara barayi was made possible through the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services, Social Housing Community Improvement Grant.

The following video library provides a selection of events, stories and audiences reflecting, sharing celebrating cultural connection on Darkinjung Country at nhangara barayi. The videos and stories provide enduring acknowledgment of the significance of Aboriginal culture, achievement and continuing contributions within the space.

Filming was funded by the NSW Government through the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Grants program.

NAISDA thanks and acknowledges the invaluable support and funding from the NSW Government towards nhangara barayi and its programming.

NSW Government