....I acknowledge the traditional owners of country in which I reside and pay respect to them and to their elders. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country and recognise their connection to land, wind, water, and community.


BIG TALK = real talking, real listening

ONE FIRE = coming together with the spirit of community

Big Talk One Fire began way back in 2008 at the Cairns Civic Centre, as an Indigenous Cultural Arts Summit. UMI Arts invited Elders from communities acrosss Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands to come together and dicsuss the importance of culture in community, and ways to strengthen our community. The focus of the summit was to SHARE and HEAR the stories, journeys and aspirations of Aborignal and Torres Starit Islander poeples from across this diverse region. Over those two days in 2008 we were pleased to get 350 poeple all in a room together for a yarn about culture and community. 

Since then, BTOF has grown bigger!

Big Talk One Fire is now one of the most important Indigenous cultural events on the Cairns Calendar, and is not just a summit but a FESTIVAL! For many years the Main Stage at Big Talk has attracted some of the region’s deadliest First Nations performers, and music and dance make up one of the highlights of the event. The Arts Market showcases some of the finest arts and crafts created by our region’s talented First Nations artists and designers. The Symposium is still an important part of Big Talk One Fire, with a focus on telling stories, sharing experience and listening to each other’s perspectives. 

In 2023 we have tried to bring more experiences that will let visitors learn more about and engage more with First Nations culture, through dance workshops, weaving circle, beading, cultural painting and storytelling.

UMI Arts’ Mission is to preserve, strengthen, maintain and celebrate all aspects of Indigenous arts and culture, and Big Talk One Fire is vital to this mission

We hope you enjoy this Festival of First Nations culture!