Cultural Bridges: Celebrating Four Decades of Pako Festa

Experience the spirit of multiculturalism through the stories and objects of Geelong’s community.

Geelong’s National Wool Museum opens the doors to its latest exhibition, celebrating four decades of Victoria’s largest multicultural festival, Pako Festa.

“Cultural Bridges: Celebrating Four Decades of Pako Festa” is a community focused exhibition, dedicated to the achievements of the festival.

For over forty years, Pako Festa has attracted thousands of visitors, enriched the community, and strengthened connections through food, performance, and spectacle.

This exhibition, developed in partnership with Cultura, celebrates the spirit of Pako Festa through the objects and stories of the region’s multicultural communities.

Visitors experience traditional decorative dress, carefully crafted heritage items and archival material, interspersed with memories and reflections.

The festival has mirrored significant shifts in recent history, remaining relevant to new audiences without excluding the founders.

It is due to the cultural bridges built by Pako Festa that Geelong has emerged as one of Australia’s fastest growing regional cities, attracting people with shared values to this vibrant and dynamic community.

The exhibition Cultural Bridges: Celebrating Four Decades of Pako Festa coincides with:

  • The launch of 40 Years Young – Online History Project, a new interactive timeline highlighting the images, stories, past event programs, posters, media articles and media that reflect community participation.
  • Pako Festa 2024 Saturday, 24 February 2024. Be part of the largest free celebration of cultural diversity in Australia

Cultural Bridges: Celebrating Four Decades of Pako Festa is on display at the National Wool Museum until 14 July 2024.

Mayor Trent Sullivan

The City of Greater Geelong has a long and rich history of supporting Pako Festa with Cultura to deliver this popular event that celebrates Geelong’s diverse cultures.

The longevity of Pako Festa is testament to the festival’s adaptation to changes and its ability to evolve alongside the City of Greater Geelong.

National Wool Museum Director, Padraic Fisher

Presenting the stories of Pako Festa and the communities involved with this much loved and successful event is a major step in fulfilling our Vision to be a Museum of and for Geelong.

It is an important opportunity for many voices in our community to be heard and cultures seen, joyfully coming together peacefully in one museum.

Senior Curator National Wool Museum, Josephine Rout

Cultural Bridges: Celebrating Four Decades of Pako Festa is a tribute to the people who have made Pako Festa the success it is today – one of Australia’s largest multicultural festivals that has been held here in Geelong, on Wadawurrung Country, for over four decades.

/Public Release. View in full here.