Dragon dreaming supported by CARERs

The Dragon Dreaming Festival is on again this Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23, with an array of great soul music and art. 

After kicking off in 2008, running in cycles of four, Dragon Dreaming is now in its eighth year. This year, the festival is supported by the Community Actioned Risk Education and Reduction strategy. 

Local resident and organiser Helen Cathles says the CARER system is part of the broader group that provides services to greatly improve attendee safety at Dragon Dreaming.

“CARERs are individuals from within the greater festival going community, with knowledge, experience and skills to assist festival goers with safety concerns,” she said. “They not only respond to incidents, they are also a proactive team visiting campsites and educating patrons about specific risks, and providing them with information and direction of what they can do to enjoy a much safer experience.

“We are great believers in the education and harm minimisation process rather than a nil tolerance approach to today's societal problems. We do think that the CARERS program is a very good step in that direction.”

The CARERs have roving teams that circulate throughout the campgrounds and the event arena, observing conditions and behaviors, and reacting to these either directly or referring to other specialist services.

A fixed Helper Hut will provide a first point of call for attendees in the campgrounds, where knowledge, skills and other resources are available. Mrs Cathles said the CARERs will be wearing a distinctive lanyard with the four red hearts, and the Helper Hut has a large red heart sign.

“I have to say the paddock has never looked better and Burrinjuck Dam hovers around the full mark with the excellent season we're having, so the festival site is absolutely magnificent,” she said.

This year, Dragon Dreaming has provided residents of the Yass Valley with special 'locals' tickets, available at the gate for $80. People are required to bring proof of residence to be eligible. Dragon Dreaming is located on the shores of Lake Burrinjuck on Wiradjuri Land in the Yass Valley.