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Fresh from a wonderful visit from ABC’s Costa Georgiadis, the Bombala Preschool is planning its next great community event, with a firey Ngulla Garden Solstice Ceremony in the works.

And once again the preschool will be welcoming a very special guest, with River Cottage Australia’s Paul West set to be a big part of the festivities on June 22.

As always, this latest Ngulla Garden project will closely involve local schools, with the day prior being used to set up the site for a solstice fire surrounded by a sand mandala with the help of Bombala High students.

The big day itself will see Paul joining Ngulla Garden cultural adviser, Nathan Lygon and primary and preschool students as they decorate the rings of the sand mandala throughout the day.

The children will use items from nature as well as hand and finger prints to decorate the fine sand rings, which will then cast interesting shadows when the central fire is lit later in the evening.

Paul will stay on for the night’s activities which will begin with a potluck dinner as families attending bring a plate to share before the ceremony begins.

The preschool students will then make a lantern procession down to the ceremony site, setting them up around the outer rings of the mandala.

With Nathan playing the Yidaki – or didgeridoo – an Acknowledgment of Country will be made before the tall central fire is finally lit.

From here a flame will be carried to the nearby yarnin’ fire, with the group then sharing time watching the shadows of the mandala change as the central fire burns down. 

The event will be similar to another very successful fire ceremony held in Bermagui that was also organised by Dan Bakker of Eat Dirt Permaculture, who is the project manager of Ngulla Garden in Bombala. 

“It will be a rather significant event given we will be initiating the cultural fire that Nathan, Paul Parker and I have been working on these past months,” Dan said. 

“With June 22 signalling the shortening of the long nights, the waxing of our days and being central to winter we feel this a special time to energise the project and give life to the fire circle.”

Some of the final details are still being finalised, and numbers will be strictly limited, but the Solstice Ceremony will certainly make for a very exciting event for the Bombala Preschool community and its friends. 

To find out more, please email the Bombala Preschool at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Issue #78
    June 2021
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