Zest Festival

One of CHE's most significant community arts partnerships is with the Zest Festival, in Western Australia. This resulted in celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the landing of Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who arrived safely in the Kalbarri/Shark Bay area in 1616. CHE's partnership with the Festival provides country West Australians with a glimpse of a significant collision between two worlds and igniting a new interpretation of history, as well as a new look at the town's cultural heritage. In 2014 the Festival theme was ‘The Colour of Ritual, The Spice of Life’. CHE worked with Peter Hadley from Methodist Ladies’ College to bring a weeklong series of music workshops to the local school, culminating in a Gamelan performance with Sofari Hidayat from the Indonesian Consulate. CHE also provided historical content for the festival exhibition on ‘Faith, Fervour and Feeling’, and produced a 60-page teacher resource pack.


The festival included a 'Still Life/Our Life' exhibition exploring the life of the Dutch in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries alongside life in Kalbarri today. Contemporary creative works by Kalbarri local artists that reflect the modern Australian life - domestic or exotic - were exhibited in conjunction with images of Dutch still life paintings and Dutch seventeenth-century objects from the Western Australian Museum's shipwreck collections. Download the Still Life / Our Life: Emotions across Time, Art and Place event booklet.


The festival cast its eye over the ocean to Cape Town in South Africa – a critical place for sailors to rest, restock and re-man their vessels. Kalbarri explored its cultural connections to the Cape and celebrated these through dance, movement, art, music, performance, food and adventure. Click here for a snapshop of the festival or download the Far From Home: Adventures, Treks, Exiles, Migrations event booklet.

Download 2013 Education Pack



The festival focused on colour and textiles, religions and philosophies, and the important rituals in life from birth, death, marriage and the coming of age  in Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. We explored the precious cargoes of dyes and textiles traded by the VOC and how these new products impacted on Europe. Who made these dyes and textiles, what did they mean in daily life and how did the new trade affect their lives’?

Download 2014 Education Pack


The Zest Festival focused on the human desire for new and beautiful things and the emotions surrounding them, exploring Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies, origami arts, bonsai, and the crafting of fine objects and how the history of Dutch trade of these objects influenced the aesthetics and desires of Europe. Under Kalbarri night skies, visitors experienced the dramatic enactment of the court of a shogun, a theatrical performance incorporating large-scale puppetry, music, acting and dance, which told the story of the shogun and the impact of European visitation.

Download 2015 Education Pack


We commemorated the400-year anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s landing in Shark Bay in his ship Eendracht, which means unity. We recognised those who preceded us, acknowledging their contributions to our Australian society today and the human qualities which opened up new possibilities and connections to the world.

Download 2016 Education Pack