The Wongawilli Band is based in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. The band has been in existence since 1987 and has now built up a world-wide reputation for presenting traditional Australian folk music and dance from its white settlers.
The recognition has come from a number of overseas tours and performances starting with a visit to the Australian Film Festival in Beijing in May 2004; a 30 day tour of Denmark, Sweden and Germany in June 2005 and more recently performances at the Nanning International Folk Song Arts Festival in the southwest Guangxi Province of China.
The visit to Nanning (18 to 22 October) was at the invitation of the organisers along with performers from 20 other countries. Some of the other performers included the Vienna Boys Choir, the Academic Song and Dance Ensemble of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russian Federation (or Russian Army Choir)and groups from Austria, Turkey, Bulgaria, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Egypt, Italy, Canada, Iceland and a number of Asian countries.
The opening ceremony of the event at the Folk Song Square had over 70,000 people watching and over 500 performers.
Nanning with a populatiuon of over 6.5 million is known as the 'Green City' with hundreds of floral displays, landscape architecture features and colourful tall buildings.
The festival was established in 1999 and was based upon a traditional celebration of folk song. "On the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month the many groups in Guangxi gather at mountainsides and riversides to sing their songs of life, to make friends, show love and express their good wills for happy life."