Scots of Victoria

Geelong Highland Gathering Association Inc.

Member Society Name:
Geelong Highland Gathering Association Inc.
11894 853461
President John M. Fraser
Marene Turnley
The Secretary G.H.G.A.
(03) 5274 9193 (after hours)
P.O.Box 798 Geelong, Victoria 3220
Meetings Committee meetings are held each month
Place RSL Complex
Barwon Heads Road
2014 Highland Gathering

National Longsword Tournament

for Geelong Highland Gathering

 Competitors from across Australia and New Zealand will take part in the inaugural Western Martial Arts Academies of Australia National Longsword Tournament, at the Geelong Highland Gathering, at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus, on Sunday, March 2, 2014. This will be the premier event of it kind in Australia. The Gathering will also host the South West Victoria Highland Pipe Band Championships and the South Pacific Heavy Games Championships. All the traditional Gathering events, Highland dancing competitions, Scottish Country dancing displays, a Scottish fair and market, Clan and other Scottish organisation and genealogical tents, the Scottish breeds dog show and expanding children’s features, make for a great family day. But the new Longsword Tournament is very exciting and another addition as the Geelong Gathering expands its offering. More than 30 longswordsmen, from schools around Australia and New Zealand will converge on Geelong, including regulars at the Gathering from the Victorian Glen Lachlann Estate College of Arms (GLECA) and the Melbourne Swordplay Guild (MSG). Other styles of longsword swordplay will also be on display, with German, Italian and English styles also practiced by competitors adding their own unique training systems and finesse. Displays of Highland broadsword and Scottish smallsword will be on show. Competitors in the National Tournament will use synthetic longswords made of a specially hardened plastic, generally considered a little safer than steel weapons in a tournament context as well as providing a level playing field. Tournaments inspired on Historical European Martial Arts are developing an international following and are not choreographed. Strikes are judged on accurate and skilful application of technique and WMAA strive to make multi-school events like this National Tournament accessible to all schools which teach the longsword. The Geelong Highland Gathering has been nomadic for the past five years after losing its 53-year-home at Queens Park, but has now found a new home at the Deakin University Waurn Ponds Campus. It now plans to rebuild and attempt to regain the Victorian Pipe Band Championships which it hosted for 10 years and bid for the Australian Pipe Band Championships, which it had applied for when it lost its long-term home. Deakin University has been very supportive and is working with the Gathering and Geelong Major Events to help it once again become a major nation event. The Gathering also last year renewed a 156-year relationship with the local Wathaurong Aboriginal community, sharing a Welcome to Country Ceremony, a smoking ceremony and including a display of artefacts and showcasing didgeridoo and other Aboriginal musicians on the music stage. This will again be a part of the 2014 Gathering, perhaps a reminder that Scots-Wathaurong reconciliation began in 1858. Additional Information: Daryl McLure 0438217227/
Purpose: To bring Scottish Traditions and Culture to as many people as possible through a Highland Gathering with a wide variety of Scottish activities.
Short history: The Geelong Highland Gathering is part of a modern sequence started, over thirty years ago, in 1958.
The origins, however, are much older than that, going back to 1857.
The original Gathering Promoted by Commun na Feinne (established in 1856) was held on New Years Day at Kardina Park Oval, South Geelong and its badge included a Highlander in full regalia and an Aboriginal warrior, perhaps an early sign of reconciliation.
As is well known,there was a big population of Scots in Victoria in the middle part of the eighteen hundreds and the Gathering had all the usual sports as well as the Piping and Highland Dancing. All the best Competitors ,Pipers and Dancers came to Geelong which was a top event even a century ago.
The original Geelong Gatherings were held for over seventy years until the Depression of the 1930’s.
Today the Gathering is held at Queens Park, one of the nicest settings for a Gathering anywhere in Australia.
The decision to use Queens Park was made when the Gathering was revived in 1958 as part of the Centenary celebrations of the Newtown and Chilwell City Council.
The gathering is a colourful celebration of all things Scottish, with kilts and tartans everywhere, but people of all ethnic backgrounds have traditionally joined in the fun, which includes Highland and Scottish Country dancing, Scottish Heavy Games, including the popular caber-tossing, Scottish folk music and a fair and market.It is now one of the most popular and is part of the late summer Victorian Circuit of Highland Games. . The gathering in 2008 was granted Geelong Major Event status and funding to expand its activities by the City of Greater Geelong. It attracts more than 6000 people annually, many from elsewhere in Victoria as well as from other parts of Australia and overseas. As well as all the traditional Scottish attractions, the Gathering has grown to embrace archery, wood-chopping competitions, children’s activities, and a farmyard for small children and displays by a Scottish military re-enactment group, the 42nd Highlanders. Most activities continue throughout the day, so there is much to keep visitors interested. There are clan tents where people can check their Scottish genealogy and heritage. The Gathering is deliberately oriented toward families, with barbecue and picnic facilities available, novelty haggis hurling for all ages and access for disabled to most areas, depending on the weather. Further information can be obtained at
Established: 1958 Geelong, Victoria.
  • Victorian Scottish Union
  • Pipe Bands Association