The Creative Team behind YIRRAMBOI, Australia’s premiere First Nations celebration, are thrilled to announce that YIRRAMBOI will return from 6 to 16 May 2021. To celebrate the return of this major Cultural Festival, the team are excited to announce the YIRRAMBOI Commissions for 2021, which include a cabaret inspired by the closure of Northland Secondary College, theatre productions, a musical and a new circus creation.
“It’s an honour to lead our Country’s best and brightest Creative minds and talents in this Festival and while our Cultures belongs to us, YIRRAMBOI represents a chance for everyone to celebrate together,” said YIRRAMBOI’s Creative Director, Caroline Martin.
YIRRAMBOI is more than a Festival. It’s a First Peoples-led opportunity to Create a vision for the future and these brilliantly Creative Commissions are an integral part of this, she added.
The YIRRAMBOI Commissions chosen for 2021 cover a broad range of creative disciplines including cabaret, theatre and circus and represent some of Australia’s most exciting emerging and established First Peoples creative minds and talents. They include:
- Our Fight for Survival, a cabaret production about the closure and eventual re-opening of Northland Secondary College by Yorta Yorta and Wemba Wemba Creative, Lyn Thorpe and Multi-Clan Creative, Nick Hayne from the Northland Campaign Community Reference Group. Our Fight for Survival is an untold story that brings to life the true meaning of community, justice and the failed education system in Northland Secondary School from 1992.
- Soul of Possum, a theatre piece by Wamba Wamba Creative Brodie Murray which explores institutional hierarchy, social Darwinism and authoritarian control. The play highlights Wamba Wamba survival as First Peoples and explores the contrasting relationships that settlers and First Nations societies have had with Country, ecology, leadership and spirituality.
- Coconut Woman by Meriam Mer (Erub Island) Creative and founding member of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company Maryanne Sam, will present a comedy and drama musical about finding peace and place. This light-hearted, yet important story strongly aligns with YIRRAMBOIs values of First Nations and self-determination on true and accurate stories as told by First Peoples.
- What Mothers Do by Bibbulman Noongar/Burmese Creative, Nazaree Dickerson, a theatre piece exploring the effects of intergenerational trauma caused by colonial interruptions to black motherhood. What Mothers Do received an overwhelming response from audiences as part of ILIBIJERRI Theatre’s Black Writers Master Class at the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
- Invisible Lines, by Waka Waka Creative Harley Mann, is an exploration of the unique and unbreakable bond that connects Aboriginal people. Four emerging Indigenous acrobats explore and celebrate what it means to be Aboriginal and to be part of the oldest living culture in the world. The piece tells stories of unseen connections that transcend time, place and boundaries.
Meaning ‘Tomorrow’, in the shared local languages of the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung peoples, YIRRAMBOI is a celebration of the diversity and continuous evolution of the longest living cultures in the World. It features a unique and exciting program of free and low-cost events spanning genres and art forms including music, dance, theatre, film, exhibitions, markets, fashion parades, family-friendly events, talks and symposiums.
The 2021 iteration of YIRRAMBOI will focus on extending its reach to support regional programs with a strong focus on the Creative talents of women within the Koorie community.
About Caroline Martin:
Creative Director, Caroline Martin is a Boonwurrung and Wemba Wemba Woman, a proud Koorie Victorian, and direct descendant of the Briggs and Taylor families. Caroline was appointed the Creative Director of YIRRAMBOI First Nations Festival in late 2018.
Prior to leading YIRRAMBOI, Caroline managed Koorie community engagement and involvement in the development of the First Peoples exhibition, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum. The exhibition won national and international awards and is viewed as best practice in community engagement. Caroline is a highly respected senior leader across a broad range of environments and also founded Yalukit Marnang, a First Peoples owned and operated Cultural Strengthening consultancy.
Image credit: Tiffany Garvie