[For Full Program go back to here.]
Kirsty Altenburg. Currently the Assistant Director, Cultural Heritage North at the Department of sustainability, Environment, Water Population and Communities. Kirsty has a background in Historical Archeology. She has a long history of working and consulting for the Australian Heritage Assessment and Management Committee and the Australian Heritage Commission. Research included her PhD was on “Women at work in Reidsdale”. A valued volunteer at Sydney University on the Greater Anchor Project, following from her work researching Australian/Chinese history titled ‘Dragon’s Tails’.
Donald Atkinson is a Yuin Man with Yorta Yorta connections. He is a printmaker and basket weaver and has exhibited his work in many group shows on the South Coast of NSW and in previous Two Fires Festivals. In 2012 he staged a solo exhibition of his “Leaching Baskets” at the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) premises in Batemans Bay. Donald’s baskets combine traditional techniques and his contemporary arts practice. With his partner, Cheryl Davison, Donald also collaborated in 2012 with graffiti artist, Tim Phibs, in a huge public work – the Narooma Pool Mural Project – which also involved local school children.
Michelle Bedford is an emerging artist and writer of poetry and prose. She is an Aboriginal woman from the Jaru/Kija people in the East Kimberley. Michelle is a talented artist with many interests, particularly Indigenous and world histories, environmental issues and religions of the world. Michelle has been an active poet for many years, and as poet and story teller, recently joined the US Mob Writing group in the ACT. Michelle’s work will be included in the US Mob Writing collection to be published in 2013.
Clive and Penny Blazey founded The Digger’s Club in 1977 and it has subsequently grown to be the biggest mail-order gardening club in Australia, with an emphasis on food plants for the home gardener, as well as freely providing information and discussion on landscaping, climate issues, organics, and more. Now retired but still involved at Digger’s, Clive’s gardening books provide thoughtful assistance to food gardeners, and Clive and Penny are occasionally to be found giving informative presentations to the public.
Dwayne Bannon-Harrison is the eldest grandson of Yuin elder Uncle Max “Dulumunmun” Harrison. Dwayne has been taught all his knowledge of his native Yuin country under the watchful eye of his Grandfather. He was given his traditional name “Naja” from his grandfather. He is the director of Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness. Dwayne has put a lot into his cultural knowledge and is now carrying on the legacy that his grandfather and his ancestors have bestowed on him. He is studying a Degree in Indigenous Studies complementing his sound knowledge of his Yuin country dreaming where he also resides.
Gabrielle Carey was born in Sydney and published her first co-authored book, Puberty Blues, at the age of 20. She then travelled and lived between Ireland and Mexico for several years. Author of both fiction and non-fiction works, including In My Father’s House, The Borrowed Girl and So Many Selves, Gabrielle’s forthcoming book focuses on Australian novelist and poet Randolph Stow. She has a long-term interest in James Joyce and is the coordinator of Australia’s only Finnegans Wake reading group.She teaches writing at the University of Technology, Sydney, and is currently the acting Director for the Centre for New Writing.
Marcelle Gurrandgi Churchill is an indigenous performance artist from Grafton area. Her work is the result of a 10-year outpouring of words and pictures that began after her mother died. “After mum died a little voice inside me said ‘I’ll tell you what I want you to say’,” Marcelle said. “After that I couldn’t put my pen down until I had finished.” Marcelle has wowed audiences at the National Folk Festival in Canberra with her mix of artwork and bush slam poetry. She faultlessly recites her poems in front of 2m x 3m canvases combining the words of the poems with images depicting the spirit of the work.
Tamara Anna Cislowska is a concert pianist and chamber musician. She has performed across most of the world, and has associated with the Philharmonia, the London Philharmonic and Romanian Philharmonic orchestras as well as all six major Australian symphonies. She won the 1991 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, Australia’s most prestigious classical music award, at the age of 14, becoming the youngest pianist ever to do so. She has received a number of awards and honors for her work and has been a major prizewinner at several international piano competitions, including the Rovere d’Oro, Maria Callas and National World Power. Her work has received three nominations for ARIA awards for “Best Classical Release”.
Julian Davies is a jack of a number of trades – writer, potter, painter, front-man for a non-profit gallery (The Left Hand) and independent publisher (Finlay Lloyd). For much of his adult life he has lived on The Great Divide near Braidwood. He is the author of five novels as well as various stories and essays. Lost Art, a book of essays on the failure of the art world, written with Phil Day, was published in 2012.
Cheryl Davison is a respected visual artist from the South Coast of NSW and has Walbunga and Ngarigo heritage. She has exhibited her paintings and prints widely – including New York – and tells the stories of her culture and coastal life through her art. Cheryl has been the Aboriginal Community Officer for the Eurobodalla Shire and is currently a curator of the Bundian Way Gallery at Delegate. She is also working on a “living installation” which contains interviews with people who remember Price’s Café in Moruya – a 1950’s venue which made Aboriginal people in that community welcome.
Lyndy Delian is a Wathaurong who traces her heritage through her artist father, his mother and her mother before her, to Blacks Town outside of Dunolly in Western Victoria. She is an accomplished visual artist, writer and musician and has seven children. With over 65 exhibitions, her art works and textiles have won major Australian awards, and are held in the collections of the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, the Canberra Institute of Technology, and in numerous private collections.
Jenny Dries is a Kaurna woman from South Australia. She is a traditional coil basket weaver and teaches traditional coil basket weaving. Jenny has exhibited coil baskets made from plant materials, recycled fabrics and glass crystal at the Belconnen Art Centre and The Q in Queanbeyan. Poetry is a passion of hers, she has been writing for many years and is planning at least one novel. Jenny read her poetry and stories during the In Living Memory travelling photographic exhibition at ACT Libraries, NAIDOC WEEK 2012. Jenny is a member of Us Mob Writing.
Ecopella. Since 1998 Ecopella has offered environmentally friendly a cappella singing. Now based in five cities, the choir builds the cultural strength of green politics by performing with passion and wry humour at public events, fundraisers and demonstrations. Ecopella’s sense of fun fills each performance with positive and satirical messages. Even when the mood becomes serious the beauty and solemnity of the music uplifts the listener.
Samantha Faulkner is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman with links to Badu and Moa Islands and the Yadhaigana and the Wuthuthi peoples of Cape York Peninsula. She has written a book on her grandfather’s life, Life Blong Ali Drummond: A Life in the Torres Strait published in 2007 by Aboriginal Studies Press. She has poetry published in Etchings Indigenous: Treaty. Samantha has long been a member Us Mob Writing and recently performed her works at Indigenous Literacy Day, ACU, 2011 and ACT Libraries for the In Living Memory travelling photographic exhibition, NAIDOC WEEK 2012
Jack Featherstone retired to Braidwood in 2003 after a long professional life as a dentist and oral surgeon. As a young man, in the late 50’s, he took three arduous journeys into remote western and northern Australia to take saliva tests from Aborigines who had never eaten anything but bush tucker. He worked officially for 10 years for the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) out of Redfern – setting up and working in clinics all over NSW. A passionate amateur painter since 1966, Jack celebrated many of his adventures with paintings and sometimes poems. His “David Series” was exhibited in Sydney in 1975. In 2010 the Canberra School of Art staged his second solo show, “Jack Featherstone: Magic Realist”. We are honoured to stage his third. Jack still paints scenes around Braidwood most days.
Warren Foster is a proud traditional Yuin/Manaro man from Wallaga Lake on the South Coast of NSW. Leader of the Gulaga Dance group, Warren plays didj, as well as being a talented contemporary hip hop songwriter and performer. In 2008 he released his debut CD, “Dreamtime” in which he talks of culture, reconciliation and young peoples’ dreams. He performed material from this album when he supported Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter in the 2009 Two Fires concert.
John Foulcher has published nine books of poetry, the most recent being The Sunset Assumption. published by Pitt Street Poetry in 2012. His work won the ACT Book of the Year in 1994 and the Bicentennial Poetry Prize in 1988. In 2010 he was awarded a six-month residency in the Keesing Studio in Paris by the Literature Board of the Australia Council. He is at present Head of Senior School at Burgmann Anglican School in Gungahlin. He has lived in Canberra since 1988, with interludes in Coffs Harbour and Melbourne.
Bill Gammage, AM, is an academic historian at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University. He has written several well-known books about the experiences of soldiers in World War I, and has been a frequent historical adviser regarding the Gallipoli invasion. From 1998 he worked on the history of Aboriginal land management. His scope was cross-discipinary, working “across fields as disparate as history, anthropology and botany”. The result was the book The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia, which has won several important prizes including the 2012 Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History.
Ben Gleeson lives with his partner and three children beside Monkittee Creek on the edge of Braidwood. He has a degree in Ecological Agriculture from Charles Sturt University and is now doing honours in restoration ecology. Previously he worked for over a decade in very conventional commercial horticulture and viticulture; he knows there’s a better way. He likes trees and frogs and ducks and rabbits and clouds and the moon…. He likes to contemplate humanity and agriculture in a biological and evolutionary context. Why are we here? …and what on Earth are we doing?
Tjanara Goreng Goreng is a Wakka Wakka/Wulli Wulli woman from Central Queensland. She has cultural ties to the Anangu Pitjanjatjara people of Mutitjulu near Uluru through her cultural adoption into the Randall/Nipper family, traditional custodians of that country. Tjanara has worked in both academia and in senior positions for federal and state governments. Tjanara with her Elders and Aboriginal friends founded the Foundation for Indigenous Recovery & Development, Australia (FIRDA) where she acts as National Convenor to pursue interests in Recovery for Indigenous communities, Eldership, Aboriginal spirituality and Law, Sacred Leadership and Indigenous recovery and development. She is currently Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies, University of Canberra.
Joyce Graham is a Kamilaroi woman who found her love of poetry as a mature aged student. She plays with words and has used her poetry as a tool for healing. Joyce has a passion for passion and writes romantic, epic love poems. Her work will soon be published in the Us Mob Writing collection.
Susan Green is a Wiradjuri woman and academic whose work on Aboriginal welfare history and urban Aboriginal experiences has made a significant contribution to New South Wales, Aboriginal and welfare histories. She is currently Associate Professor of Social Work at the School of Social Sciences and International Studies at University of New South Wales. Her research interests are in Aboriginal welfare, Australian history, and decolonisation.
Amala Groom is a proud Wiradjuri woman. She is an artist, advocate, poet, researcher and business owner who volunteers as a member of the Core Circle of the Foundation for Indigenous Recovery and Development, Aust. (FIRDA) a national Aboriginal organisation which advocates for recovery from the effects of colonisation and acculturation based in our Law and cultural traditions. Amala’s’ paintings and poetry reflect her strong connection to her Ancestors and communicate within them the foundational principles of Kanyini (Pitjanjatjara – living in harmony and unconditional love with all living things) and the 3 Laws of Respect; Respect and Honour the self, Respect and Honour others, Respect and Honour Ngungynateea, Our Mother The Land The Earth. Amala honours her teachers and Elders of the Wakka Wakka, Wulli Wulli and Anangu Pitjanjatjara Clans who have passed down these laws and in doing so assisted her in her path to wellness.
Max Dulumunmun Harrison, or Uncle Max as he is widely known, grew up on the South Coast of NSW. He is a descendant of the Walbanga people (Braidwood and the adjacent coast) through his great grandmother, his grandmother and his father. As an Elder of the Yuin people he has been sharing cultural knowledge for over thirty years. Forgiveness & healing are very important concerns for Uncle Max. In seeing the widespread marginalisation of his people, he began what has become his life’s work – providing a way for others to understand Aboriginal culture. He takes people from all walks of life into country and has intricate understanding of the environment. Uncle Max has been involved with the Two Fires Festival since its inception in 2005, as a mentor, and conducts the opening and closing ceremonies for the festival. His book My People’s Dreaming, a rare personal insight into traditional Yuin teachings, came out in 2009.
Max Harrison II is a Yuin man who lives in Batemans Bay. One of Uncle Max’s sons, he has been absorbing his Dad’s teachings for more than 30 years. Max worked as a Senior Tour Guide at the Umbarra Cultural Centre, Wallaga Lake, on the South Coast of NSW, in the 90’s and works on school programs as a Teacher of the Culture. He is currently studying for his Diploma in Natural Cultural Resource Management at the Deakin University.
Johnny Huckle is a Canberra based songwriter and musician who delivers an unforgettable punch in his solo performance style. Of Wiradjuri heritage, Johnny writes for children and performs material from his comic “Wombat Wobble” album in schools in the ACT. His “Spirit Man” album contains heartfelt songs of identity and love. Johnny performs all over the country and honoured the Two Fires Festival in 2007 with a piece written especially for us – “Two Fires Light our Hearts”, featured on his most recent CD of eight songs.
Adrienne Johns. Born in 1930’s in an Irish Australian family based in Sydney. In my 40’s I was an avid reader & writer, still am. I write to make sense of the world especially when the planet turns ugly. I enjoy queues & suck in overheard snippets of conversations. I eavesdrop in lifts & doctors’ rooms & hear unbelievable one-liners which make great story starters, or subjects for poems. Needless to say I’m passionate about life. I love the difference in the multitude of those who people our lives. Thanks a bunch to multiculturalism.
Chris Latham is Festival Director at Canberra International Music Festival, Music Director, Gallipoli Symphony 2005-2015, has been Artistic Director of the Four Winds Festival (Bermagui), played with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and worked in musical publishing, among many activities. He is an accomplished violinist and has a Masters of Chamber Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He believes that music can act as a healing force in the world and that artists will soon work hand in hand with the medical establishment and diplomats.
Helen Lynch. Helen is an educator with over 25 years experience in teaching, research and educational management in the higher education and vocational education sectors. She has a passion for information and communications technologies (ICTs) and their application in teaching and learning. Helen works under her partner Bronywn’s guidance in their large, beautiful kitchen garden with the special task of digging weeds and maintaining the organisation of the garden and its many elements. Helen says of the Wynlen House stall: “Our vege stall on Saturday mornings is so much fun and we couldn’t ask for nicer customers! I often use the time to demonstrate and explore new technologies with our customers.” Helen’s view is that growing and enjoying top quality produce in the community of the 21st century is a fantastic endeavour and a chance to really be creative and enjoy the many benefits of working with the soil – it keeps life on track and very real.
Ian Marr is a full-time artist who lives in Araluen. He paints and draws but also calls himself a “lettercutter” – for which he uses ancient techniques to cut inscriptions in stone. Ian’s favourite stone is Mintaro Slate – for its beautiful colour and its density, which means it can hold extensive detail. His monumental works (standing stones, tables and benches) are commissioned for private and public spaces. He has work in many public collections and recently showed at the Stella Downer Gallery.
Jenni Kemarre Martiniello was born in Adelaide, South Australia, of Aboriginal, Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent. Her traditional affiliation is Southern Arrernte, Kemarre skin. She isDirector of Kemarre Arts, with over 20 years experience working in the arts, and professional and community development. Jenni is also an award-winning poet and writer, and her work has been published in anthologies and journals in Australia and overseas, some being translated into Spanish, Polish and Arabic. She has published four books, and sits on a number of boards related to art, writing and indigenous teaching.
Erin McCallum is currently Campaigns Director for GetUp.
Wendy McMahon-Bell is a Braidwood poet whose main life occupations have been as mother and teacher, but with frequent theatrical distractions and bursts of writing in various genres. In recent years with time and compulsion to write, she has focused on poetry. Prompted by positive responses to readings, she sought publication for the first time in the last year or so and was further encouraged by acceptance of seven poems. She now has a collection ready to submit to publishers. She writes as Tessa McMahon.
Microwave Jenny is Australian husband/wife duo Tessa and Brendon Boney, who describe their music as Pop/Folk/Love. A small-town girl and a Wagga Wagga boy got together, a decision which has seen them winning awards, working on film soundtracks and playing such festivals as The Woodford Folk Festival, Peats Ridge Festival, The Dreaming Festival, Festival of the Sun, and Bluesfest in Byron Bay to name a few. They are independent, self managed, touring, musicians who pride themselves on the DIY nature of their career.
Dr Tony Moore is an historian and Director of the National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University, where he is a Senior Lecturer in Communications and Media Studies. Tony’s career has spanned documentary making at the ABC, journalism and book publishing. He was the recipient of a NSW History Fellowship (2007) and author of two other books: Death or Liberty: Radicals and Rebels Transported to Australia 1788-1868 (2010)and The Barry McKenzie Movies (2005). Tony is a board member of the Australian Society of Authors and was a 2012 Honorary Creative Fellow at the SLV, where he wrote a documentary treatment on Melbourne’s nineteenth century novelist and journalistMarcus Clarke.
Susan Moylan-Coombs is Head of Production at National Indigenous Television (NITV), after many year working with the ABC and SBS. A member of the Stolen Generations, Susan was strongly influenced by her adoptive grandfather Dr H C (Nugget) Coombs, and by Dr Tom Calma, a relative by birth. In both she recognised and liked a gentle and diplomatic style. With extensive experience working within Aboriginal Affairs both with government and non-government organisations, Susan’s passion now is making television that makes a difference and is relevant to Australian viewers. It is for the greater good of all and it is about nation-building.
Lorna Munro is a proud 24 year old Wiradjuri/ Gamilaroi woman. This dynamic and upcoming writer and poet calls the Redfern/ Waterloo area home. She has been strongly influenced and nurtured by her activist parents, and mentored by many other members of the Black Power Movement. She has been an active member of her community since the age of 13 and has travelled to New Zealand and South America for cultural exchange and youth leadership programs before she was 19. In 2012 Lorna graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in Adult Education and Community Management and in addition to her current work with Red Room Company, Lorna has had work published in the Southerly Literary Journal and is writing a play based on 3 generations of Aboriginal women. Lorna is an emerging young artist/ poet/ actress/activist and educator and has displayed work in Boomali’s 2010 exhibition; ‘celebrating 25 years of strength and currently developing and facilitating art/ poetry programs and tours interpreting the history of her local area with young people.
Lorna’s profile has quickly developed into a multi- disciplinary artist whose profile is growing every single day. She has supported poets like Luka Lesson (Australian 2012 poetry slam champion) in his last Sydney performance, performed her spoken word poetry on the Idle No More- Invasion Day Mix tape 2013 and broadcasts regularly on the ‘Poetry, Politics and Petitions’ program, with her Mother Jenny Munro every Sunday 12-2 pm Koori Radio 93.7FM 2LND. Lorna has enjoyed working in TV and film appearing in the ABC’s ‘Australia on Trial’, ‘Redfern Now- series one’, ‘The Twist’ and has enjoyed working with Belvoir Theatre, designing and producing set and instillations in their production of ‘Don’t Take Your Love to Town’ developed and directed by Leah Purcell and Eamon Flack and based on the book of the same tile written by Ruby Langford Ginibi.
Jeremy Lockhart Nelson was born in 1933 and has written verse since his early adolescence, that is for the last sixty four years. He has had books published by Melaleuca Press, Angus and Robertson, and Sydney Grammar School Press and has contributed, over many years to publish literary journals, Australian and foreign. Most of his work books are on his website. He lives at Harold’s Cross, between Braidwood and Canberra, NSW.
Geoff Page has published twenty collections of poetry, two novels, five verse novels and several other works including anthologies, translations and a biography of the jazz musician, Bernie McGann. He retired at the end of 2001 from being in charge of the English Department at Narrabundah College in the ACT, a position he had held since 1974. His awards include the ACT Poetry Award, the Grace Leven Prize, the Christopher Brennan Award, the Queensland Premier’s Prize for Poetry and the 2001 Patrick White Literary Award. Selections from his work have been translated into Chinese, Hindi, German, Serbian, Slovenian and Greek. He has also read his work and talked on Australian poetry in Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, India, Singapore, China, Korea, the United States and New Zealand. His next book Improving the News will be published by Pitt Street Poetry in October 2013.
Louise Page, soprano, is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and versatile singers. She has appeared in opera, operetta, oratorio, cabaret, recital and broadcasts for various groups throughout Australia, Germany, Belgium and Austria. Based in Canberra, Louise divides her time between performance and teaching voice at the Australian National University School of Music. She performs regularly in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and regional areas. With accompanist Phillipa Candy she has recorded six CDs of music varying from Lieder to operetta, premières of Australian music and Christmas songs.
Bruce Pascoe was born in Victoria in 1947 and graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Education. He has a Bunurong and Tasmanian heritage. He has worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, farm fence contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archeological site worker and book editor.He has written 20 plus books including a loosely linked series of 5 novels and won the Fellowship of Australian Writers´ Literature Award in 1999. His stories have won 10 national competitions and been published in 6 languages and 9 countries. Over the last few years much of his work has involved research into indigenous history and indigenous language revival. A collaboration with the Wathaurong Aboriginal community has resulted in a series of Wathaurong language teaching aids, including a film & CD rom.
David Pereira is one of Australia’s most accomplished cellists. Widely experienced, he continues to evolve as a player, teacher, composer and writer. He was for eleven years cellist of the Australia Ensemble (resident at the UNSW), for seven years Principal Cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and for three years Principal Cello with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. From 1990 to 2008 David Pereira was Senior Lecturer in Cello at the ANU School of Music. Now he is on the same school’s part-time staff and continues to be in demand as a performer. His playing aims for perfect listening and emotional responsiveness, uncompromised by thought or technical limitation.
Dr. Roderic Pitty lectures in International Relations at the University of Western Australia. He has written on the significance of Treaties for achieving justice for Indigenous Australians, highlighted how global citizens like Faith Bandler have helped change Australia and worked towards halting Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and ending racial discrimination in Australia. Roderic has conducted research on the Waitangi Tribunal in New Zealand and its implications for Australia. He co-edited “Global Citizens: Australian Activists for Change” (Cambridge University Press, 2008) which includes a chapter about Faith Bandler and the 1967 referendum.
John Reid has a humanities degree from ANU, a masters of fine arts from UNSW and professional qualifications in graphic design. Held an ANU Creative Arts Fellowship (1977-79). Joined the Canberra School of Art in 1978. As a visual artist, works with photography, performance and collage to address human rights and environmental issues.
Bronwyn Richards. After spending over 30 years in the community/welfare sector, mostly in the Illawarra, Bronwyn relocated to Braidwood in 2002. After moving to Braidwood she established a small, organic, four-season slow-food farm (cool climate) selling produce (vegetables and meat) all year to consumers and local restaurants, and continues to have a strong interest to redevelop organic, sustainable and local food systems using agricultural systems that have positive environmental, economic and social outcomes. Together with partner Helen, Bronwyn grows produce using organic and permaculture principles plus lots of loving care. It’s about caring where your food comes from; how and where it is grown; and how it is processed, prepared and shared. This is simple honest food of the highest quality, and Bronwyn and Helen believe you can taste the difference. They sell food through a market stall on Saturday mornings. Food is picked and sold on the same day. They believe eating should be acknowledged as an agricultural act.
Ella Ryan. Ella is strongly committed to social justice. A recent Graduate from Wollongong University, where she majored in politics and human geography. While a student she was an enthusiastic Environmental Activist in the Wollongong region. Following this she spent one year volunteer teacher in Palestine, couch surfing in Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Iran and Iraq, where she investigated current street activism and social conditions in this unsettled area.An internship with the Yawaru Land Council in Broome followed, from which she has just returned.
Seaside Ukulele Orchestra. Enthusiasts from Batemans Bay, Moruya and region. Part of a world wide phenomenon, helping each other and rediscovering the world of sing-along music.
Michelle Shackleton. Michelle is a Global Campaigner with Avaaz, a online community of citizens from all nations working to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Initially a researcher in animal behaviour at ANU, she realised that people were pretty interesting too and became fascinated by the way we are inspired by other people’s stories. Since then she’s found tales of inspiration from her time as a public servant, a bar manager, a sustainability consultant, a divemaster, an environmental educator, and a National Campaign Coordinator with GetUp Australia.
Shortis and Simpson. Among their many talents, John Shortis writes songs and scripts and plays keyboard, while Moya Simpson sings, mimics accents, and plays characters. Their combined skills make up Shortis and Simpson, producers, writers and performers of productions and projects that are always surprising, original, innovative and wide in their range of styles and genres. Based in Canberra, they specialise in shows that reflect Australian history and politics in a way that is funny, satirical and informative, with the odd gut-wrenching moment.
Merrilyn Simmons is a Braidwood-based musician. In addition to creating two albums of original songs she has actively used singing, song writing and performance as a tool to encourage a voice in marginalised communities over many years. She established ‘Find Your Music’ in 2011 and through this works with people of all ages in Braidwood and beyond to connect to music for fun, healing and self-expression.
Ceretha Skinner is a proud Gumbaynggirr woman from Northern NSW. She has lived in Canberra for 13 years and now calls it home. Ceretha’s work is ‘New Age’- tradional aboriginal design created and then hand printed by the Artist herself.
Bronwen Smith is an emerging artist from the South Coast of NSW who is a Walbunja woman from the Yuin Nation. Mentored for the last three years by her successful auntie, Cheryl Davison, Bronwen is now a confident colourist who is beginning to show her paintings. In 2012 she exhibited in the Oyster Festival in Narooma and then in a travelling group show of Indigenous artists called “Where the Rivers Meet”. This toured to Boomali (Sydney), Wollongong and Nowra. Other exhibition opportunities have recently been in “So Art” in Narooma and in a “pop-up” studio in The Rocks. This mother of four says she is inspired to draw and paint by the Connection to Nature she sees in everything (family, land and especially water) – she is a coastal woman. Bronwen describes her painting style as Contemporary/Traditional.
Paul Spencer. Paul Spencer writes quirky comic political folk songs to entertain the activist in you or re-energise the jaded cynic (and sometimes to indulge the cynic, for a bit of fun). Using some folk tunes and some original tunes, Paul’s songs come from the human experience of the social change movement and of living in a world that’s so beautiful, so alarming and so inspiring all at the same time.
Amelia Telford was raised in a close-knit family in Bundjalung country (northern rivers, NSW). Recently graduated from high school (2012) she has already demonstrated her capacity to be a powerful advocate for change, particularly through her involvement with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Inspired by Martin Luther King and Eddie Koiki Mabo, Amelia has known from a young age that she wanted to leave the world in better shape than when she was born. She was selected for the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Program which she expects will help her grow as an environment activist, and as a person.
Anne Wirrimah Thomas (nee Morris) was the wife of the late Guboo Ted Thomas, 1909 – 2002, born on the gold fields of Jemeicumbiene just out of Braidwood. Wirrimah came from a family of 10 children who were all gifted musicians trained by her late father and returned soldier of the first world war James Henry Morris. Wirrimah was born into her land of the Biripi (white pointer shark) totem on the North Coast of NSW, Taree Purfleet. She was one of the earliest Co-founders of the AECG now a part of the Department of Education in NSW. Along with Bob Morgan and Linda Burney just to name a few. Wirrimah also held Winona dreaming camps for women to come and learn about women’s issues and their culture with children. Her favourite pastime was sharing her culture through art and artefacts. Anne painted with both hands and loved the outback and cultural themes with the earth, and with her art she happily shared through love, respect and knowledge. She will be sadly missed by many friends but gained true happiness by sharing her time with friends of all walks of life. Her message will live on.
Lynne Thomas. My family kinship includes black duck Yuin of Wallaga Lake, Biripi white pointer shark Taree, Purfleet. I have a cultural association from Dharuk, Eora Sydney and the Hawksbury River down along the coastline of NSW to the Mallacoota Border at Eden. Up to Delegate and into the highlands of the Maneroo or Monaro and into Nunnawahl country. My art is a part of my life’s journey so far, culturally taught through stories and what my parents have taught me. This artwork is called ” skin layers of time” it teachers or shows us how important the land is to us. The birds and wildlife are a part of the threatened species and conformations that have evolved over time. There are three sections of National Parks, the biggest on the bottom is Wadbilliga, middle section Duea and top Monga. Wadbilliga is a fault line under a microscope. Duea has limestone caves with bats such as a bentwing and horseshoe. Monga has it’s warrattah. In this map are Aboriginal dreaming tracks identified by the image of the Doolagarl. It also shows totems to the area.