Adongwot is an experienced communications professional, youth advocate and thought leader. As a bi-cultural consultant, radio host and MC, her passions lie in supporting the community to achieve social cohesion through the elimination of racism and discrimination and promoting intergenerational dialogue.
As a South Sudanese-Australian woman, Adongwot speaks from a combination of experiences navigating traditional and Western culture in Australia and her academic standing from her double degree in Communication in Journalism and International Studies. In 2019, Adongwot was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel the world investigating methods other Western Societies are utilising to achieve genuine and meaningful social cohesion of African Diaspora youth.
In 2022, Adongwot started a disruptive social enterprise which aims to radically change the approach to racism, diversity and inclusion training. Providing a series of workshops, seminars and keynotes aimed at diverse age groups and divergent backgrounds, she explores the concepts of race and prejudice through interactive activities and conversations that challenge young people to critically assess their identity in the current Australian climate and to embrace Australia’s true multicultural identity.
Boudene Hauraki, a proud Indigenous Maori from Aotearoa, New Zealand has worked within the public service sector across New Zealand and Australia for the past 10 years, working primarily with indigenous organizations and communities to improve overall outcomes in youth justice, suicide prevention, and disability and worked extensively on community development programs within communities struggling with drug and alcohol addictions.
Boudene specialises in facilitating co-design and youth-led initiatives by bringing together the voices, skills and expertise of young people and experts in relevant fields that culminate in the creation of youth-led projects developed and delivered by young people primarily from multicultural and indigenous communities. Boudene has a passion for supporting all communities to reach their upmost potential.
THURSDAY 13 OCTOBER
Idil Ali is a proud Somali woman raised by the East African community in the Carlton flats.
A settler on unceded Wurundjeri land, Idil embeds her belief in freedom, sovereignty and resistance into her work as a creative, youth practitioner and community organiser.
THE ART OF PLAY
Amarachi Okorom is an Igbo Nigerian-born actor, spoken word poet and playwright, who grew up in Auckland and is now based in Naarm/Melbourne. Amarachi joined Western Edge in 2017, performing in Caliban as part of the Edge Ensemble. Recent acting credits include This (RISING), Burning Love (Playlist Live), The Human Voice, A Disorganised Zoom Reading of Contagion, the audio play Watching (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre), Seers (Playlist Live), The Watching with Western Edge, and Future Echoes: Edge Ensemble at Arts Centre Melbourne. She also appeared on ABC Melbourne as part of the Homespun storytelling gala. As a critically acclaimed emerging playwright, Amarachi was shortlisted for the 2021 Griffin Award. In 2021, she was selected for Melbourne Theatre Company’s First Stage program, Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Studio program, and Malthouse Theatre’s Besen Writers Group. She is currently a participating writer in Theatre Works’ She Writes Collective.
THE ART OF PLAY
Michael Logo is a proud Samoan actor working across stage and screen. He was born in Auckland and raised in Victoria. Michael trained at Verve Studios and John Bolton Theatre School. He became involved with Western Edge as an actor and Support Artist. He has performed in Western Edge’s productions The Retreat, The Watching, Lele, Butterfly, and worked on the script for Hamlet, translating sections into Samoan language. He was
a key creative working on the expanded Lele, Butterfly creative development. Michael has performed in Playlist Live (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre), First Stage (Melbourne Theatre Company), and David Wood’s production of This (RISING). He was featured in short film Eli the Invincible (SBS). Michael’s recent screen credits include Paper Champions (Netflix), Why Are You Like This, Love Me, and Colin from Accounts (Binge).
THE ART OF PLAY
Tirese started with Polyglot in 1997 as a maker and designer. She has since relished creating with children and working with the company as a performing and teaching artist. Working collaboratively as an ensemble creating physical, playful, and visually striking work is of most interest to her. Touring nationally and internationally with Polyglot’s Ants and Paper Planet are a highlight; and developing Bees has been the biggest buzz. Tirese also assists with training performers in Polyglot’s Ants work as well as facilitating professional development workshops for adults. Other highlights include long-term relationship with physical theatre company Born In A Taxi; and recently developing the Postal Art Project, creating visual works with other multi-disciplinary artists across Melbourne and Victoria.
THE ART OF PLAY
Zak is a Melbourne-based performer and sound designer who frequents the stage as actor and musician, preferably at the same time. In 2016, they were the musical director and composer for Vanishing Act which won Best Cabaret at Melbourne Fringe, and was nominated for four Green Room Awards, including Best Musical Direction. Other acting credits include Daniel Schlusser’s Schmaltz (Malthouse Theatre), (in)tent by Kat Moritz (Melbourne Fringe 2016) and the world premiere of Credentials by David Williamson, for which they also designed the sound (La Mama 2017). Their film credits include Prasizzler Queen of the Dessert, and the award winning Tasty. In 2015, Zak graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Theatre Practice.
OPEN MIC - FIVE MINUTE FLEX
Aïsha Trambas is an afro-greek arts worker who lives on Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung lands. Her passion is to create and be a part of experiences that deepen understanding of self and others through expression, dialogue, and learning.
Aïsha was the 2019 Program Coordinator of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and is currently a Creative Producer at SIGNAL working with young artists aged 14-25 on free public programs. Aïsha has performed at Yirramboi Festival, Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Arts House, Testing Grounds, Melbourne Fringe Festival and elsewhere. In 2022, her poetry was published in Unlimited Futures, an anthology of Bla(c)k speculative fiction.
Ez Eldin Deng
IN-CONVERSATION: RE-IMGANING COLLECTIVES' VALUES
Ez Eldin Deng is an Australian filmmaker Born in Sudan. The film director, producer, and writer. He has directed and produced numerous music videos, short films, documentaries and online educational content which have reached, local and international audiences. Deng first arrived in Melbourne, Australia in 2004 with his family and to this day, Melbourne is still his home as he continues to break new ground in Australia's film and television industry. Not only that but he has been the key creative in shaping Melbourne’s communities and inspired the culture of the arts scene through community projects, workshops, consultation, strategic planning and delivery. Deng also is a co-founder of Next In Colour the ground-breaking creative initiative run by a team of African creative practitioners. Through various art disciplines and platforms, they offer a network of support, vocational pathways and a collaborative working environment. Ez Eldin sees enjoy in everything he does.
IN-CONVERSATION: RE-IMGANING COLLECTIVES' VALUES
A culmination of life experiences has led me to see the necessity for change in our creative industry.
Creativity along with the creative process requires vulnerability, courage and most of all support.
On a mission to, increase frequency and connection between like-minded people, and build a supportive community/infrastructure for artists of diversity.
True creativity happens through collaboration, meaningful creativity is sustainable creativity, together let's move as one to shift the culture.
ON3 is a local community collective focused on pioneering underground & emerging culture.
Our misqsion is to represent change in the creativity industry by functioning as an incubator and platform for underrepresented emerging artists.
Our progression to drive meaningful
experiences in Melbournes music and arts community is achieved out of creative hub in Brunswick (a safe-collaborative space for artists of diverse backgrounds) through workshops, events and artist development.
With ‘Move as one’ & ‘creation through collaboration as our philosophy,’ we believe the art of storytelling and authentic representation lies with a deep sense of community and collaboration. Meaningful creativity is sustainable creativity.
THEATRE HACKING SEXUALITY EDUCATION: THE SCENE, THE SCENARIO AND THE EMANCIPATORY APPROACH FOR NON-ACTORS
Gillian (She/Her) is a facilitator and performer. She primarily promotes sexualhealth through theatre techniques and drama. After some early commercialacting ‘success’ while studying her BA in Criminal Justice (Admin.), Gillianbegan taking drop-in theatre classes and dedicated to community radio andtheatre. She portrayed nine Australians in a Black Saturday memorialproduction of Campion Descent’sEmbers,verbatim theatre. (2019). Theseexperiences garnered her affection for participatory arts frameworks such asTheatre of the Oppressed, which she appraised towards her GradCert in Sex,Health & Society. She evaluated the playInsex, a satire on human sexualitythat she performed in, (2018) and secured a NAPCAN Run Against Violencegrant, which funded her LoVE BiTES respectful relationships training. Gilliangrounds her practice in psychosocial research and having fun! She is writingher thesis proposal to continue to evaluate arts-based approaches to sexualhealth promotion.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Guy Ritani (Ia/they/them) is a proud Takatapui Maori artist, activist & designer based on Wangerriburra Country. They draw from their Ngati Koata, Ngati Kahungunu & Ngati Toa Rangitira ancestry to bring mana and transformation to their Climate Justice work. Guy is a Pacific Climate Warrior, Creative Director of ecological education platform PermaQueer and the President of Tamborine Mountain Arts Collective. Self determination is the core principle of their work and they use their privilege and networks to build their own and to others self determination. Regeneration has been a leading theme of Guy's practice recently and they're investigating creative space holding in community from a trauma informed perspective.
NEURODIVERSITY AND ME
Ash is a visual artist and lived experience worker. They do a lot of art based on their sensory experience of the world. They also work to ensure space is made for people who are often dismissed because of their backgrounds and identities by sharing their experiences, amplifying the lived experiences of others and supporting others to share their experiences. Instagram: @ashhem.art
FRIDAY 14 OCTOBER
PANEL DISCUSSION: CONNECTIVE TISSUE
Nickila is a second-generation Sri Lankan-Malay immigrant, currently living and working on unceded Wurundjeri land.
With a background in international studies and anthropology, Nickila brings together a passion for writing and producing to her role as Associate Producer: Communications & Engagement. They are committed to working on projects that bring people together and embed values of working with empathy, compassion and trust to their role at Next Wave and beyond.
Nickila is a member of the Oolstay collective, who curate electronic music events with the intention to connect and spotlight the plethora of creative communities in Naarm.
SENSORY CLAY WORKSHOP
Iman Abdulhai is a Naarm- based intuitive artist of Eritrean origin. Her work is inspired by a deep love and appreciation for pre-colonial African art, rituals and societies. This inspires her to uphold traditional methods of craft while exploring new ways of relating through spatial design. Iman's creative journey has been a means of connecting to her cultural roots and healing trauma. Iman is passionate about exploring the ways in which connecting into one's creative energy and flow can be used to promote healing and wellness. She runs weekly clay hand-building workshops that encourage play, creativity, and connection.
RECIPROCATED PERINATAL HEALING YARN
Marianne Wobcke is an Indigenous Midwife, Nurse, artist and storyteller, born on Turrbal land in Meanjin (Brisbane); she also acknowledges connection to her Grandmothers’ Country and Girramay mob in North Queensland. Marianne graduated from Queensland College of Art’s unique, Indigenous program with First Class Honours in 2009. She developed two holistic maps, revealing an expanded understanding of how profoundly impacted and imprinted we are; by relational experiences and our environment, during our first 1000 days: “Perinatal Dreaming” & “Understanding Country”. These reimagined cartographies; employ a holistic worldview and endorse the critical importance of creativity, art, community and culture.
Recipient of the 2021 Australia Council “Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development” for her pioneering work using art to create culturally safe and sacred birth spaces for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, her inspiration has been recognised. Marianne is currently a PhD Candidate at Griffith University, School of Health Science and Social Work and QCA, South Bank; continuing her research into the connection between creativity, holistic health and wellbeing.
Why is promoting and developing Kanyini (Interconnectedness to all things and responsibility to all things) and Dadirri (Deep Listening, quiet, patient waiting) important for urban, first time Indigenous mums?
NAVIGATING THE MARTIX: STRIKING DIGITAL WELLBEING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Mariam Koslay is a journalist, content creator and youth advocate based in Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about positive storytelling and creating consistent spaces for celebration, she is a former Fairfax Media Journalist and the creator of African Kings, a mini-documentary series which explores the lives and philosophies of eight African-Australian men in Victoria. She works in the Victorian Youth Justice system and volunteers her time engaging with the African-Australian community to creatively develop strength-based, educational workshops. A poet and script-writer, Mariam is ultimately excited to pour her skills into creating a more cohesive, collaborative society where every young person feels safe to grow and fail.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER
Avrille Burrows (she/her) is an evolving slashie, practicing as a mental health clinician/arts therapist/collector/author/mum and artist. She finds all these various elements feed into each other and fuel a stronger sense of purpose and understanding of herself and the world around her. Avrille lives in Naarm/Melbourne and comes from a Goan Anglo-Indian background with much of her artwork exploring her history, places of belonging and lineage. Through her work as a therapist, Avrille engages in conversations of intergenerational trauma, identity and transition, and utilises creative techniques to support healing and reflection.
Avrille works at and NGO a few days a week, and at Pola Practice; a counselling space that is culturally responsive through considering the socio-political factors that impact on mental health. Avrille is excited for the future of arts and mental health as collaborations and conversations over these topics create new ways to see the world and reconstruct wellness.
Nyaruot Ruth Ruach
DIP DIP DIVE
Nyaruot Ruth Ruach is a South-Sudanese multidisciplinary artist, cultural curator and community arts worker. Nyaruot uses art to understand herself, explore elements of her surroundings, heal, liberate herself and validate her blackness. She pays a lot of homage to understanding her cultural identity and what it means to be a black woman on stolen country.
She is a founding member of two artist-led organisation and collective: Next In Colour and Way Over There (WOT collective), and is the Future Reset Project Coordinator at Footscray Community Arts. Nyaruot uses art making as an ancestral practice and as a vehicle for building resilience in creating sustainable practices to empower her community. She believes as a third culture kid, it’s her obligation to shape avenues and pathways within the creative fields for the generations of African artists wanting to create and reclaim their narratives.
IN CONVERSATION: MAKING YOUR ROLE REDUNDANT
Nithya Nagarajan is a contemporary performance maker and curator of Tamil ancestry working across Australia and the Asia Pacific. She has 12 years’ experience in programming, creative producing, international engagement and transformative justice in the arts. She currently serves as co-Artistic Director at Arts House, forms 1/4th of artist collective H_ME W_WRK and is a board member at Theatre Network Australia. Nithya holds an award-winning PhD in Performance Studies.
ARTIVISM, COMMUNITY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE CIRCLE
Hai! I'm Hannah and I go by she/her pronouns. I'm fascinated by systems of power that structure our society and exploring ways to examine, deconstruct and reconstruct other ways of thinking, doing and being in the world. I'm one of the co-founders of GenZine, a gender equity art and discussion group. It gives me the warm and fuzzies to be part of a community of like minded creative people working together to enact social change. We are super small and have a lot to learn but we have lots of fun working on ways to reimagine the future. When I am not doing GenZine thangs, I can be found foraging for edible weeds, galavanting in my campervan or trying to rope people in to do acro yoga with me.
Cerulean is the current reigning Miss First Nation 2021. She is an expressive blue gem who descended from the Pisces constellation to bless mere mortals with a raining cloud of excitement, energy and fun! Her body morphs into an ensemble
of contrasting forms, exploring performance through concepts.
ARTIVISM, COMMUNITY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE CIRCLE
I'm Charlotte and I use she/her pronouns. I've grown up in the western suburbs of Melbourne, on Wurundjeri country, and feel very connected to that place and the people there. Throughout highschool, I was interested in issues of injustice and being a part of resistance efforts in my community, and that interest was stretched and deepened in my Arts degree. I've had experience participating in social justice efforts concerning the environment and refugees, and more recently, conversations with friends grew into the broader conversation that GenZine is having around gender equity. I'm passionate about self-reflection as a transformative, radical activist tool necessary for healthy communities, and I think GenZine helps people participate in that freely and creatively. Other things I love include bouldering, writing birthday cards, and making questionably-successful desserts for my housemates.
BLESS THIS FACE
Supporters of KAIIT and her world renowned style of soul music, are now being given exclusive access to her world of make-up & self-expression.
When Kaiit’s high school’s careers teacher told them “music wasn’t a real job”, they left high school and started studying at VCAL, attending beauty school.
Always having a passion for makeup, studying only helped further their knowledge and love for the craft. KAIIT has applied her own makeup during her career… winning awards and gracing headline & festival stages all around the world, Kaiit is now ready to share her passion for makeup with her unique & loyal fanbase.
Whether you’re a fan of her music or not, it’s evident in her style, magic happens when they have makeup in their hands. Whilst music is Kaiit’s main priority, they’ve have been taking very limited MUA bookings over the past year for some pre-approved clients.