Exploring Narrative, Compromise & Politics. Who are we in the landscape of Storytelling as First Nations Creatives from their respective language groups?

Challenging the Narrative – why do we always have to compromise? Should we compromise to the western creative who wants to own the first nations narrative? does that take away first nations self determination in developing and presenting their stories?

Presenters: Glenn Shea (chair) with Rachael Maza, Kamarra Bell-Wykes & Amy Sole

Glenn Shea

Glenn Shea is a proud Wathaurong/Ngarrindjeri man and recent recipient of the 2020 NAIDOC Award for Elder and Respected Person Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative for outstanding cultural/program service to community. Glenn is an acclaimed, award-winning playwright (including recipient of the State Library of Victoria R.E Ross Trust Development Award and Playwriting Australia Script Workshop Selection Award), director and performer and was the first Aboriginal person to graduate from NIDA with a degree in Dramatic Art. He is a former frontline Koorie youth justice worker from Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative, where he wrote the WEP, a full-time education and development program as well as a ten-day cultural gathering camp around the boundaries of Country for Aboriginal adolescent people who came into contact with the criminal justice system.

Glenn is a Research Fellow, Indigenous Creative within School of Humanities & Social Science, Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University to research the formation of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative. Commissioned to write “Treasuring Life” for Treasuring Life suicide prevention network and Country Arts SA. Facilitator DHHS Barwon Region, reconciliation action plan for regional neighbourhood houses.  Current Board Member Ilbijerri Theatre Company and First National Producer at La Mama Theatre since 2020. 

Rachael Maza

Rachael Maza is Yidinji from North Queensland, Meriam from the Torres Strait Island of Mer (Murray), and Dutch on her mother’s side. A Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) graduate, Rachael’s outstanding performances have been acknowledged with a Green Room Award and a Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Award. Currently the Artistic Director of Ilbijerri Theatre Company, Rachael is widely known for her wealth of acting, directing, and dramaturgical experience across the Australian film, television, theatre industry and a passionate vision for Indigenous theatre.

Rachael’s considerable contribution to the cultural landscape has been recognised through multiple awards, including the AFI (Australian Film Institute) award-winning Radiance and the stage production of The Sapphires, the Touring Legend Drover Award, 2017, the Inaugural Alumni Graduate Award, Edith Cowan University (2019), and the Australia Council of the Arts Award for Theatre (2019), as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from Edith Cowan University (2019). Recipient of an Order of Australia (2020).

Kamarra Bell-Wykes

Kamarra Bell-Wykes (Yagera/Butchulla) is a playwright, director, dramaturge, devisor, facilitator, performer, creative curator, community developer and education consultant. Kamarra served as ILBIJERRI Theatre’s Education Manager and Creative Director from 2014-2019 and Malthouse Resident Artist 2020-2022. Kamarra’s writing and directing credits include Because the Night (MALTHOUSE), The Score, Scar Trees, Viral, North West of Nowhere, Body Armour, Chopped Liver, Shrunken Iris (ILBIJERRI), Crying Shame (NEXT WAVE) and Mother’s Tongue (YIRRA YAAKIN) and in 2021 was awarded the Patrick White Award for Whose Gonna Love ‘Em? I am that i AM (FCAC/ ILBIJERRI). In 2020 Kamarra joined forces with Carly Sheppard as Co-Artistic Directors of A DAYLIGHT CONNECTION; a motley crew of independent theatre-makers dedicated to smashing performance binaries. Their credits include CHASE (Malthouse/Hot House) and A Nightime Travesty (Yirramboi) and Kamarra recently directed A DAYLIGHT CONNECTION double-bill featuring Whose Gonna Love Em? I am that I AM and CHASE (MALTHOUSE).

Amy Sole

Amy Sole is a proud Wiradjuri/Worimi person. Amy is a director, playwright, actor, dramaturg, producer and advocate. They are Creative Associate at ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, and a current graduate of the MFA (Directing) at NIDA, and hold a Master of Theatre (Playwriting) from VCA, and an Advanced Diploma in Acting at AFTT.

Recent works for theatre include Burning (writer/director, NIDA, 2022), Nan’s Place (writer,  ILBIJERRI Theatre Company as part of Blackwrights, 2020-21), Doing (writer/director, Kings Cross Theatre, 2019).

Amy has worked as assistant director on productions of God’s Country (NIDA, 2022),  Metamorphoses (NIDA, 2021), RENT (Sydney Opera House, 2021). Amy regularly directs  developments of new works at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, including Dylan Van Den Berg’s  Way Back When in 2020. Amy has worked in various roles at Queensland Theatre Company, Moogahlin Performing Arts, Hayes Theatre Co, and Playwriting Australia including production,  dramaturgy, and consulting. They are currently Creative Director of Big Blak Bang, a festival of First Nations storytelling and  Artist-in-Residence at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Co-Founder of Puddle or Pond Theatre  Company, and a sitting Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee.

Access Information:

Livestream: Book livestream tickets HERE. Livestream playback will be available until Sunday Jul 14.

Auslan Interpreted: All evening sessions (Session 1, 4, 7, 10, 13).