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Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

NORPA’s new work about Bundjalung country

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Kris-Karla-Rikki-Kym--Bundjalung-arakwal-EJTF-9W6A3742
Bundjalung – Arakwal Dubay Dancers at the 2013 Boomerang Festival – Photo Tree Faerie

 

Over the next three years NORPA is developing a new dance theatre work about Bundjalung country, Bundjalung Nghari: The Gathering.

As part of the process, NORPA is hosting a free community event at Lismore City Hall this Friday at 5.30pm.

The Echo had a chat with some of the leading Bundjalung artists involved.

What is your connection to Bundjalung Country?

Rhoda Roberts: I am a Widjubul woman. The other nation that runs through my bloodline is the Gamilaroi on my grandmother’s side.

Djon Mundine: I am Bandjalung – I was born and lived in South Grafton. My father Roy Mundine comes from Baryugil.

David Page: My father is a respected elder of the Munaldjali clan of the Beaudesert region southeast Queensland, just over the QLD–NSW border.

Melissa Lucashenko: My mum’s granny was a Tweed River woman removed to Queensland at eight years of age.

Why are you excited to come to here to make this work?


Rhoda Roberts: I am honoured that NORPA recognises this and proud and delighted that we have this wonderful platform to revisit old stories.

Melissa Lucashenko: Bundjalung Nghari: The Gathering is about all people who live here being able to understand country and what it is to respect our mother, the sacred Earth.

David Page: I love to revisit and reinforce our cultural storytelling history. Those stories make us who we are today.

Djon Mundine: To be part of a specific Bandjalung project in my country is incredibly exciting.

Tallara – Photo Tree Faerie
Tallara – Photo Tree Faerie

What are some of the inspirations and aspirations for this work?

Rhoda Roberts: What truly excites me is the number of artists, choreographers, composers, musicians, curators, performers and writers who are world-leading experts in their specific fields and internationally acclaimed.

Djon Mundine: In my career I have only rarely been able to express my own identity and ideas from a still largely unacknowledged Bundjalung history and archive of concepts images and stories.

Free Community Event – Friday 5.30–7pm. Meet the artists involved in creating Bundjalung Nghari: The Gathering and join the conversation.  Norpa at Lismore City Hall, 1 Bounty St. More info at www.norpa.org.au.


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