Stories from the Frontline: artists on climate + cultural change

Stories from the Frontline image

STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINE is a gathering of artists, storytellers and change makers that explores how we can create real solutions to our climate in crisis.

Like the rest of Australia, the Northern Territory has a hidden history of gutting country and cultures to make way for mineral and energy resource extraction. This is the story of the recent past, but it can not be the story of our future.

As an escalating climate crisis threatens the future of all Territorians – now is the time to listen to different stories about what it means to take care of each other and the land.

Over the past three months eight artists in Borroloola, Katherine and Marlinja communities have been developing projects as part of the Call to Country residency project. Alongside a range of inspiring global case studies of artistic interventions in social issues these artists will showcase their works in progress to provide spark for lively debate and conversation.

STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINE will be capped at 60 participants and we encourage NT based artists, activists, media makers, arts workers and curators to attend to take part in this critical conversation.

*This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.




JACK GREEN (Garrawa/Mara) – He was born in 1953 under a coolabah tree in one of the creek beds at Soudan Station in the Northern Territory. After his days as a stockman, Jacky worked for theNorthern Land Council and is now a director of the Carpentaeria Land Council. He started the Garawa rangers and Waanya/Garawa Rangers in 2005 and continues this work today. Jacky has spent over 30 years fighting for the protection of his country and its sacred sites. He began to paint in 2008 to get his voice heard, to show others what is happening to his country and people.

NANCY MCDINNY (Yanyula/Garrawa) – Nancy McDinny was born in a canoe  in 1958 on Fetrel Island,between Managoora Station and Vanderlin Island. She is Garrwa and Yanyuwa. Nancy’s art careerspans fifteen years; she is also a linguist and cultural singer/songwriter. She paints about the ric htraditional life that she, her parents and grandparents lived including hunting, harvesting bushtucker and travelling. Her artwork also recounts her family’s direct experiences of European settlement in the Gulf region, and more recently, the ongoing issues confronting the community today with mines impacting on the natural environment, culture and people’s way of life.

STEWART HOOSAN (Garrawa) – was born in 1951 at Old Doomadgee Mission. He is a Garrwa man on his mother’s side. He grew up on Calvert Hills station with his grandfather Yarriyarri. At nine years of age he went to work in stock camps and spent time droving throughout the Top End. Stewart started painting in early 2000 and paints his country and his people’s strong history of opposition to invasive mining in the Gulf region.

MILIWANGA WURRBEN  Miliwanga is a Rembarrnga woman from the Mirratja clan group, based in Katherine where she is Chairperson for Mimi Arts and Culture Centre. Miliwanga is a traditional artist, weaver, and healer. She has spent the last twenty years advocating for the rights of First Nations communities and to promote cultural understanding as an advisor and language interpreter, facilitating Cultural Awareness workshops with medical students and mainstream health providers, educating about traditional bush medicine and other traditional health therapies.

ELEANOR DIXON – is a young Mudburra woman from remote Marlinja, NT. Eleanor is a trailblazer for young Indigenous women in music, sharing her songs as frontwoman for family band Rayella, and all-female Indigenous band Kardajala Kirri-Darra, headlining national festivals and performing with some of the biggest names in Australian music. Eleanor was the first woman to perform at the Bush Bands Bash, the premier music event for Aboriginal bands in Central Australia, in 2015, and has been recognized for her songwriting talents with the best Folk Song at the 2016NT Song of the Year Awards. She has performed with the Violent Femmes on their Australian tour 2017, with Opera Australia on Territory Day and with the NT Symphony Orchestra at the 2016 National Indigenous Music Awards.She has been on the bill for large-scale festivals including the Garmalang Festival, National Folk Festival, Barunga Festival, Nannup Music Festival and the Australasian World Music Expo and she has also toured extensively through WA/NT/SA with the Country Arts WA Sandtracks Tour.

EDI DONALD – is lead singer of recording and touring band, Edi Donald and the Transients. Edi was the Indigenous Women’s Music Coordinator with MusicNT (Dec 2015-16), and mentor and facilitator for Music NT’s “Sista Sounds” and “Desert Divas” programs from 2011-2017, working alongside many of the artists involved in this residency. Edi has also worked as a Senior Project Officer with Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunyatjara Women’s Council, working across a highly diverse group of remote communities across South Australia and the Northern Territory to deliver creative, music and youth and women’s development workshops.


 KARRINA NOLAN – Director of Original Power (Naarm/ Melbourne). Karrina Nolan is of mixed heritage from Yorta Yorta nation in Victoria. She’s worked as an organiser, strategist, campaigner, facilitator, lobbyist and hip hop wrangler alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, young people and communities for over 20 years. She’s led programs and campaigns on women’s rights, globalisation and environmental justice with a focus on First Nations peoples.

ALEX KELLY –  artist, filmmaker and social impact producer (Mbantua/ Alice Springs). Alex’s theatre and documentary credits include producing Island of the Hungry GhostsTHE ISLANDNothing Rhymes with Ngapartji, directing Queen of the Desert and with social change arts company Big hART‘s Ngapartji Ngapartji. More recently, Alex was the Global Impact & Distribution Producer on Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything project.

$50 – arts and community organisations, $25 – artists/general entry, Unwaged – free.

Full program to be announced soon. Book online and secure your spot now.
Registration to attend the lab is a must.