....I acknowledge the traditional owners of country in which I reside and pay respect to them and to their elders. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country and recognise their connection to land, wind, water, and community.
Come and learn more about the talented First Nations performers, artists, leaders, tecahers and cultural practitioners that bring Big Talk One Fire to life!
SPEAKERS & LEADERS
Master of Ceremonies
We are excited to welcome back motivational speaker, famous local personality, and BTOF favourite Trevor Tim as our Master of Ceremonies to guide us through the Festival.
Performing Welcome to Country Ceremony
Henry Fourmile is one of the traditional elders of Gimuy/Cairns and will be welcoming us onto Country. His art and cultural practice include smoking ceremonies & story telling for organisations, special events and schools.
Performing Smoking Ceremony & Traditional Dance
Gimuy Walubara man Jiritju Fourmile will be performing the Smoking Ceremony and opening BTOF 2023 with a traditional Aboriginal dance from Gimuy.
He will also be sharing his skills with us in Dance Workshops from 5-6.30pm in the Workshops Tent!
SYMPOSIUM PANEL: ABE MURIATA
Abe Muriata is a Girramay man of the Cardwell Range area. A self-taught weaver of the lawyer cane jawun, Abe explores different techniques to create finely crafted bi-cornual baskets unique to the rainforest people. Abe taught himself the weaving technique from watching his grandmother make them when he was a child and by studying old examples in museums and galleries. He is inspired by the precision of craftsmanship of jawun created by his ancestors. Abe also creates different manifestations of jawun by using other materials like ceramics and recycled and non-traditional materials, and traditional rainforest shields made in the traditional manner and painted with traditional ochres and designs.
SYMPOSIUM PANEL: CONNIE ROVINA
Connie has KuKuThaypan, Cape York, and Widi/Birriah Central Queensland ancestral heritage. Her artwork is inspired by several things. The first being her upbringing within her Aboriginal family which include sibling artists and arts manufacturers; the outback traditional lands of our grandmother from Musgrave Station and the Laura district being the KuKuThaypan people (Far North Queensland) and the Bowen Basin district being Birriah and Widi people (Central Queensland) of her grandfather. Connie is a Small Business Owner of Widiwork Aboriginal Art Gallery.
SYMPOSIUM PANEL: JEDESS HUDSON
Jedess Hudson is a descendant from the Ewamian and Western Yalanji people of North Queensland. An established Aboriginal creative contributing to the art and community sector for many years. On her creative journey Jedess has continued to draw deeply from her traditional homelands. The land, seasons, bush tucker, flora and fauna are aspects that are inspired and incorporated into her art practice.
BOIGU ISLAND DANCE GROUP
The Boigu Island Dance Group will close out the Opening Ceremony with a dance from the Torres Strait Islands.
Return guest, upcoming hip hop Djabugay and Yirrigandji musician and artist.
DJUN DJUN JARRA
We welcome back Djun Djun Jarra from Yarrabah, a hip hop group bringing their unique style to the crowd!
COLD WATER BAND
All the way from a small remote community call Wujal Wujal, Cold Water Band hope to bring their “fresh music from the bush” to a wider audience with reggae, RnB, rock’n’roll.
Dizzy Doolan aka Charmaine Armstrong was born in Townsville, but she grew up in Cairns where she also calls home. Her tribes are the Takalak, Agwamin, Gureng Gureng and Wokka Wokka people. Dizzy is a celebrated First Nations hip-hop artist, tearing it up with her fearless style and unique flavour of music. In 2022 Dizzy co-hosted the Australian Women in Music awards ceremony with TV host Yumi Stynes, and performed an explosive collaboration with music artist BARKAA remixing her hit song “For my Tittas”. Dizzy Doolan also had the honour of curating the very first Hip Hop showcase for the AWMA’s.
Mau Power is an Indigenous music sensation. Hailing from the cultural centre-point of the Torres Strait Islands, Patrick ‘Mau Power’ shares the story of his people to audiences all over the world. His uniquely Indigenous style of Hip-Hop has been featured as the headline act at numerous international festivals, culminating with the 2018 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.
ABORIGINAL DANCE WOKRSHOP
Jiritju Fourmile is a Gimuy Walubara man from Yidinji Nation. The Yidinji tribe was one of the largest tribes of the Cairns area. The Yidi Bama (people) speak Yidin/Yidiny. Jiritju follows in the footsteps of his father by sharing their stories through dance and art.
TSI DANCE WORKSHOP
Nancy Baker is a proud TSI woman from, the Eastern part of the Torres Strait from Darnley (Erub), Stephen (Ugar) and family ties to Murray (Mer). Born in Cloncurry she was taught her culture with here seven siblings while they were raised at Machans Beach. The dances that Nancy will be sharing came from Darnley (Erub).
CULTURAL AND BOOMERANG PAINTING
Wirra Wakka Cultural Services is a husband-and-wife team whom live and work in Cairns, Far North Queensland. Trevor and Olivia have been making authentic handmade, decorated and ethically sourced aboriginal artifacts and didgeridoos for over 20 years. They will be sharing stories and teaching painting techniques while painting Boomerangs.
STORYTELLING & DIDGERIDOO
Phil Brown is a Kuku Yalangi man based in Cairns, known for his Didgeridoo playing skills and sharing of dreamtime stories. Phil will be sharing stories and demonstrating playing the digeridoo.
Learn traditional weaving technqiues and yarn with senior weavers from the KOCA Kuranda Weavers Group
BEADING & JEWELLERY MAKING
Dorothy Edwards is a Traditional woman from the Kokoberrin peoples the Central West Coast of Cape York Peninsula. Dorothy is of the Kokoberrin language group and her homelands on her mother’s and grandmother’s side are known as Pinnarinch and stretch between Staaten River National Park in the south and north to Nassau River, including Wyabba Creek and Dorunda Lodge area. Dorothy has always expressed an interest in creating art and has recently participated in UMI Arts Designer Jewellery Making to further develop her jewellery making skills. As part of UMI Arts Big Talk One Fire she is sharing basic necklace techniques.
ART MARKET CREATORS
Offering hand painted art and gifts such as fine art, boomerangs, headgear, shoes, lamps, homewares and limited edition prints. By Maleena Rassip, talented artist of KukuThaypan, Widi, Wiri/Birriah heritage.
My name is Kathy Ahmat. I am a proud Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islander) woman. My blood lines is from the Kulkalgal nation, Masig & Iama Islands,(Mosby/Kebisu ), and the Maluligal nation,
(Savage/Ahwang/Ahmat) Badu Island. My ancestors were leaders in their respective generations, both in warfare, community and business aﬀairs. Their ancient knowledge is embedded in my DNA and I am walking in their footsteps to carry on their legacy. I am very passionate about my cultural heritage and my vision is to see my people wearing and displaying our Zenadh Kes inspired designs, on clothing, jewellery, homewares, and gifts.
What does the Kukuwam represent? The Kukuwam is the Hibiscus flower. It is worn by Torres Strait Islanders to symbolise beauty.
Based in Kuranda and with connections to KukuThaypan and Widi clans, First Nations artist Connie Rovina offers a beatiful range of various fine art, crafts, & giftware, created by herself and other local Indigenous artists.
Wonderful range of fine art, crafts and giftware created by local First Nations artist and designer Marita Budden.
LT’s ABORIGINAL ARTS & CRAFTS
Kuku Yalanji artist Lea Abrum offers a beautiful range of authentic and locally made arts & crafts.
T’S RESIN DESIGNS
Tanya’s Resin Designs are a locally handcrafted business in Cairns FNQ and provide a range of arts and jewellery including resin art serving boards, earrings, necklaces, scrunchies plus a lot more!
CAPE YORK ART
Made with Meaning
We have a strong ancestral connection to central western Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. Our authentic aboriginal giftware is inspired by Cape York Peninsula. Our fine art and giftware are imbued with cultural knowledge and skills handed down through generations.
MICHELLE WEARE JEWELLERY
Local artist and jewellery maker Michelle Weare brings her beautiful range of hand-collected natural seed jewellery, as well as a range of other arts, crafts and giftwares.
Every year, we help thousands of people achieve the things that matter most to them. We support people to live their best lives and remove barriers that prevent people from exploring and realising their potential. Whether it’s living independently, getting a job you love, or engaging with the community, we are right beside you every step of the way.
Inu Lebonen SDA
Offering a colourful array of PNG blouses and other crafts and apparel.
WIRRA-WAKKA CULTURAL SERVICES
We are Olivia and Trevor Peckham and we are Wirra Wakka. Having lived and raised our family in our beautiful city of Cairns for over 35 years. Last year we made the decision to take our love for art and our passion for educating people from Australia and around the world about Aboriginal Culture. So we started Wirra Wakka as the need for our services to grow. With over 30 years experience in crafting Aboriginal Art and Artifacts and delivering community based groups workshops and special events we both have been immersed in our culture from very early ages.