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New England North West Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Leadership Symposium

Arts North West in collaboration with 2 Rivers and the Armidale Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place will be hosting the inagural New England North Wesdt Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Leadership Symposium from 26 – 28 April 2021.

The symposium is designed for emerging, mid-career and established Aboriginal artists and arts workers and is aimed at those who identify as or aspire to be Arts leaders.

Available to arts leaders from all over the country, the symposium will provide a platform to facilitate a strong, resilient and vibrant sector and will explore the issues and challenges faced by Aboriginal regional artists and arts workers.
Key topics include: cultural leadership, collaboration and exchange, diversity, ethics and globalisation, emotional and social Intelligence, creativity and innovation, and self-care.

Included in the speakers program:


  • Bibi Barba: Bibi Barba was born in 1968 in Roma, located in the Mandandanji tribal area of Queensland. She was raised in Sydney, NSW. She is a talented artist and very passionate about her art and her Aboriginal heritage. She paints her mother and grandmother’s dreamings. Bibi is an art teacher and as she tells the story: “One day I had a phone call and they asked me to go and educate a mystery client and her children about Australian Indigenous art and culture and teach them painting. Later I found out that she was the actress and director Angelina Jolie.”


  • Buddy Hippi: Buddy Hippi is from Winangali Infusion, a family-owned-and-operated Edu-cultural Healing Service.  They pride themselves on delivering a high standard of engaging Gamilaraay Edu-cultural Healing Practices to many educational departments, organisations and communities across the country and on international platforms. Winangali Infusion emphasise the ancient art of storytelling, art, language song and dance as well as nurturing all aspects of traditional culture to maintain community health and wellbeing foremost.
  • Jamie-Lea Trindall: Jamie-Lea was born in Coonamble NSW, completing her HSC at Coonamble High School. She undertook her Bachelor of Art Education at the College of Fine Arts UNSW, with a major in sculpture and a minor in photography, immersing herself in Art Education, Aboriginal history and the research roles of arts workers. In 2009 Jamie-Lea returned to her hometown to take on the role of Executive Director at Outback Arts, the Regional Arts Development Organisation for the far North West NSW.  Her passion and advocacy for community arts practice has played an integral role in her own artistic achievements. Jamie-Lea’s works are inspired by her country upbringing, nature and her Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi families. Jamie -Lea has been exhibited internationallyAleshia Lonsdale: Aleshia is a visual artist, arts worker and curator and a proud Wiradjuri woman from Mudgee in Central Western NSW. With a strong grounding in culture and Country, her works are influenced by the past, present and future experiences of First Nations Peoples with a particular focus on social, cultural, political and environmental issues. Aleshia has over 20 years’ experience in the arts and culture sector and is actively engaged in various Aboriginal, environmental and arts organisations both locally and across the region. Aleshia is an alumnus of the National Gallery of Australia’s Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership Program and the Cultural Keepers: Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Curators Program. She is currently a participant in the Australia Council’s Custodianship Program.
  • Loren Ryan: Loren is a First Nations Australian and comes from the Gamilaraay people native to North West NSW. Loren is renowned for combining her love of music and language, showcasing both in a creatively captivating splendour, writing original songs and translating well known Australian songs into her “Ngamba Dhalaay” mother’s tongue. Outside of music, Loren holds the proud position as the First Nations Arts and Cultural Development Manager for 2 Rivers and works with ABC Radio producing the long lived Saturday Night Country ShowKevin Bennett: Kevin Bennett, well respected singer / songwriter with Sydney roots band The Flood, CMAA Gold Guitar winner and Aria nominee in 2006 (with The Flood for Best Group) and 2011 (with Kasey Chambers for Vocal Collaboration), writes relevant, contemporary Australian music containing elements of Blues, Rock and Country – telling stories of where he’s from and where he might be going. He sings his life. Kevin is a popular co-writer having penned songs with Kim Richey, Troy Cassar-Daley, Shane Nicholson, Felicity Urquhart, Lyn Bowtell, Broderick Smith, and many more. ‘Paul Kelly’s Blues’, Kevin’s song about his early life on a sawmill in The Pilliga was nominated for APRA Song of the Year. His most recent collaboration is ‘Happy Australia Day’ with Luke O’Shea, a song that implores Australians to learn their true history and consider the impact of colonisation on our First Peoples. 
  • Luke O’Shea: Laureate, Australian Singer-Songwriter Luke O’Shea, carries on the proud and ancient tradition of singing up Country.  Drawing inspiration from the humorous and heartbreaking, O’Shea crafts and delivers his celebrated songs to connect with his audiences on a surprising deeper level. Throughout his twenty-five years of making music, Luke has been awarded a number of prestigious awards including 13 Golden Guitars, 2 APRA/AMCOS Songs of the Year and twice being crowned the Australian Independent Artist of the Year. ‘There In The Ochre’ is Luke O’Shea’s latest award winning album – featuring the 2020 dual Golden Guitar winning duet with Lyn Bowtell, ‘Sing Me A Story’, the powerful ‘Happy Australia Day’ – written with Kevin Bennet, and also taking out the 2021 CMAA Traditional Country Album of the Year.

Find out more and register now!