Marram-nganjinu biik-gurrin (We are Country)

Marram-nganjinu biik-gurrin in the Woi Wurrung / Boon Wurrung languages of the Kulin nation means "We are Country". It symbolizes the strong bonds of First Nations cultural and creative practice to country, culture and community.

Since 2009, the British Council in Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts have been running a national First Nations leadership programme, ACCELERATE. Now with 35 alumni across the country, the programme has grown to the next level of international thought leadership. 

Marram nganjinu biik-gurrin is a place and time where First Nations leaders from across Australia and the world will shake up and shape the future of arts and cultural practice in community and on country. Held on the lands of the Kulin nation in Melbourne, Marram-nganjinu biik-gurrin, led by ACCELERATE alumni Jacob Boehme and Peter White, is a ground-breaking international event consisting of a First Nations Cultural Summit and Creation Lab. 

The three-day Cultural Summit (8 – 10 May) will help forge a new direction of leadership in the cultural and creative sectors. First Nations leaders from Australia and internationally will explore where First Nations sit within the broader cultural ecology, and champion ways to employ the inherent rights First Nations have in managing and defining their individual and collective cultural and creative futures.

Running in tandem with the Summit, the 5 day Creation Lab (8 – 12 May) invites First Nations artists to challenge the role and influence of western performance methodologies and explore dramaturgy through the cultural lens of First Nations peoples. Creation Lab will provide a space for international First Nations collaboration, exchange and the seeding of new works.

Marram nganjinu biik-gurrin will take place from the 8th – 12 of May, 2017 in Melbourne as part of YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival

Marram-nganjinu biik-gurrin will be a space for First Nations to own our own business. It will be delivered through a distinctly strong First Nations voice that will create a culturally safe space to collaborate, interrogate and debate strategize concepts such as “decolonising spaces and practices” and “asserting cultural sovereignty and authority”.

As such, registration will only be open to First Nations people.

Delegates should be established practitioners, well respected in their community, with the capacity to make change. They can work in arts management or across any art form, but should be committed to engaging in big conversations, and sharing their vision and experience with an international network of First Nations leaders in arts and culture.

Registrations will open soon. Please check this page for updates. 

We know that Marram-nganjinu biik-gurrin will be of strong interest to all areas of the arts and cultural sector. For those interested, there will be two open ‘Public Gallery’ sessions during the Cultural Summit for you to gain insight into the issues and solutions around cultural sovereignty of First Nations. The Creation Lab will be open to ‘drop-in’ and view the collaborations as they develop. Each night, the Testing Grounds in Southbank Melbourne will turn into a bar and sharing space, for delegates and general public.