In July 2016, First Nations arts leaders from around the world came together at a cultural leadership forum produced and presented by alumni of the ACCELERATE leadership and development programme.
Yirama Yangga-na (a local Dharawal phrase meaning “spirit singing”) was a three-day creative laboratory and cultural event held at the University of Wollongong, connecting Australian Indigenous creatives with First Nations delegates from Taiwan, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Canada and New Zealand.
The forum provided a platform for leaders to share, interrogate and develop their knowledge about Indigenous creative leadership and cultural practices. It also included creative laboratory sessions involving leaders from different art forms and countries, which saw cultural and issues actively demonstrated through creativity and collaboration.
Yirama Yangga-na was in many ways a breakthrough event, exploring how arts practice can contribute to and shape leadership roles, and connect cultures. Watch this short video to hear about some of the conversations that took place at the event.
“I feel positive about the parallels I’ve found with others here," said one international delegate who attended the forum. "I feel hope that so many of us are trying to connect and there’s a desire to stand together.”
A second creative leadership forum is planned in 2017 to deepen the artistic outcomes and relationships forged between the ACCELERATE alumni and International First Nations leaders.