Friday 1 November

8:00am – 9:00am

Registrations and coffee on arrival

Various locations

9:00am – 1:00pm

Keynotes and Panels

Various locations

Welcome to Country

9:00am – 9:10am

Keynote ngaya winanga-l guwaa-l gawuban gunigal (I listen and talk to the connected waters)

9:10am – 9:40am

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth yet is has been the traditional lands of its original inhabitants Australia’s First Peoples (Aboriginal People) since the Dreaming or at least thousands of generations. Protecting water landscapes (surface and ground water) has always been a high priority for survival in a dry landscape, and protecting water remains a cultural obligation. The challenge for Aboriginal People is to ensure their value and relationship with water is not diminished or excluded by modern day water management. Aboriginal People acquire the right wisdom and generational traditional knowledge, and many indicate that their worldview is seeing water as inseparable from the land and the sky, bound by traditional lore and customs for its protection. For Australia’s First Peoples, occupying an ever drying landscape, traditional knowledge of finding, re-finding and protecting water sites has been integral to their survival for so long. This presentation will explore relationships between Aboriginal People and water and how integrating our perspectives, models and methodologies can influence water management for the better.

Brad Moggridge is a proud Murri from the Kamilaroi Nation (North-West NSW). He grew up in Western Sydney on Darug land and now lives in Canberra on Ngunnawal land.  His family links to the Artstate Tamworth region are through Mum Colleen (Benge, Narrabri) and Nan Brenda Benge (nee: McGrady from Euraba) and Pop Bill (Benge from Boomi).

Panel Music on Country

9:45am – 10:45am

Moderated by Peter White

Morning Tea

10:45am – 11:15am

Keynote The Power of Media in a Systemically Racist Society

11:15am – 11:45am

An Indigenous media artist & social entrepreneur explores the history and impact that media and industry has had in the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and the role that each one of us plays in creating a safe and equitable society for marginalized communities around the world. 

Based on life experiences, Nang Ḵ’uulas Patrick Shannon explores identity, youth capacity building, and strategies to create positive social change in both an urban and rural context.

Panel On Country - Off Country

11:50am – 12:50pm

Moderated by

1:00pm – 2:00pm


Various locations

2:00pm – 5:00pm

Parallel sessions of panels and presentations

Various locations

Info Session Fundraising clinic: free 1:1 fundraising coaching sessions

1:00pm – 6:00pm

Este Darin-Cooper

Are you an artist or arts organisation looking to raise money through donations or sponsorship? Este, State Manager NSW at Creative Partnerships Australia, is available on Friday and Saturday for Free 1:1 coaching sessions to discuss your fundraising strategy.

Session Times: 1pm – 6pm (1 hour p/ session)

Bookings by appointment only, Email with your preferred time or phone 0403 200 809.

HANDS ON Eco- Dyeing: Traditional and Contemporary Indigenous Practice

Workshop space, Tamworth Regional Gallery

2:00pm – 3:15pm

Join the team from the Bumbira Arts and Culture program where Jodie Herden and Kate Sutherland will facilitate a hands-on workshop exploring the process and techniques of eco-dyeing. Using traditional and contemporary Indigenous practices as taught by the Noongar doll makers in the Re-Stitching Culture doll making project and exhibitions.

Limited Numbers. Tickets at registration

Small Talks Authors' Cafe

2:00pm – 3:15pm

Come and meet authors in an intimate café setting.  Chat with them about where they get their ideas and inspiration and find out what it takes to be a published author living in regional NSW.

Authors: Michael Burge, John Heffernan and Sophie Masson

Limited Numbers. Tickets at registration

Performance Workshop De-colonising Australian History through Storytelling and Performance

2:00pm – 3:15pm

Julie Collins

The workshop will include a short performance of immersive Theatre piece ‘Trucked Off’, which is based on oral history, recreating the experience of the Aboriginal people’s removal from Tibooburra to Brewarrina Mission and mission life.  The audience will then participate in a workshop, learning how to collect and transform oral history into theatre.

Panel Arts Development on Country

2:00pm – 3:15pm

Aleshia Lonsdale

Lorrayne Fishenden

For a number of years specialist Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Development Officers have been embedded in Regional Arts Development Organisations across NSW. In this panel we talk to four of them working respectively on Bundjalung, Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi and Yuin Countries about their programs.


Aleshia Lonsdale, Arts OutWest

Jasmin Williams, South East Arts

Lorrayne Riggs, 2 Rivers Pty Ltd, Arts North West

Mark Cora, Arts Northern Rivers

Moderator: Patrick Healey

Presentation Big Skies Project

2:00pm – 3:15pm

Tracey Callinan

Big Skies Collaboration brings together arts practitioners, astronomers and community to catalogue new opportunities in South Eastern Australia’s rural and remote inland.

Our creative interventions currently include; the Skywriters Anthology, the Inland Astro Trail, Big Skies immersive theatre and Condo Skyfest.

This presentation will discuss Big Skies initiatives, outline the issues the collaboration seeks to address and introduce Big Skie’s Big Vision for Inland Communities.


– Tracey Callinan, musician and Exec. Director Arts OutWest, Bathurst

– Marion Wighton-Packham, writer and Wiradjuri Wellbeing teacher, Condobolin

– Merrill Findlay, writer, editor of the Skywriters Anthology, and coordinator of Big Skies Collaboration, Forbes


3:15pm – 3:45pm

Presentation Connection to Culture: art & its influence in supporting social and emotional wellbeing

3:45pm – 5:00pm

Lorrayne Fishenden

Join the team from Bumbira Arts and Culture to discuss the benefits of art and culture programs enhancing social and emotional wellbeing. Enriched connection to culture is an important aspect of living a good life for First Nations people. Art changes lives, builds resilience and strengthens communities.

Presentation Unlearning and learning: history, pedagogy and developing place literacies

3:45pm – 5:00pm

This presentation discusses the role of arts practices and ethnography within Indigenous Studies as a strategy to decolonise curriculum and subject design. This strategy involves a process unlearning and relearning, or critical public pedagogy, to develop space and place literacies for strengthened ecological citizenship in uncertain times.

Presentation Unsung: the art of editing

3:45pm – 5:00pm

IPEd Ambassador, Dr Linda Nix AE, explains what professional editors do, how they contribute to all kinds of arts projects – creative writing, histories and memoirs, exhibition catalogues, visual displays, transcripts and captions for audiovisual material, websites and social media, grant applications – and how to find and work with an editor.

Presentation On Country at Giiyong Festival

3:45pm – 5:00pm

Andrew Gray

Giiyong Festival was the first Aboriginal arts and cultural festival in the south-east region of NSW and a hugely successful event. The festival featured over 100 Aboriginal musicians, dancers, singers, writers and presenters, ranging from professional acts to community groups. The festival provided an important platform for our Aboriginal community locally and nationally to showcase their culture and have their voices heard and respected. Andrew Gray from South East Arts and Alison Simpson from Twofold Aboriginal Corporation will present on this significant event.

Presentation Tamworth Regional Council's New Cultural Precinct Plan

Innovations Studio, Tamworth Regional Gallery

3:45pm – 5:00pm

Tamworth Regional Council Community Strategic Plan 2017 – 2027 has a key objective to build a performing arts centre within a cultural precinct. This project is also a key objective of the city’s cultural plan. Council committed funds to develop the business case and concept design for a new performing arts centre based on the vision from community and key stakeholder needs. The vision and current plans around the importance of the ecosystem within the precinct will be presented.

The aim of the project is to position Tamworth to be a leader in Business Tourism, Cultural Tourism and a regional centre for arts excellence through a world class performing arts centre and cultural precinct that operates on a business model that offers the best return to rate payers, delivers a functional community asset, provides a robust arts ecosystem and a vibrant cultural heart.

Performance Miyay Miyay: A Creative Collaboration

3:45pm – 5:00pm

This project is the creative development of a performing arts piece based on the Gamilaroi version of Miyay Miyay the Seven Sisters songline, and inspired by Country and the landscape of the New England North West.  This project is focused on the central artistic collaboration between two key Gamilaroi artists – writer Cathy Craigie and dancer/producer Katie Leslie.  The Seven Sisters songline is an epic narrative that spans across a vast area of Australia from the West coast through Central Australia to the North West of NSW and to Gamilaroi country.  The main focus of this project is the creative collaboration itself, which not only will result in a new creative work, but will also give emerging artists and community the opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes look at how this process works.

The project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, provided through Regional Arts Australia, and in NSW through Regional Arts NSW and is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

This is a Delegates only arts festival event, scheduled as part of the afternoon conference sessions

7:00pm – 12:00am

Artstate Arts Program

Various locations

Visit the Arts Program for available events.

Times are indicative only and may be subject to change.

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