'Boomerang Presents' Series|BMR472
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'Boomerang Presents' Series


Rhoda Roberts in Conversation with Akala (UK) + Djon Mundine + Ellen van Neerven

On Wednesday 7 December, Rhoda Roberts AO will chair one of the most incendiary, dynamic discussions about the importance of art, culture, and education ever to come to the Northern Rivers.

Held at the brand new Park Lane Theatre in Lennox Community Centre, featuring four brilliant minds and cultural icons: Hip Hop artist, historian & activist Akala (UK), Bundjalung artist, curator & activist Djon Mundine OAM, and rising Indigenous literary star Ellen van Neerven, along with multi-talented and highly revered Roberts, this is a rare and exciting panel, and a conversation not to missed.

Raising money for Boomerang Festival, the panel will discuss the significance of culture and art as educational tools, and how education can be better delivered through art and culture. From African and Aboriginal perspectives, as well as historical and modern examples, the panel will surely cover the more controversial elements of these three topics, and share a wealth of collective knowledge you would otherwise never have the opportunity to receive.

Don't miss this exceptional calibre of minds sharing their knowledge and opinions on how we can do things better as community, for the sake of future generations.

The event is open to all ages, however, please be advised there will be adult themes and potentially strong language used throughout the session. Parental supervision is advised for audience members under the age of 16.

Art, Culture & Education’ commences at 6pm, and will be followed by a Q&A session.

Tickets $30 adult / $25 concession - Purchase tickets via www.communityspaces.com.au

Event Details


Date & Time
Wednesday 7 December 2016, 6.00pm start

Lennox Community Centre

$30.00 Adult / $25.00 Concession
Available for purchase via TryBooking.com


About the Boomerang Presents Series

Boomerang Festival, Bundjalung country's very own world-class Indigenous arts & culture festival, is launching a series of satellite events to raise awareness and funds for its long-term future.

Boomerang Festival launched successfully in 2013 only to be hit with cuts to funding for both arts and Indigenous programming for the east coast of Australia, putting it on indefinite hiatus. 

Whilst Boomerang has a temporary home at Bluesfest, it needs upwards of $800,000 to become a stand-alone festival once again, and a minimum of $200,000 each time it presents at Bluesfest.

The ultimate goal for Festival Directors Rhoda Roberts AO and Peter Noble OAM (Bluesfest) is to make Boomerang Festival the foremost Indigenous arts and culture festival in the world. 

The ambition is huge, but Peter, Rhoda and their team believe the time is right and Australia is ready to step out on the world stage and become known as the destination for authentic and quality Indigenous cultural exchanges.

The Northern Rivers and greater community agree, and in a mammoth exercise, a large and diverse group of business and community leaders are uniting with Boomerang and each other, to achieve this goal, together as a community.

The series of fundraising events will be held all over Bundjalung country between September 2016  - April 2017.

For more information, visit:

‘Boomerang Presents’ Series

About the Panelists




BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer/poet and historian AKALA is a label owner and social entrepreneur who fuses unique rap/rock/electro-punk sound with fierce lyrical storytelling.

Akala has developed a stellar live show with his renowned drummer/award-winning music producer Cassell ‘TheBeatmaker’ (Plan B/The Streets/Keziah Jones) headlining 8 UK tours as well as touring with the likes of Jay-Z, Nas & Damian Marley, M.I.A. and Christina Aguilera to Siouxsie Sue, Damon Albarn’s (‘Blur’/Gorillaz’) ‘Africa Express’ and Richard Ashcroft, appearing at numerous UK / European and US festivals (Glastonbury, Big Chill, Wireless, V, Hove and SXSW) as well as taking part in British Council arts education/music projects across several countries in South-east Asia, Africa, The Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.

Akala is more recently known for his compelling lectures/seminars and journalism (The Guardian, Huffington Post UK and The Independent), TV presenting and script-writing – over last few years he has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and literate talents in the UK.

In 2009, Akala launched the ‘The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company’, a music theatre production company which has sparked worldwide media interest since its inception.

Read more



Djon Mundine OAM

Born in Grafton (1951), Djon Mundine is a member of the Bandjalung people of Northern New South Wales and a distinguished pioneer Indigenous curator.

A foremost figure in the Australian art world, he is an activist, writer, critic, and commentator. He is well known as the concept curator for the Aboriginal Memorial [1988] installation permanently on display in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Mundine was awarded an OAM (Order of Australia, Medal for services to the visual arts) in 1993 and was Research Professor at Minpaku Museum of Ethnology in Osaka between 2005-2006. He was Senior Curator for the Gallery of Aboriginal Australia, National Museum of Australia, Canberra until 2000, after his position as Senior Curator of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Djon’s Bungaree’s Farm projection exhibition won the Museum Australia’s National Exhibition award in 2015. At the Cementa Festival he worked with descendants of Jimmy and Peggy Lambert in painting a memorial mural on the external wall of Kandos Museum. More recently he’s constructed the ‘Sixth Sense’ cross art form - cross age, and race exhibition, at the National Art School.

Mundine continues to relentlessly curate and write on Aboriginal art and is about to complete a practice based Ph.d candidate at Univ. of NSW.

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Ellen van Neervan

Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer of Mununjali and Dutch heritage.

Her first book, Heat and Light (UQP, 2014), was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award and the Dobbie Literary Award and most recently the NSW Literary Award for Indigenous Writing.

Her latest work Comfort Food, a collection of poetry, was released this year.

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Rhoda Roberts AO (Chair)

A member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul and Gidabul clans of Northern NSW and South East QLD, Rhoda was the founder and Artistic Director of the annual International Festival The Dreaming based at Woodford QLD.

She was a co-founding member of Australia's first national Aboriginal theatre company, the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust (ANTT) and coined the term Welcome to Country, establishing protocol manuals and welcomes by local custodians for the arts industry.

Rhoda has been involved with a number of large events in varying roles including Creative Director, Awakening Segment Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Rugby World Cup 2003, and Creative Director for Songlines – the phenomenally successful lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails, which opened Vivid Festival Sydney 2016, to name just a few.

Well known for her work with SBS television as a journalist and presenter for the current affairs program, Vox Populi, she has also worked for Network Ten and ABC Radio as a producer and journalist, and currently hosts Deadly Voices from the House, and produces Dance Rites, Homeground, and many more.

As an actor/producer and director, she continues to work freelance as a consultant, is a sought after speaker and performer in theatre, film, television and radio. Rhoda has written and produced several documentaries, and was the first Aboriginal to host a national prime time current affairs program.

Currently the Head of Indigenous Programming for the Sydney Opera House and Boomerang Festival Director, Rhoda was awarded an AO for her contribution to the arts in 2016.

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