MAV Creatives

MAV empowers diverse creatives and communities who create work that challenge, re-define, inspire, provoke and engage. Meet these artists and their works here.

Quynnn

Digital Designer

Quynnn is a digital designer who is passionate about cultures, gender equality, and women empowerment.

Camp Mana

Camp Mana

Camp Mana is a creative development program that supports young people as they transition away from the Youth Justice System and back into community. Led by a small yet powerful team of culturally responsive mentors, Camp Mana delivers specialised music workshops, creative business development and vocational preparation as we prepare our young people for the world.

Matisse Laida + Nisha Hunter

QPOC Multi-disciplinary Creatives

Matisse and Nisha are both QPOC multi-disciplinary creatives who share a love for food and cooking. Matisse Laida (she/they) is a 23 year old, queer, mixed race multidisciplinary creative with a cooking show and collaborative food platform @we.eatin.good.bitch. They have experience in film, theatre, event curation, writing, podcasting and radio. Her podcast Braided (Produced by Artful Dodgers Studios), has appeared on ABC and 3RRR. Matisse is currently working on a play to be shown in June, a film to be screened in August, and starred in a queer documentary for DELL X PEDESTRIAN TV. As an Afro- Mauritian and Venezuelan queer person , Matisse has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and actively ensure that all spaces she works and creates in are as culturally safe as possible. Nisha Hunter (they/she/he) is a 23 year old, queer, mixed South Asian artist based in Naarm. Their practice is an exploration of identity, informed by their queerness and cultural background. Nisha has experience as a studio - based and exhibiting artist, specialising in video, photography, textiles and installation. They have also worked in the commercial industry, allowing them to build pre and postproduction skills. Nisha has applied their artistic skills in their role as producer and director of photography for We Eatin’ Good.

Below The Surface

Multidisciplinary Creatives

Exploring the world using different forms of expression

Jazba Singh

Actor, Writer and Director

Jazba Singh is an Indo-Canadian-Australian filmmaker and actor. She is an artist of colour currently living in Naarm/Melbourne. With a background in critical race/gender scholarship, Jazba is a passionate advocate for representation both on and off screen. Credits include Impact Producer for the AACTA winning documentary “In the Shadow of the Hill”; South Indian feature film “Hippi”; and a theatrical run as Princess Sophia Duleep Singh in “The Regina Monologues”. Jazba wrote, co-produced, directed and acted in EATING THE OTHER along with a team of majority BIPOC and female collaborators.

Aroha Pehi

Dancer

Aroha Pehi is a proud Darrriebullum, Kuku-Yalnji, Ngāphui and Ngātiporou woman from South-East Queensland with strong ties to the Shepparton community. A graduate of NAISDA Dance College, she works as a freelance dancer based in Sydney. She co-founded ‘Lost All Sorts Collective’, a contemporary dance theatre collective producing works focused on Indigenous issues. Aroha has started to explore new art expressions, such as writing and dance on film.

Angelita Biscotti

Writer, Performer, Editor and Filmmaker

Angelita Biscotti is a writer, performer, editor, and filmmaker excited by experimental, non-linear investigations into eroticism, queer embodiment, wellness and social justice. Her interviews, essays, reviews, fiction, and poetry have appeared in respected global and Australian publications, including Jacobin, Overland, Cordite Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She has studied at the Ateneo de Manila University, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, and La Trobe University. She was a 2017 Hot Desk Fellow at the Wheeler Centre, a 2021 Making Space resident at Siteworks, a 2020 Fellow at Democracy in Colour and coHealth’s Create Change Fellowship for young BIPOC campaigners, and a 2020 mentee for the Progressive Tech Network. She is a Melburnian of Filipinx-Spanish descent, based on unceded Boon Wurrung Country. Pronouns: She/they

Anne Hsuyin

Composer and Sound Artist

Anne Hsuyin is a composer, sound artist and vocalist currently based in Melbourne. Born and raised in culturally diverse Malaysia, she is fascinated by the various shades of sound that exist in different communities and is traversing the intersections between tradition, modernity, identity and the diaspora. Her love for the weird and wonderful in the inner mind and in the outside world informs much of her music.

Vanessa Estrada

Singer, Songwriter and Music Teacher

Hailing from Chile, Vanessa Estrada is a driving force in the Melbourne Latin music scene. Her music is compelling and moves the heart, soul and body. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Violeta Parra, Pascuala Ilabaca, Elizabeth Morris, Vanessa’s folk-rock-experimental sound is an eclectic mix of melodies and instruments. Multi- faceted in her approach to her art, she transports you through her soundscape with graceful guidance. Her newest single "Canción De Despedida" which will be part of her debut solo album, is a testament to her storytelling. Her vocals and emotions take centre stage on the track as it touches on heartbreak and goodbyes. A poignant human experience that we all can relate to, told through the beat of the Chilean folk style “Cueca” and Argentinean “Chacarera” with gentle touches of Jazz, Electronic and Rock. Vanessa will be releasing her second single and animated video clip "Agua libre" on April 30th, 2022 as part of her Chile tour, which will feature Chilean artist "Frecuencia Nativa" and Peruvian environmental activist "Nelidad Ayay" from the documentary "Hija de la laguna" (Daughter of the lake). Vanessa expects to release her debut album by the end of 2022.

Judy Kuo

Unionist, Activist, Digital Artist

Judy Kuo is an Asian-Australian unionist, activist, and artist making digital art, zines, and posters.

Rahel Davies and Wintana Kidane

Multi-disciplinary Creatives

Wintana Kidane and Rahel Davies are the hosts of the Bittersweet Podcast, a platform developed with the intention of authentically representing the stories and experiences of people of colour living in Australia. The pair deliver weekly podcast episodes, social media, and YouTube content to engage audiences on topics such as identity, politics, self-discovery, careers, and relationships. 'Bittersweet Talks' is an extension of Bittersweet - a talk series dedicated to celebrating the stories of accomplished people of colour in Australia.

Abdul ‘Min’ Muhaimin

Creative

Abdul ‘Min’ Muhaimin graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the VCA, and is currently juggling between performing in the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and creating artwork that inspires him. Having grown up in Malaysia, Min loves to find the duality between where he’s from and who he wants to be, and showcases it in the many types of art he makes.

Michelle Nguyen

Sound Artist

Michelle Nguyen is an emerging sound artist exploring glitch, noise, dance, and psychedelia in sound. Since 2020, Naarm-based artists, Michelle Nguyen and Grace Quiason have collaborated on experimental audio-visual pieces for Signal and MAV.

Grace Quiason

Video Artist

Grace Quiason is an emerging video artist focused on experimental filmmaking through manipulating analogue processes with glitch and remix. Since 2020, Naarm-based artists, Grace Quiason and Michelle Nguyen have collaborated on experimental audio-visual pieces for Signal and MAV.

Panda Wong

Poet and Writer

Panda Wong is a poet and writer living on unceded Wurundjeri land. She is an Associate Editor at The Suburban Review, a Performance Review board member and a Hot Desk Fellow 2020. Her first chapbook 'angel wings dumpster fire' is forthcoming with Puncher & Wattmann in 2022. She loves to make work with her friends.

Lerato Masiyane

Dancer and Instructor

Lerato Masiyane AKA Lee, is one of the top dance performers and instructors in Melbourne specializing in Afro Dance and Dancehall. She has opened for International Dancehall musicians such as Beenie Man and performed with some of Australia’s highest profile musicians including Sampa the Great and Baker Boy. She shares her culture by teaching Afro Dance to diverse communities around Victoria.

Beven Elankumaran

Composer, Music Producer and Multi-instrumentalist

Beven Elankumaran is an Australian composer, music producer and multi-instrumentalist with a Sri Lankan Tamil heritage. A graduate from the Berklee College of Music (2019) Beven dual majored in Film Scoring and Electronic Production and Design.. He currently serves as the “Music Advisor” for Apple’s upcoming TV show “Shantaram.”

Amicus Atman

Psychedelic Artist

Influenced by mythology, legend and the stories that are told, Amicus Atman works to construct cross-dimensional and highly immersive artwork while interrogating the constantly evolving circumstances. Coding NFT's while constructing Wayang Kulit, making spicy meals and playing with interactive projection art are all part of the creative process that Amicus uses. As a South-East Asian creative, they are committed to staying true to their ancestral history, respecting tradition and looking to the future, while navigating current realities of living in colonized spaces.

Sarah Tan

Extended Reality (XR) Artist

Sarah Tan is an Extended Reality (XR) artist, who combines XR technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and visual art to convey emotions and perspectives in an immersive way.

Madhubani Dutta

Digital Photographer and Visual Artist

Madhubani Dutta is an emerging digital photography and visual arts creative based in Wyndham. She has been teaching arts for 7 years now and has been experimenting with various provocations around mental health and art activism. She is actively involved in various projects with the Wyndham City Council and various Wyndham-based community centres. Madhubani has also been volunteering as a graphic designer, e-magazine editor and workshop facilitator with different community groups and non-profit organisations

Lauren Mavromati Bourke

Knitwear and Fashion designer

Lauren Mavromati Bourke is a knitwear and fashion designer whose work portrays lived bodily experiences through the lens of their own personal and cultural experiences. Lauren reflects themes of trans-generational trauma, gendered trauma, and the ongoing effects of colonialism, as well as aiming to speak to wider embodied experiences. They also take an intersectional approach, focusing on queer, woman and gender-diverse gazes. By focusing on knit, one of the textile practices that are passed down generationally among women as a way of communicating, these pieces reflect how transgenerational trauma is expressed through transgenerational cultural practice. These pieces also speak to the growing intention of exploring the therapeutic benefits of textile-based handicrafts. Lauren’s practice ultimately aims to actively create space away from confining heteropatriarchal and binary discourses, to instead offer marginalised bodies pieces they can wear and interact with, bringing garments into their own context, stretching each piece to meet their evolving needs and bodies.

Julianne Nguyen

Creative

Julianne is a second-generation Vietnamese-Australian born millennial. She describes her style as a multi-mix, an amalgamation of philosophies, metaphors, symbols - a tapestry of colours and perspectives. Her style is influenced by the spiritual, religious and cultural groups, movements and social communities she has volunteered and ventured in after graduating with her Design degree. Julianne uses her personal experiences of self reflection, trauma and encounters with people from all walks of life as a catalyst to create sounds and experimental videos to portray the depth of our inner selves, inner core and inner consciousness.

Akuek Deng

Artist, Naya Ruon

Akuek Deng is a South-Sudanese-born and Central Victorian-based artist who is painting under the name “Naya Ruon”. The emerging creative seeks to capture hidden depths, seamlessly blending brushstrokes with fluid pouring techniques to create a contemporary take on portraiture. Naya Ruon uses acrylic and oil paints featuring vibrantly, bright colours with a resin finish to create organic, abstract paintings and portraits that explore themes of culture and actualise the connection between human emotion and Earth’s natural wonders. Naya Ruon recently launched her first exhibition at the Old Church on the Hill in Bendigo and is currently planning her next exhibition at Exhibit B in Central Bendigo.

Jonathan Homsey

Choreographer and Curator

Jonathan Homsey is a choreographer and curator working from the positionality of as a Queer Person of Colour based on Wurundjeri country. Originally an award-winning dancer for crews during the naughties in Southern California, he is humbled to be a community leader in so called Australia for the past decade galvanising people together to dance. From Footscray Community Arts Centre to Melbourne Museum, he specialises in platforming Street and Queer dance forms to cultivate empowerment for sexually and ethnically diverse young people.

Francine Furaha and Muisha Sarah

Co-Founders, Umoja Empowerment Group

Umoja was founded by two friends Francine Furaha and Muisha Sarah. “We are very colourful people, since migrating here to Australia we quickly noticed the lack of cultural clothing especially African. We order our fabric from Africa because it’s full of vibrant colours and our traditional designs. We then make bags and clothing out of it.” “Since joining this program it has allowed us to source more resources and gave us the tools needed to pursue our business ideas. It was during the program that we made the decision to merge our businesses and work together. Now we sell matching outfits and bags.” Francine and Sarah have sold their products in festivals, markets and events. They have also started reaching out to the women in their community helping them start their own businesses and empowering them where possible.

Mimi Leung

Artist

Mimi Leung was born in Hong Kong, grew up in England and now lives in regional Australia. Her work explores identity, belonging and uses art to understand and transcend the mundanity of daily life. Her body of work for *Submerged* is about growing up as a ‘yellow’ woman, and coming to terms with her lived experiences that have been constantly denied or rejected within a predominantly white context. A central theme of this work is motherhood, and the way her thinking has shifted through seeing her own children move through similar spaces.

Lah Eh Soe

Pop Music Artist

Lah Eh Soe is an 18-year-old Pop artist from Thailand who currently lives in Bendigo Australia. Lah Eh Soe has been making music for 1 year and is influenced by artists like Post Malone, Eminem and XXXtentacion.

Isha Menon

Theatremaker

Isha Menon is a curious and adventurous theatremaker who makes theatre that is absurd, heartfelt, dramatic and irreverent. In 2019, they wrote, directed and performed in a two hander girl walks home from a train as part of the inaugural student-lead arts festival Discord held at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). In 2020, Isha received a grant from Union House Theatre to launch Voices in Isolation, an interactive website that invited Melbournians to submit stories about their isolation experiences. Isha made their theatrical debut in Melbourne earlier this year in ‘Very Nice Pot Plants’ (dir. Karla Livingston and Zachary Sheridan) at Theatreworks Glasshouse venue. Some of their credits from her time at VCA include being part of Otello: What’s Changed (dir. Draf Draffin) where they wrote and performed Butterfly!, and Sleep Faster Show Cat (dir. Emma Hall), a semi-improvised endurance theatre piece set entirely in the surreal online world of Zoom.

Kaberi Jesmin

Founder, Bangladeshi Shaad

Bangladeshi Shaad, which translates to Bangladeshi Taste , was founded by Kaberi Jesmin in 2021. Passionate about sharing the tastes of her homeland, Kaberi uses her cooking to bring people together and celebrate Bangladeshi culture. Kaberi was catering just for friends and family, when an invitation to cook biryani at an event for 50 people motivated her to start her own business. Since then, she has catered for community celebrations and organisations, including Neighbourhood Collective Australia and Regional Victorians of Colour. Kaberi offers event-catering and cooking demonstrations across the Bendigo region, for foods like chai, biryani and Bangladeshi snacks.

Shukria Kheradyar

Painter and Illustrator

As a self-taught painter and illustrator, Shukria uses her practice to express her creative and cultural identity. Limited hand mobility led her to explore painting as an alternative to Afghan hand stitching and since 2018, she has developed her skills through photographic references and watching online videos. Resonating with the work of Rubaba Muhammedi, a partially paralysed young Afghan artist, Shukria seeks to suffuse meaning into her practice. She is currently working on a series of paintings that depict the atrocities currently being experienced in Afghanistan, with plans to exhibit and sell these pieces in support of the Hazara community. Shukria has previously exhibited at EmergeD and illustrated a City of Greater Bendigo Greater Bendigo Against Family Violence brochure. She currently exhibits at the Cultural Exchange Beehive in Bendigo.

Goulburn Valley Seniors Association Incorporated

Group of Migant Women

Self-described 'Seniors in Action', the Goulburn Valley Seniors Association Incorporated is a group of women from migrant backgrounds who come together to connect and create. From hand woven bags to propagating exotic plants, the diversity of the group's products reflects that of its members. After decades supporting their families mostly through orchard and factory work, the GVSAI allows its members the opportunity to delve more deeply into their crafts and to reconnect with their cultural identities. GVSAI has members across Goulburn Valley, with plans to take their unique offerings to communities and speciality markets across the region.

Diäär Kuo Dinka Crafts

Collective of South Sudanese Women

Diäär Kuo, meaning ‘our women’, is a collective of South Sudanese women who, together, use traditional beadwork and coil weaving to create home décor, jewellery, and clothing. The group first began working together in 2018, inspired by a weaving workshop facilitated by community leader and expert weaver, Mary Anwat. For Diäär Kuo, women’s weaving circles represent an opportunity to create a stronger community and to learn and to share evolving handicraft methods across generations, both young and old. Diäär Kuo have previously exhibited at MAV’s Interwoven exhibition. Their intricate works can be purchased at the Cultural Exchange Beehive in Bendigo.

Mireille Byamasu

Founder, Belle Fleur Mira

Belle Fleur Mira was founded by Mireille Byamasu in 2021, after years of struggling to find gentle, locally made products that support the health of natural African hair. With most African hair products imported from America or Africa, Mireille’s mission is two-fold: to promote the beauty of natural hair and to create locally made products that are readily accessible and safe for children and adults alike. In doing so, Mireille hopes to encourage other retailers to stock products that work with African hair. Belle Fleur Mira will launch online in 2022, with the first collection featuring shampoos, conditioners, leave-in treatments, and oils.

Ayuen Kuol Bol

Founder, Freaka Kid Club

Freaka Kid Club is an emerging fashion label from Bendigo-based designer, Ayuen Kuol Bol. Kenya-born and Melbourne-raised, Ayuen uses weaving, beading, and digital printing techniques in a style that links her Dinka heritage and contemporary style. Named in remembrance of her childhood, Freaka Kid Club not only charts Ayuen’s creative journey but is also intended to model a pathway for other young South Sudanese people seeking creative careers. Freaka Kid Club aims to be a platform for collaboration with other South Sudanese artists and designers, with an online shop planned in the future. Ayuen has previously retailed at The Social Studio markets in Melbourne, as well as appearing in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and Wyndham Gallery’s Stolen/Wealth exhibition.

Temi Adenubi

Founder, Tš Luxuriôus Couture

Under the label Tš Luxuriôus Couture, Nigerian-born Temi Adenubi uses high-quality African print fabrics to produce custom casual, corporate, and special occasion wear. The idea for Tš Luxuriôus Couture emerged after Temi hosted a fashion show at the 2021 A Taste of African Culture event in Shepparton. For Temi, Tš Luxuriôus Couture is an opportunity to introduce elements of Nigerian culture to the broader Australian community, and to create a culturally inclusive and diverse brand from the outset. Tš Luxuriôus Couture is located in Shepparton, with all services available online.

Bibi Zahra Gawhari

Founder, Bibi Zahra

Prolific in practice, Bibi Zahra is skilled in sewing, crocheting, and knitting. Under her eponymously titled label, Bibi Zahra infuses contemporary garments and footwear with traditional techniques. Bibi Zahra started her business in Afghanistan, where she created hats and beanies, before moving onto crocheted jackets for weddings. Banned from using electricity in her former hometown, she would often close the doors and windows to secretly sew long into the night. Since moving to Australia, she has expanded her range to include embroidered pillowcases, tablecloths and bed covers and is looking to produce hand-embroidered sandals in 2022.

Ane Fotu

Founder, Malieta Gifts

Malieta Gifts was established in 2021 by aspiring entrepreneur and online gifting enthusiast, Shepparton-based Ane Fotu. Having purchased online gift boxes for friends and family during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Ane noticed a gap in the market for Pacific Island products and set up her business to share her Tongan culture with a broader audience. Together with one or two locally made items, Ane’s gift packs include products made in the Pacific Islands along with explanations of their provenance.

Paw Kyi Pai and Mu Moo

Founders, Pawmosha

Pawmosha was founded by Paw Kyi Pai and Mu Moo to reenergise the practice of traditional Karen hand-weaving in Bendigo. Using a traditional backstrap floor loom, the group creates wraps, bags, and scarves, as well as Karen clothing. They also host regular workshops with both the Karen and broader communities to teach these skills and to pass on this important traditional knowledge on to the next generation. Pawmosha Weavers have exhibited at Dudley House and the La Trobe University Art Institute. They have also hosted workshops at the Karen Language School, Bendigo Pottery and the Bendigo Easter Festival. You can find their wares at the Cultural Exchange Beehive in Bendigo.

Kalina Muli

Founder, Hoku Tonga

Community, culture and care are at the heart of Hoku Tonga, an emerging retail business from Shepparton-based Kalina Muli. Away from her family in Tonga and extended community in New Zealand, Kalina's business was born from the need to access koloa (Tongan treasures) for her personal fatongia (responsibilities). Recognising there would be other community members in a similar situation, she began making and importing koloa and now also imports materials for the Tongan community to make their own. Kalina is in the process of setting up an online store to retail her koloa across Australia and internationally.

Paw Kee

Founder, Karen Lady Catering

An entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the traditional flavours of Karen cooking led Paw Kee to establish Karen Lady Catering in 2019. Paw Kee began her business selling lunches to students and teachers at TAFE which, due to demand, quickly evolved into a highly sought-after catering enterprise. She has gone on to cater for the City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, Castlemaine State Festival, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and the Neighbourhood Collective Australia. Paw Kee offers event-catering across the Bendigo region and since 2020, has cooked over 600 meals for Cafes for COVID, an initiative that pays local businesses to cook meals for people in need.

Tha Shee

Photographer and Videographer

Born in Myanmar, Tha Shee is a proud member of the Karen community. Having grown up in Mae La Camp in Thailand. In 2019 he moved to Bendigo and lives, works and creates on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. He has a passion for taking photos and video and creates beautiful images of nature. He is keen to photograph diverse people in the studio.

Shirin Shakhesi

Animator and Illustrator

Shirin is an Iranian-Australian animator and illustrator. She works across a variety of media including digital painting and video animation. Her body of work conveys themes of collective memories and visually encapsulates a vast range of cultural influence, Persian literature, issues in modern cultures, and philosophical allusions. She reaches her visual goals by combining different art forms and seeking new means of expression through those established mediums. She recently graduated from a bachelor of fine art in animation.

KibbZ (Jai Atkinson)

Musician

Jai Atkinson (AKA KibbZ) is a 23 year old man living on Dja Dja wurrung country with connection to Yorta Yorta people. Jai uses Hip-Hop music as a medium to express and share his views and observations of his surroundings. Jai has been creating beats and lyrics since the age of 13 and in the last 5 years has developed a program to share his skills and experience with like minded youth.

BER

Musician and Artist

BER is an eighteen year old musician and artist from Victoria, Australia, hailing from Dja Dja Wurrung Country (Bendigo) and now living on Wurundjeri Land. She is currently studying at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, where she hopes to expand her musical knowledge and technical capability. She is passionate about the ocean, and scuba dives. She hopes to one day join ocean clean-ups to protect the marine life and ecosystems. You'll often find her in little niche shops, supporting small businesses or in op shops. Her music is available to listen to on all streaming platforms.

Aryo Hall

Composer, Trombone Player and Band Manager

Aryo is an Indonesian-Australian composer, trombone player, and band manager currently based in Castlemaine. He specialises in Jazz, Latin, Balkan Gypsy, and Gamelan music and has performed extensively around Australia and internationally. Born in Yogyakarta, he began playing music from a very young age, press-ganged by his parents who are well known Gamelan teachers. He studied classical euphonium and jazz trombone and was drawn to the thriving tradition of Gypsy Brass. His ambition is to lead a gamelan-fusion project that would embrace the traditional music of central Java and the processes of contemporary improvisation.

Zakir Hussain

Musician

Zakir Hussain is a talented musician from Afghanistan, currently working as a security guard. He loves music and plays the rubab, a traditional Afghan instrument. He is also learning Indian classical music as well as developing skills in digital art and illustration.

Jay Pops

Creative

Jay Pops was born in West Samoa and grew up in New Zealand, where he was an active rugby player. He is currently studying in high school in Shepparton and loves to create video edits to dance music, inspired by an old school, hip-pop aesthetic and different vibes. Jay is exploring creativity as a way to express struggle and to search for belonging. He imagines a world where more Polynesian youths are empowered to share their experiences, whether happy or sad, in the hopes that others will listen and relate.

Nadia and Yvette Niyubushobozi

Podcasters

Nadia and Yvette are sisters from Burundi, East Africa, and have lived in Shepparton since late 2020. Nadia is a hard-working student currently completing her Year 12 studies. She is keen to create a better future for young people of colour with her commitment to learning and sharing her experiences to inform, guide and inspire others. Nadia hopes to pursue a career in biomedicine. Yvette works as a school multicultural liaison officer and is also studying to become a nurse. Having seen how language and cultural barriers have a detrimental effect people’s health and well-being, she is determined to help people from all walks of life access accurate, timely, reliable information and services.

Melissa Moo

Visual Artist

"I’m Melissa Moo. I have recently moved from Werribee to Bendigo. So far, I like how supportive and connected the community is. I enjoy drawing during my free time but since I was in grade 11 and up till now, I felt too busy with studies and work to immense myself back into this hobby. However, MAV’s Duniya Behter program has opened up opportunities for me to get to know people who share the same interest as me, and they helped me along the way to start and finish my project. My project involves comic like drawings and some stop motion technique to create mini motion. While working on this project, I got to know so many people with different abilities and this makes me feel motivated to draw more often."

Mercan Kasikci

Visual Artist and Poet

Mercan is a bright young Turkish woman from Shepparton who loves engaging with her local community. With first-hand experience of the difficulties that multicultural youth and their families face, she hopes to help those facing similar struggles. Besides an interest in community work, Mercan also loves to draw and write poetry.

Kazadi Kadima

Young African Australian

Kazadi aka Zadi is a young African Australian living in Shepparton since 2018. He loves running, drawing, rap music, coding, hanging out with his friends, and most of all, riding his scooter and learning new tricks. His biggest inspiration is Isiah Samms, a black British scooter rider. The change he hopes to see in the world is people getting along and accepting each other for who they are.

Noor Alsakir

Creative

Noor is from Iraq, born and raised in Shepparton and currently studying nursing and psychology at Deakin University, Melbourne. She enjoys a variety of creative activities such as drawing and crocheting but is fascinated by people and how our behaviours influence each other. Noor has a strong sense of equity, often standing up against bullies and advocating for those around her experiencing unfair treatment. She understands that sometimes people need a compassionate listener to reassure and lead them through difficult social issues such as racism and peer pressure.

Nargis Alsakir

Poet

Nargis Alsakir is a young Iraqi woman born and raised in Shepparton, currently studying at Latrobe University, Melbourne. She loves spoken word and the power it has to convey ideas and emotions by captivating audiences in ways that elude other forms of expression. Nargis is also curious to explore the poetry of film and its potential to express ideas beyond still images, with recent experiments into abstract film investigating its subjectivity and connection with the spoken word.

Nesian Blue

Oceanic RnB Soul Group

Oceanic RnB Soul group Nesian Blue carry the spirit and rhythm of the islands with church and culture firmly in their foundation. Connecting their motherlands Tonga and Samoa, they were all born in Aotearoa and are among the exciting new generation of young emerging Pasifika artists creating on Yorta Yorta land. A strong mutual love for music, family and inspired by community, they all started singing in highschool together landing their first performance at Pasifika Fest 2021. Also featuring at the upcoming Converge Festival in Shepparton, Nesian Blue are determined to share their god-given gifts to achieve greatness and bring pride to their Pasifika communities. Rich layered voices flanked with soaring harmonies, powerful and meaningful lyrics with soulful piano and gospel stylings, Nesian Blue will draw you in gently and squeeze your heart.

Taga Barrio

Multidisciplinary Artist

TAGA BARRIO (Larra Juab) is a queer Filipino immigrant, multidisciplinary artist that has been residing and creating work in the land of the Kulin Nation for 11 years. As an immigrant, they have found solace and a feeling of belonging here in the SE Suburbs of Naarm (Melbourne) and is continually working hard to create, and discuss topics such as; Identity, Belonging, Post-colonialism and Community through the use of arts through different forms and mediums. Taga Barrio shares their experiences and point of views through storytelling by the use of painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, printing and spoken word poetry. They make sure to always incorporate their heritage and language through these works.

Ana Maria Gomides

Storyteller

Ana Maria Gomides is an Afro-Brasileira, Latina-Indígena storyteller existing on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung country. operating across a multitude of genres and mediums, her work is both reflective and reflexive of her experiences of race, migration, queerness, mental and chronic illnesses, neurodiversity, and the various ways in which they intersect.

Karena Bravo

Multidisciplinary Artist

Karena Bravo is a multidisciplinary artist from Colombia. Her work is feminine and self-explorative. She uses mixed media techniques to represent Black Women and Women of Colour, their bodies' shape, hair, and style, highlighting their connection with nature and spirituality and representing their beauty, strength, and vulnerability. Her work aims to be a tool for empowerment, building self-acceptance and confidence. Part of her creative process and outcome have been shaped by the constant necessity to reconnect with her roots. Being far away from home had encouraged Karena to explore different art forms and create a sense of belonging through dance and movement, inspiring her through her visual work and helping her preserve her culture and identity.

Ausecuma Beats

9-Piece Band

Born of fusion, AUstralia, SEnegal, CUba, and MAli - Ausecuma Beats stands for unity. It is demonstrated through their combined musical influences and rhythms. Collectively, they represent diversity. “We all see the hard work that lies ahead in the future. It’s not easy, and we all have different ways of thinking. But there is also something we all share, and that is humanity, and family. We have to teach our children, to help them on their journey.”. Their most recent album is named Musso; it means woman. It is dedicated to those who gave us life. It doesn’t matter how strong we are, how tough we are, or how lucky we are, in the chances we have been given. There is always someone who is worrying about us; there is no one who can be thinking about us more than our own mother. Musso is dedicated to the women in their lives and is sending respect to all women around the world.

Kee’ahn

Song Woman

With a name coming from the Wik people, meaning to dance, to sing, to play, Kee’ahn aims to honour her name and Ancestors through her soulful music that weaves lush melodies and words reminiscent of heartbreak and healing. Kee’ahn released her debut single ‘Better Things’ on May 28, 2020. Kee’ahn was awarded the Archie Roach Foundation Award at the 2020 National Indigenous Music Awards.

Po Tu Tu

Visual Artist, Performer, Story Teller

Po Tu Tu is a Karen man born in Burma who grew up in a refugee camp. He is a visual artist, performer, story teller. Po first connected with MAV in Bendigo by exhibiting in Chrysalis at Dudley House and went on to create a story from the perspective of a tree in Once Upon a Tree. He performed in the TerryandTheCuz production of Sk!n and recorded an audio story for Punctum Inc’s. Public Cooling House. Po is passionate about live performance, and in mixing the Karen language and English to express themes about his homeland and contemporary life as a person of colour in Australia. He is currently working with MAV as a Cultural Facilitator to strengthen capacity, connect and engage the Karen community in Bendigo with arts and cultural activity

Jag

Musician

Howlin’ the blues with a rock n roll attitude, Jag is a raw musician from Melbourne. She fearlessly engages with audiences, putting on performances of pure emotion. Writing songs of freedom, growth, and individuality, Jag shows that she’s more than just a performer. Jag is a Rock n’ Soul, Hard Blues Funk artist. Her raspy style is influenced by the likes of Tina Turner, Hendrix, and shock-rock legend Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. She released her debut track SATISFIED in December 2021.

Achai

Singer/Songwriter, Recording Artist and Performer

Achai is a multi-talented singer/songwriter, recording artist and performer. Her deep and soulful sound and stage presence never fails to capture nor engage an audience. She recently released her debut EP Malka which explores different sounds in music.

Tèbir

Singer, Songwriter and Dancer

Tèbir is a unique Melbourne-based singer, songwriter, and dancer who fuses together African soul and neo-funk genres to create striking music and live performance art.

POOKIE

Rapper, Songwriter, Composer and Producer

Aćol Agaar Apollo, better known by the stage name POOKIE, is a South Sudanese rapper, songwriter, composer and producer who was born in Nairobi, Kenya.

Jonathan Safari AKA Yungkily

Artist and Producer

Jonathan Safari mostly known as Yungkily is an African Australian artist and Producer whose vigorous energy has caught the city of Shepparton, Yungkily began his journey after joining a collective of local artists "Heard Instinct" where he worked and collaborated with his fellow local artists and made their appearance at the Land Of Plenty Festival in Shepparton with their track ``De Quoi A Tu Peur'' which shared a massive energy with the crowd. Yungkily is a master of his craft with the music, sound design and production capability to match the long-time professionals, but it's his bold commitment to integrity that sets his work apart, now working hard with a goal to inspire his young ones to put his City on the musical map.

Titan Debirioun

Social Justice Advocate and Recording Artist

Titan Debirioun is a South Sudanese social justice advocate and recording artist from Melbourne's outer western region, dedicated to continuing the exploration of art as a means of protest - he's become a champion for change, adamant on advancing the weight of minority voices by becoming a voice himself.

Karina Lehman

Singer-Songwriter

Chilean/Australian singer-songwriter Karina Lehman blends her smooth vocals and energetic guitar rhythms taking you on a trip to Latin America. Influenced by artists such as Gloria Stefan, Marissa Monte, Natalia Lafourcade and Kevin Johansen, her songs talk about love, life experiences, dreams, and nature. Karina debuted with her solo project last April 2020 with song ‘Son de la Luna Dormida’, followed by ‘Contigo’ and ‘Oh Eah’, and started last year 2021 releasing her first song in English “Sunset dreams” followed by a fresh bossa-samba “Vagabundeando”, a romantic ballad “Winter” and her latest experimental tune called “No seas malo”.

Camille El Feghali

Lebanese Musician

Camille El Feghali is a Lebanese Musician who draws heavily from the traditions of the Middle East. The instruments he plays include the Qanun, the Nay, the Buzuq and the synthesizer. He founded “Tarabeat” in 2016, which is a music collective combining Arabic traditional music with electronic instruments.

Sarita Mcharg

Sitarist and Vocalist

Sarita Mcharg brings a unique classical and contemporary flavour to her music. A true devotional Sitarist and Vocalist, she is well known for her spiritual and heartrending playing and singing style, driven by her vast knowledge of classical ragas and traditional Indian folk songs.

The New Monos

Band

With their roots in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Melbourne-based band The New Monos combine inspiration from their South American heritage and diverse musical experience with the flavor of contemporary Buenos Aires, mixing Reggae, Folklore, Cumbia, Rock, Rumba, Hip-hop and Latin beats, all expressed with the passion of the Tango.

Agoness Kuol

Shepparton Culture Kitchen

Agoness Kuol is originally from South Sudan. She made Shepparton home in 2001 with her husband and is bringing up her six children as part of a community that she loves and is proud of.

Jamie Lewis

Singaporean-Australian Artist, Curator, Dramaturg, and Facilitator

Based on Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne, Jamie Lewis is a Singaporean-Australian artist, curator, dramaturg, and facilitator. She creates and curates site-responsive performances that engage audiences as participants, and communities as artists; and often works with autobiographical stories, conversation and food. Committed to diversifying practice, Jamie seeks alternative models in her work and a re-imagining of leadership, governance, and structures. Jamie is currently CEO / Executive Director at Next Wave. She has previously been the Program Manager at TNA (Theatre Network Australia), on the Board of MAV (Multicultural Arts Victoria), and was in the 2018 cohort of Australia Council for the Arts’ Future Leaders program.

Mellisa Silaga

Samoan Cultural Leader

Meet Mellisa Silaga, Community Engagement Facilitator for Shepparton Culture Kitchen, Samoan cultural leader, Director of Know Your Roots and Pasifika Festival and Co Founder of Point of Difference Studio.

Eman Alabbassi

Shepparton Culture Kitchen

Eman and her young children endured great hardships to reach the safety of Australia when war made living conditions unbearable in Iraq, in 2002.

Le’aisa Pele

Shepparton Culture Kitchen

Le’aisa immigrated to Australia in 2004, seeking better opportunities for her family and young children. On visiting Shepparton one Easter, Le’aisa was drawn to the calming presence of Victoria Lake and soon settled in the area.

Shakilla Naveed

Shepparton Culture Kitchen

Shakilla arrived in Australia in 2017 after a difficult journey to escape the dangers of war in Afghanistan, where some of her family remain today.

Yusniza Yusoff

Shepparton Culture Kitchen

Yusniza immigrated to Australia over seven years ago to work on a dairy farm, choosing to live in Shepparton for the English language support it offered for her young children when they first arrived.

KidDave

Singer-Songwriter, Rapper and Producer.

David Kelly Chomba, aka KidDave is a 17 Year old Melbourne raised singer/songwriter, rapper and producer. He started making music at just 7 years old and has been improving ever since. Now David is focusing on speaking for the young community and issues that they face and he does this through his music. “The goals is to represent my peers and to bring issues such as violence, drug use, etc.”, KidDave explains, his goal for the future is to bring the Melbourne and Australian music scene to the rest of the world.

Khaled Abdulwahab

Founder - Prolific Studio

“I’ve started Prolific Studio so I can assist in nourishing the amazing talent Melbourne youth have to offer musically. The 9 towers lockdown was a devastating time for our community. Witnessing the injustice and inhuman way our people were treated. This has brought so much anxiety within our community. When MAV gave me the opportunity to curate and produce an EP compilation for the Shelter 2 project, it was a great honour to be able to work with a group of talented and resilient young people who experienced the effects of this lockdown. Especially as a past Flemington housing estate resident, this project was very close to my heart. We have a long way to go to repair the damage made. However I’m a true believer that art can open dialogue and begin the healing that we all need.”

Barry Berih

Storyteller

“My name is Barry. I am 26 years old and I live in North Melbourne. I am a youth worker and a peer advocate in the city of Melbourne and Flemington working with a number of organisations. My passion lies in creating programs for young people in high school or University that cater to emerging leadership and self confidence for marginalised youth. I was born with cerebral palsy and this is my story.”

Sumaya

Storyteller

Sumaya is 14 years old and lives with her family in North Melbourne. Her parents came to Australia in 2000 and are originally from Somalia. She is a student at high school and in her spare time she loves playing sports.

Haniyah Abdou Said

Illustrator

She creates illustrations using both analog and digital means and is primarily self-taught in her creative practice. Her illustrations vary from drawings, paintings and digital art.

Sara Zakaria

Flemington Sister

“My name is Sara Zakaria. Home is in Sudan and now, Australia since 2004. When my son was born in 2006 I made Australia my permanent home. I look after my son, take him to school and soccer and keep busy with my friends. I work in Moonee Valley cooking my sweets and different kinds of foods. I became part of this project because I wanted to share my cooking, especially my sweets, which everyone likes. The lockdown was very bad for me, just sitting at home and I couldn’t go out. Talking with my friends and family on the phone helped me get through that time. I’m here to help people with food, sweets and cooking anytime!”

Huida Omer

Flemington Sister

“My name is Huida Omer. Home is in Sudan and for the past 20 years I’ve made Australia home. Australia is a good country for education and health and good for living. You can find good jobs as long as you have a qualification. The main thing that keeps me busy is my 3 children, I have 3 girls. In 2018 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and spent a year in intensive treatment. Since then I have to rest a lot but it’s important for me to stay connected with my friends and that’s why I’ve joined the Shelter 2 project. The hard lockdown, at first I felt sad and it felt unfair that we were the only ones being locked down like this in Melbourne. But later when I realized that there were some families here in the flats with COVID, I was glad that we were locked down like this. We all share the same facilities and live close together and I was worried because my own immune system and one of my daughter’s immune system is not 100%. We stayed home for 5 days and spent the time watching the news and finding out more about what’s happening and understanding the pandemic. There were people helping us and bringing food so it was okay in the end.”

Ruth Eyakem

Flemington Sister

“My name is Ruth Eyakem. I was born and raised in Ethiopia but I am from Eritrea. I came to live in Australia 28 years ago because of war in my home country, to look for a better life. I live in the Flemington high rise with my lovely daughter. We speak English and Arabic. I love cooking, my job is waitressing and I love hosting and serving people. I chose to be part of Shelter 2 because the hard lockdown was very stressful and I wanted to share how I passed through that time. When I first heard about the 5 day lockdown on the news I went quickly to buy medication that I need for stress and anxiety. I had none left at home but they would not let me out of the building and said they would bring us everything we needed. It never came and that was hard for me. But I had my traditional coffee ceremony and this became so important. During the lockdown I did it everyday with my daughter. It helped me pass the time, helped to calm my nerves. It gave me a good feeling of having my friends and family around me and kept me calm. My coffee ceremony was my medicine.”

Awatif Taha

Flemington Sister

“My name is Awatif Taha. Home is Sudan and for the past 20 years, Australia. I like Australia for its humanity, rights, education, health and job opportunities. I work and volunteer my time with my community across different fields, but especially with women and kids. I’m involved in running a homework club and working with the Multicultural Sudanese Centre where we have provided women with certified training in commercial cooking. A big project I’m involved in at the moment is Mum’s Kitchen which developed through co-design with Moonee Valley City Council. Mum’s Kitchen is for women from different African backgrounds to build skills and confidence for them to access employment opportunities in aged care, child care and hospitality and to create their own business which might also support employment of other women in the community. During the hard lockdown I was so busy working with different organisations and DHHS, door knocking to get information to people, ask them what they needed and link them to services to make sure their needs were met. I especially helped with new arrivals and old women who needed extra support. I also did some media interviews on radio about our situation and I wrote an article that was published in The Guardian. For the Shelter 2 project I have brought together 7 other women from different African backgrounds who live in the high-rises, to share our recipes and eat together and it’s been amazing. For us it’s not only about sharing our food but also about us having confidence and affirming our value in the community.”

Halima Ahmed

Flemington Sister

“My name is Halima Ahmed. Home is Eritrea and since 1999 I’ve been living in Australia. I like everything about Australia especially the education and it’s a beautiful country. I have my family here so it’s good for me. I’m a very busy woman, I have five grown up children and two grandchildren. I’m working now with Mum’s Kitchen cooking and also as a cleaner at the child care centre. I have lots of nice and friends and also look after my mother. For the Shelter 2 project, I’ve been able to share with other African women. It’s been especially a good opportunity for mum’s who work hard at home to tell our stories. Often we don’t get the chance to tell our stories, and no one asks us and often no one listens, but every mother has a story. The hard lockdown, it was very hard for us and maybe they did it too quickly and we didn’t have time to prepare. But it was important for our health and to protect us because we live very close to each other here in the flats, using the same lifts, using the same laundry as other families. We also have a lot of old people and vulnerable people in our community here so it was important that we protect each other.”

Leila Ali

Flemington Sister

“My name is Leila Ali. Somalia is home and I’ve been living in Australia for 25 years. Before coming to live in Melbourne I was in Papua New Guinea for one year. PNG was nice but there was too much fighting. I like the peace here in Australia and it’s fair. I keep busy with my work in Mum’s Kitchen in Moonee Valley cooking food for people in need and delivering the food to everyone. I have six children and still two are living at home. The hard lockdown made me feel very scared and I spent a lot of time looking out my window and talking to my friends on the phone. I felt jealous when I looked outside and saw all the police and other people walking around. I felt like why am I stuck here and everyone else is outside. During the lockdown I didn’t want the food that the government was bringing, my community looked after me and brought the halal foods. But I didn’t need food, I just needed air and to get outside again. I wanted to be part of Shelter 2 because I like spending time with my friends. I am the only Somali woman in this team and I wanted to share my special dishes from my culture.”

Samira Ali

Flemington Sister

“My name is Samira Ali. Home is in Sudan and now in Flemington since 2000. I speak Arabic and Tigray. Australia is a nice country and we have a good life. I wanted to be part of Shelter 2 because I like to share my culture and want people to learn about my culture and maybe try our food. I wasn’t scared of the hard lockdown. Actually it was good for me because I cleaned my house, I had time to cook the food I like to eat and had time to discuss some important family business with my children. I stayed connected with my friends during the lockdown through our Whatsapp group so it was okay.”

Emebet Asfaw

Flemington Sister

“My name is Emebet Asfaw, people call me Amy. Home is Ethiopia and I’ve been living in Australia for over 20 years now. Now Australia is my home. I like the freedom and peace here. I used to work in hospitality and I keep busy now by cooking and looking after my kids. Vegan cooking is my specialty and my recipes are popular. Every month I have a stall at the Vegan Market in Richmond selling my food. During the hard lockdown I was worried about COVID and spent my time researching a lot of different foods and the vitamins they contain and their benefits to protect my family’s health. The lockdown was a very damaging experience and really increased anxiety levels. I worry about what’s going to happen next.”

LIMINAL

Anti-racist literary platform

Liminal magazine is an actively anti-racist literary platform, a space for the interrogation and celebration of the Asian-Australian experience.

Thando

Singer-Songwriter

Zimbabwean born and Melbourne based singer-songwriter, Thando, has been gracing stages around Australia with her electric presence and powerhouse vocals.

Seble Girma

Artist

Seble Girma was a member of the Ethiopian circus in Ethiopia.

Iaki Vallejo

Singer-Songwriter, Choir Leader, Performer and Visual Artist

Iaki Vallejo is an Colombian African/Indigenous descendant singer/songwriter, choir leader, performer and visual artist based in Melbourne.

Tyra Lewis

Singer-Songwriter

Tyra Lewis is a singer-songwriter who is based in Melbourne

Cheryl Simaika

Singer

Cheryl Simaika is a talented young artist hailing from Samoa and living in Shepparton.

Kush Tut

Independent Producer, Artist, Writer, Curator and Avid Bird Watcher

Independent producer/artist/writer/curator and avid bird watcher – Kush Tut often calls herself a “Creative Alchemist” for short.

Jacki Tut

Artist

Jacki Tut is a South-Sudanese Australian artist from deep in Melbourne’s South-East suburbs.

Ren Alessandra

Poet and Educator

Ren Alessandra is an Italo-Australian poet and educator based in Naarm.

Mr. Congo

Poet, Artist and DJ

Mr. Congo is a poet/artist and DJ, his eclectic style of music and art fuses history and culture.

Grace Vanilau

Interdisciplinary Artist and Community Arts Cultural Development practitioner (CACD)

Grace Vanilau is a Naarm based Interdisciplinary artist and Community Arts Cultural Development practitioner (CACD) of Aotearoa Samoa heritage.

DJ Narumi Asada

DJ

Melbourne-based DJ Narumi Asada offers a knowledgeable approach to music through her 15 years of experience DJ’ing and supporting the local dance scene.

Amao Leota Lu

International Speaker, Performing Artist, Writer, Activist and Storyteller

Amao Leota Lu is a proud Samoan fa’afafine and trans woman of color. She is an international speaker, performing artist, writer, activist and storyteller who infuses the intersectionality of gender, culture and life experiences in her performance works and talks.

Stefan Berhardt

Graphic Designer and Photographer

Stefan is obsessed with light and shadow in photography, and it excites him to use light to push boundaries of traditional photography and create interesting compositions.

Elizna Van der Walt

Video Editor and Colourist

Elizna Van der Walt is a video editor, colourist and sampler of other creative roles based in Melbourne, Australia.

Vincent Lamberti

Cinematographer and Shooter-Director

Vincent Lamberti holds post-graduate diplomas in Documentary directing from VCAM and Cinematography from AFTRS.

Jeremy Nguyen

Writer

Jeremy Nguyen is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Melbourne who has written for screen (NBC Universal, SBS Australia, Seven Australia, Matchbox Pictures, December Media), stage (Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre), radio (ABC), and print (Black, Inc., The Australian Financial Review).

Mohamed Chamas

Artist, Independent Game Developer and Poet

Mohamed Chamas is an artist, independent game developer and poet based in Naarm (melbourne).

Daniel Jauregui

Musician, Producer and Composer

Daniel Jauregui is a multiple Latin Grammy awarded musician, producer and composer.

Karina Aedo-Aguilera

Trainer, Producer and Sound Technician

Karina Aedo-Aguilera is a trainer, producer, and sound technician at 3CR Community Radio.

Miss Cairo

Dancer, Singer, Actress, Activist

Miss Cairo had been treading the boards since the tender age of five.

Stone Motherless Cold

Multidisciplinary Artist

Stone Motherless Cold is an Arrernte gem, currently based in so called melbourne.

Tāne Te Manu McRoberts

Weaver and Designer

Director of Arawa Designs, Tāne Te Manu McRoberts, is a Māori weaver and designer of fine and intricate Polynesian attire.

Ree Peric

Visual Artist, Producer and Singer-Songwriter

Ree works across various mediums including visual art, performance, song-writing, music production and programming.

Sunanda Sachatrakul

Comedian, Writer and Producer

Sunanda is a comedian, writer and producer born in Delhi, raised in Bangkok who has lived in LA and NYC before Melbourne.

Zian Watene

Makeup Artist

Zian Watene is a New Zealand born Melbourne based freelance makeup artist.

Wendy Nguyen

Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Lash Artist and Nail Artist

Wendy Nguyen is a hairstylist, makeup artist, lash artist and nail artist.

Kaysia-Joy Fair

Freelance Makeup Artist

Kaysia-Joy Fair is a freelance makeup artist of 11 years.

Nisal Atapattu

Hair and Makeup Artist.

Nisal Atapattu is a hair and makeup artist.

Feven Ghebreigziabher

Hair Braiding Specialist

Feven Ghebreigziabher is a self-taught hair braiding specialist based in Melbourne. Born and raised in Eritrea, Feven has been braiding hair since the age of 10.

Banan Mahmoud

Hair Stylist

Banan is a queer woman of colour born and raised in Egypt, she began her career in hair after recognising how little space and opportunities were afforded to women of colour with textured hair.

Yumi Umiumare

Butoh Dancer and Choreographer

Born in Hyogo, Japan, Yumi is an established Butoh Dancer and choreographer and creator of Butoh Cabaret works.She has been creating her distinctive style of works for 30 years and her works are renowned for provoking visceral emotions and cultural identities.

Suzan Dlouhy

Fashion Designer

Suzan Dlouhy is a fashion designer and the founder of the label SZN.

Shantel Wetherall

Writer, Producer and Radio Host

Shantel Wetherall is a writer, producer and radio host. Her practice is focused on women, culture and change, prioritising the voices and experiences of black women.

Senuri Chandrani

Actor, Writer and Theatre Maker

Senuri is an actor, writer and theatre maker of Sri Lankan Sinhalese heritage.

Sapidah Kian

Director, Actor, Theatre Maker and Dramaturg,

Sapidah Kian is a director, actor, theatre maker and dramaturg, working across theatre, film, television, and radio, and an Azeri-Iranian Australian artist living on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation.

Nel Mama Boho (Janelle Da Silva)

Multi-disciplinary Artist, TED Presenter, Art Therapist, Birthworker, Scholar and Philanthropist.

Nel Mama Boho (Janelle Da Silva) is a multi-disciplinary artist, TED presenter, art therapist, birthworker, scholar and philanthropist.

MzRizk

DJ, Event Curator and Radio Presenter

MzRizk is a DJ, event curator and radio presenter whose work is known for its distinct blend of music knowledge, creative diversity and cultural and community engagement.

Muma Doesa

Vocalist, Rapper and Producer

Muma Doesa is a vocalist, rapper and producer working in hip-hop, reggae and dancehall.

Maylei Hunt

Photographer and Filmmaker

Maylei Hunt is a photographer and filmmaker whose career spans more than 21 years.

Mama Alto

Jazz Singer, Cabaret Artiste and gender transcendent Diva

Mama Alto is a jazz singer, cabaret artiste and gender transcendent diva.

Loz (Lorraine) Sorono

Dancer

Loz (Lorraine) Sorono was born in Cebu city in the Philippines.

Kiki Dévine

Performance Artist and an emerging Arts Manager

Kiki Dévine is a performance artist and an emerging arts manager.

Joshinder Chaggar

Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Teacher, Writer and Filmmaker

Joshinder Chaggar is a dancer, choreographer, actor, teacher, writer and filmmaker whose work centres around the themes of freedom and transcendence.

Jessica D’Cruze

Storyteller, Advocate and Photographer.

Jessica D’Cruze is a storyteller, advocate and photographer.

Hyra Usman

Fashion Designer

Hyra Usman is a mother, homemaker and fashion designer who launched her own brand in 2019. A Muslim woman from Pakistan, Hyra moved to Australia 11 years ago and has volunteered with many multicultural organisations and events.

Gracieuse Amah (Kwabo Grace)

Curator, Producer, Dancer, Choreographer

Gracieuse Amah (aka Kwabo Grace) is a curator, producer, dancer, choreographer and the creative director of social enterprise Kwabo Events.

Fozia Akalo (GOLDSTANK)

Multidisciplinary Artist and Designer

GOLDSTANK is a multidisciplinary artist and designer, and the daughter of Ethiopian refugees.

Emma Valente

Director, Lighting designer, Dramaturg, Video designer

Emma is the co-artistic director and co-CEO of feminist theatre company THE RABBLE. She is also a freelance director, lighting designer, dramaturg, video designer and occasional troublemaker.

Demi Sorono

B-girl (breakdancer) and Hip Hop dancer

Hailing proudly from the Philippines, Demi Sorono, a self taught B-girl (breakdancer) and Hip Hop dancer, definitely made her mark as one of Australia’s favourite dancers on “So You Think You Can Dance 2008”.

Clitories (Rukaya Springle)

Digital Artist

Rukaya Springle is a Zanzibari/Australian digital artist whose artwork focuses on Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC), highlighting issues of racial politics, gender equality, and social justice. Her artwork was accepted into the 2017 Top Arts exhibition hosted by the National Gallery of Victoria where she was also awarded the People’s Choice Award.

Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore

Multidisciplinary Creative Artist

Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore is a multidisciplinary creative artist working in film, photography and dance.

Chichi Nwokocha

Director and Producer

Chichi Nwokocha (aka Cheech) is a Nigerian British director and producer.

Bianca Pardo

Designer and Maker

Bianca Pardo is a designer and maker.

Bexx Djentuh

Digital Media

Bexx Djentuh is a Maori (Tainui, Ngati Maniapoto) and Ghanaian woman from Aotearoa whose artistic practice focuses on digital media and queer and trans people of colour (QTPOC).

Ashleyrose Gilham

Actor, Writer, Spoken Wordsmith, Comedian, Dancer, and Singer

Ashleyrose Gilham is an actor, writer, spoken wordsmith, comedian, dancer, and singer.

Ashleingh Black

Writer

Ashleingh Black is an emerging Black writer.

Reagan Romero Maiquez

Writer, Producer, Researcher and Teacher

Reagan Romero Maiquez completed his doctoral degree at Monash University’s Theatre, Performance, and Music Program and received the department’s best thesis award for his ethnographic research on flow and performances in the Sinulog Festival of Cebu, the Philippines.

Eh Su

Community Strengthening Officer, Social Worker, and Cultural Worker

Eh Su is the secretary and general coordinator of the arts and cultural group, the Australian Karen Cultural Association Inc.

Candy Bowers

Creative Multihyphenate

Candy Bowers is a radical mischief-maker born of South African political refugees.

Christos Linou

Cross-disciplinary Artist

Christos Linou is a cross-disciplinary (CALD) artist with three decades of work as a professional dancer, choreographer and filmmaker, touring works in Australia and internationally.

Jenny Zhe Chang

Visual and Installation Artist

Jenny Zhe Chang is based in Melbourne, Australia. For the past 12 years, she has been creating installations, sculptures, paper cuttings and paintings that investigate the interaction between the Eastern and Western ways of being.

Samuel Gaskin

Dancer, Singer, Songwriter

Samuel Gaskin is a commercial dancer and successful singer/songwriter. Hailing from African, New Zealand and European roots, Sam has always been one to stand out in a crowd.

Mahla Karimian

Visual Artist

Mahla Karimian is a visual artist whose emerging practise has been predominantly focused on classical Persian Miniature scratchboard and photography.

Naazi Kakavand

Visual Artist

Naazi Kakavand is a Iranian born fashion designer and visual artist with more than 20 years of experience.

Anindita Banerjee

Interdisciplinary Artist and Researcher

Anindita Banerjee, a twice uprooted Indian, is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher. The memories of ritualistic ceremonies, mark-makings and her reconstruction of them informs her practice

River Loizou

Musician

River Loizou usually produces hip-hop and rap music. However, recently he taken interest in the genre of cinematic music.

Margot Tanjutco

Writer, Performer, Multidisciplinary Artist

Margot is a writer, performer, and multidisciplinary artist.

Beatrice Rubio-Gabriel

Independent Curator, Writer and Performance Artist

Beatrice Rubio-Gabriel is an independent curator, writer and performance artist based in Naarm/Melbourne.

DollFace (Benji Miu)

Composer, Multi-instrumentalist

Performing as DollFace, Benji Miu is a composer and multi-instrumentalist. He is a lover of all musical instruments, acoustic and electronic.

Scotty So

Painter, Photographer, 3D printer, Site-responsive Installation Artist, Video Artist, and Drag Performer

Scotty So works across mediums, using painting, photography, 3D printing, site-responsive installation, video, and drag performance to provoke humour and irony on the construct of identity and worldmaking.

Ruhi Lee

Writer

Ruhi is grateful to the traditional owners of Boon Wurrung land where she writes everyday.

Valentina Serebrennikova

Production and Costume Design, Fine Art, and Visual Dramaturgy

Valentina Serebrennikova is an established Russian-born Artist, with a broad spectrum of practices, including; Production and Costume Design, Fine Art, and Visual Dramaturgy.

Sandy Hsu

Singer-Songwriter, Multidisciplinary Artist

Sandy Hsu is a singer-songwriter and multidisciplinary artist from Melbourne.

Arun Munoz

Choreographer, Photographer, Performing and Installation Artist

Arun Munoz has a Post Graduate in Choreography from the Victorian College of the Arts and continues his creative works in photography, installation and performance.

Laura Cionci

Artist

Laura Cionci was born in Rome and studied at Rome’s Accademia delle Belle Arti under Professor Gino Marotta and in 2009 she began her artistic practice.

Serah Nathan

Screen and Stage Creator

Serah uses comedy to explore longing, loneliness and consumption in the work she creates for screen and stage.

NOMAD

Spoken word and Hip-Hop Artist

Damon “Nomad” Paraha, is a spoken word/hip-hop artist from the Western suburbs of Melbourne.

Yusupha Ngum

Singer-songwriter

Stefania Serna is a Melbourne-based singer/songwriter.

Stefania Serna

Singer-songwriter

Stefania Serna is a Melbourne-based singer/songwriter.

Nina Rose

Singer-songwriter

Singer-songwriter Nina Rose blends her velvety vocals and mellowing guitar rhythms taking you on a folky acoustic carpet ride.

Khalid Farah

Multidisciplinary artist

Khalid Farah has a Bachelors Degree in Media and Communication.

Nada Osman

Writer

Nada is an Australian born 18 year old Eritrean young woman who was born in Melbourne and has lived her whole life in the Flemington towers.

Zelalem Negatu

Musician

Ethiopian born contemporary jazz musician Zelalem Negatu came to Australia in September 2013 and has since established himself in Australia with Reggage and Ethiopian Jazz bands including Nhatty Man, JAzmaris, Lalibelas, JahKnow and Rasta Unity.

Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi

Writer

Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi is a vessel for telling stories that are gifted to him, and he is on a mission to share those gifts with the world. He became a writer to tell BIPOC stories in a creative landscape and on screen because as a young African creative he always noticed the great inequality in terms of representation. Ras-Samuel writes universal, relatable and complex characters dabbling in the genre of drama and comedy. His writing style is highly influenced by Spike Lee and the magical surrealism of Childish Gambino (Atlanta). Recent screen works include The Last Supper, BLVCK GOLD, Jebena Genie all of which he also wrote and produced. Ras-Samuel hopes to diversify Australia’s artistic landscape by inspiring the next generation who might not see many culturally diverse artists like him on stage and on screen.

Rachel Ang

Comics Artist

Rachel Ang is a comics artist from Narrm (Melbourne, Australia).

Ez Eldin Deng

Filmmaker

Ez Eldin Deng is an independent filmmaker from South Sudan.

Geskeva Komba

trans-disciplinary creative

Geskeva Komba is a trans-disciplinary creative of Comorian and Tanzanian heritage.

TruSoule

Singer/Songwriter/Producer

TruSoule is a Singer/Songwriter/Producer hailing form East Africa ‘Ethiopia via Melbourne , Australia.

CYNDYCUT

Music Producer

CYNDYCUT is a Melbourne based producer duo featuring Kuda and Arad Kian.

Bella Waru

Performer, Bodyworker and Storyteller

Bella Waru is a performer, bodyworker and storyteller living and learning on unceded Kulin lands.

Irihipeti Waretini

Visual and Performance Artist

Irihipeti Waretini is a visual and performance artist who collaborates with organisations and multidisciplinary artists to create and support POC narratives of culture, healing and self reclamation.

Thirty1

Producer

A 17 year old Somali music producer from Flemington and specialises in Hip-Hop and R&B beats.

Adolfo Aranjuez

editor, writer, speaker and dancer

Adolfo Aranjuez is an editor, writer, speaker and dancer whose interdisciplinary practice focuses on queering and ‘collisions’ of word and movement.

Tina Tang

Graphic designer

Tina Tang is an aspiring graphic designer based in Melbourne, Victoria.

Birkti Mesfin

Writer and Storyteller

Writing, storytelling and sharing experiences is important to Birkti, because she believes they create opportunities to amplify the voices of those who often go unheard.

Astrid Mendez

Designer, Theatremaker, Puppeteer

For more than fourteen years, Astrid Mendez has been artfully weaving her training as a designer with her inner most passion for theatre and puppetry.

James Emmanuel Mckinnon

Producer, Arts Organiser, and Educator

James Emmanuel Mckinnon is a Filipinx producer, arts organiser, and educator.

Francis Cao

Writer, Film-maker and Photographer

Francis Cao is a young Vietnamese-Australian writer, film-maker and photographer.

Cindy Jiang

Writer, Performer, and Theatremaker

Cindy Jiang is a Chinese writer, performer, and theatremaker.

Supansa Thongsuk (Nicky)

Visual Artist

Supansa Thongsuk (Nicky) produces realistic paintings, and mostly, her creative work includes drawing, printmaking, sculpture and installation.

Nakarin Jaikla

Dancer, Visual Artist

Nakarin Jaikla was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He learned arts and craft in Northern Thai style from his grandmother who always brought him around when there were community events or ceremonies in the village.

Marla Celeste

Multi-disciplinary Visual Artist

Marla Celeste is a multi-disciplinary visual artist of Tamil and “white Australian” descent with experience in installation, video, photography, painting and sculpture.

Daniel Seifu

Musician

Daniel Seifu is a professionally trained Ethiopian jazz, traditional and contemporary musician graduated from the Yared School of Music in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa

Giovanna Da Silva

Visual Artist

Always having a fond interest in the workings of nature, environmental conservation and global community Giovanna conveys an artistic style that is simplistic but a reflection of these themes through bold use of line work and natural tones.

Gelareh Pour

Singer, Composer, and Persian Kamancheh and Qeychak Player

Collaborating with musicians with diverse backgrounds allows Gelareh to explore concepts of place and time and create an individual and unique cross-cultural motif.

Ellen Yeong Gyeong Son

Visual Artist

Ellen Yeong Gyeong Son is interested in exploring transcultural diasporic identities and their memories.

Luc Yong

Potter, Writer, Musician and Painter

Luc Yong believes the different mediums of artistic expression in her life fuel each other and continue to inspire and motivate her, to create and express her work in ever-evolving ways.

Mimo Mukii

Filmmaker, Producer, Artist

Mimo’s artistic practice utilises video, photography and collage to tell stories and reflect on culture, identity and ancestry.

Madi Colville Walker

Musician

Madi Colville Walker, is a proud Yorta Yorta Woman, an inspiring musician who has had many opportunities after her very first performance at the CMAA Junior Academy.

Ammar Yonis

Photographer

Ammar Yonis dedicates time to exploring his creativity through mediums such as photography.

Thuy On

Freelance Arts and Literary Critic

Thuy On is a freelance arts and literary critic/journalist whose work has appeared in The Australian, The Saturday Paper, The Age/The SMH, ArtsHub, and Books+Publishing.

Ai Yamamoto

Sound Artist

Ai Yamamoto sources her sounds from field recordings, game sounds, and daily life in the world, manipulating these textures into a body of work influenced by sound scapes, ambient, and industrial music.

Joelistics (Joel Ma)

Producer, artist, multi-instrumentalist and rapper

Producer, artist, multi-instrumentalist and sometimes rapper, Joelistics (Joel Ma) is recognised as a unique voice in the Australian music scene.

Aarti Jadu

Solo Vocalist

Aarti is a solo vocalist, known for performing and creating hybrid cinematic compositions and vocal arrangements.

Dr. Matthew Latif

Bio-Artist, Synthetic Biologist, Biohacker

Dr. Latif is a bio-artist, synthetic biologist, and biohacker.

Ali Choudry

Visual Artist

Ali Choudry is an emerging visual artist in Melbourne.

Victoria Chiu

Choreographer

Victoria Chiu trained at the VCA, Melbourne. She performed and toured extensively with Cie Nomades, Cie Gilles Jobin, Micha Purucker, Jozsef Trefeli, Fiona Malone, Bernadette Walong, with Australian Dance Theatre for Superstars of Dance.

RDYSTDY

RDYSTDY

Hana Miller and Jacob Perkins are founders of Ready Steady Studio (RDYSTDY), a visual production animatronic puppets for Disney, Cirque and Wynn Casinos with kinetic theatre company Michael Curry Design; created animation for Vice Magazine’s online channel VBS.TV; collaborated with Atlanta Eke on Keir Choreographic Award winning Body of Work and The Unsettling with Ghenoa Gela; mounted installations and performed at Carriageworks, MONA, Dark Mofo, SPLORE, Soundstage, the National, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 30 upstairs, Les Plateux, Dance Massive, Adelaide International Arts Festival and Performance Space New York (PS122); other moving image collaborations include work with fashion designers Otsu, Penny Sage and contemporary jeweler Lisa Walker. RDYSTDY is currently creating an online video series on inquiry based art commissioned by TVNZ and NZ on Air.

Tavis Pinnington

Video Artist

Originally from the suburbs of Hobart, Tavis Pinnington relocated to Melbourne in 2013 to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Swinburne University and pursue a career in filmmaking.

Ali Adriano

Sound Artist

Ali Adriano is a Melbourne based multidisciplinary Artist/Creative – formally trained in acting and filmmaking, and self-taught bedroom producer/singer.

Sydney Farey

Video Artist

Farey is motivated by the beauty in the mundane. Her art practice unites a complex range of often contradictory references from her life and experiences.

黑芝麻 (Hei Zhi Ma)

Sound Artist

黑芝麻 (Hei Zhi Ma) is a sound artist based on Ngunawal, Ngunnawal, and Ngambri Country. A master of building emotion and narrative in her sets, 黑芝麻 weaves spoken word, poetry, and film samples into breakbeat, techno, trance, and jungle.

Big Bao

Collective

Big Bao is a collective comprised of Angela Schilling (Oliver White/Take Your Time/DJ Cookie), Vivan Vo (Small FRY) and Yeo Choong (Yeo).

Max Milne

Photographer and Filmmaker

For Max image making is an act of transforming the world by creating images the naked eye cannot see.

Ron Reeves

Percussionist, Multi-instrumentalist, Educator and Composer

Ron Reeves is a percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, educator and composer who has worked with a hugely diverse range of musicians and groups around the world.

(Jon)Pongjit Saphakhun

Actress, Playwright, Director, and Facilitator

(Jon)Pongjit Saphakhun, is an actress, playwright, director, and facilitator now based in Melbourne.

Kun Li

Filmmaker

Kun Li is a filmmaker and educator who lives in Lanzhou, China.

Takashi Takiguchi

Creative Producer

Takashi Takiguchi is an independent Creative Producer and an artist of Japanese heritage based in Naarm (Melbourne).

Mindy Meng Wang

Composer and Guzheng Performing Artist

Mindy Meng Wang is an internationally renowned versatile Chinese/Australian composer and Guzheng performing artist.

Ria Soemardjo

Musician

Ria Soemardjo is a Melbourne based musician with a passion for collaborating with artists across diverse range of genres and artforms.

Janette Hoe

Contemporary Aance Artist and Performance Maker

Janette Hoe is an independent Melbourne-based contemporary dance artist and performance maker. Her practice is grounded in Butoh, and informed by Eastern and Western somatic, movement-based improvisation modalities.

Yee Wen Soo

Performing Artist

Yee Wen Soo is a performing artist and a school teacher. She has a background in Odissi, whereby she performs, assists in teaching and choreographs short dance pieces.

Youbi Lee

Visual Artist and Community Arts Practitioner

Youbi Lee is a visual artist and community arts practitioner. She works in many different forms of visual art; such as printmaking, installation, video and performances.

Jennifer Cheung

Artist

Jennifer Cheung is a Canadian-born Chinese young architect-to-be based in Hong Kong.

Emily Wong

Contemporary Artist

Emily Wong is a contemporary artist in Hong Kong.

Jun Kiyoshi

Software Developer and a Generative Art Lover

Jun Kiyoshi is a software developer and a generative art lover who lives in Nagoya, Japan.

Golem Klon VIII

Artist

With many sculptures being exhibited across Europe and China, he is also an expert in new media, interactive installation, parametric design, digital generation, public art, game design, and 3D printing.

Jinglu Liu

Artist and Inventor

Jinglu Liu, a Chinese artist and inventor who was born in Linyi of Shandong province in 1965.

Vinod Prasanna

Bansuri Virtuoso

Born into one of India’s greatest flute-playing families, bansuri virtuoso Vinod Prasanna shines as an outstanding contemporary performer of authentic traditional Indian music.

Xan Coppinger

Artist

"The practice of audio documentation I use to better understand our internal, external, and interpersonal environments."

Creature Creature

Artist

CREATURE CREATURE is an artist duo consisting of Ambrose Rehorek (Born in Adelaide, Australia) and Chanel Tang (Born in Wellington, New Zealand).

Soyoun Kim

Visual Artist and Independent Curator

As a visual artist and independent curator, Soyoun Kim’s creative practice centres on the notion of identity and humanity in contemporary society.

Neda Rahmani

Creative Director, Goodworthy

With a 20-year rich history in the Australian music and performing, arts industry Neda Rahmani brings a wealth of knowledge to the Goodworthy team, translating her experience on stage and in front of the camera, into her role as head creative director of Goodworthy.