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    BEMAC Discussions: The Interconnectedness of First Nations' Art and Healing (Live and Streamed)

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    Event description

    Join us on Monday April 29th for the next instalment in the BEMAC Discussions series. 

    This discussion will explore the unique form of First Nations artistic storytelling and its ancient and contemporary connection to mental health, wellbeing and healing. It will explore the therapeutic experience of First Nations artists practising and creating artworks that revive culture and improve their wellbeing. How can we normalise discussions of mental health as First Nations people in the arts industry and how can the industry further support First Nations artists?

    The panel will feature:

    Aunty Chantay Link, a proud Gooreng Gooreng, Kabi Kabi woman and Australian South Sea Islander who has grown up in the inner-city suburbs of Meajjin/Brisbane, a proud Brisbane Black. She is passionate about women and family living in violent free homes and communities. Chantay has continued to practice and participate in healing circles on country and have shared this knowledge with other Aboriginal women in finding their pathway living with trauma. “I know there is so much more to learn, and this is a wonderful opportunity to share and learn…”. Chantay is heavily involved in First Nations- led community groups and organisations at a grass-roots level and this opportunity will empower these women as leaders in the community to share and bring back further knowledge and healing for the next generations.

    Allirah Fisher, a proud Ewamian, Cobble Cobble, Birri and South-Sea Islander Woman. Born and raised in the outer suburbs of Meanjin, Allirah has always had strong passions and values within the social justice and the creative arts realms. Allirah has worked within the Indigenous health, community development and social service spaces while channeling her artistic expression through ceremony, performance, choreography and facilitation. More recently, Allirah is developing her own aspirations as a creative entrepreneur as the Founding member of The First Creatives and Co-Founder of Yir'un-Yalangi Womens Healing. Interconnecting her experience and passion in both social work and creative arts, Allirah creates safe-spaces for First Nations stories and experiences to be shared and explored at a grassroots level to develop artistic work that is transformative for both the storytellers and listeners. With strong values for breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma, Allirah is using her purpose to empower First Nations communities to move to a place of healing through creative expression and re-claiming of our traditional practices.

    Kristal West, a proud Piadram, Manbarra and Palawa woman with a passion for culture and identity. She is granddaughter to the legendary First Nations land rights activist, Dr. Eddie Mabo, who campaigned for ten years to eventually have the legal doctrine of terra nullius overturned. Her grandmother, Dr. Bonita Mabo AO, was a staunch black rights activist, recognized for her ‘distinguished service to the Indigenous community and to human rights as an advocate for the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander peoples’. Kristal is heavily influenced by her grandparents and strives to capture the stories of her bloodlines through music. She was one of 8 winners of the nationwide Alukura songwriting competition and has appeared on NITV’s “Our Songs” which aired nationally and internationally. On stage, she has stunned audiences in A Streetcar Named Desire as an actor and lead vocalist and also performed in Deborah Cheetham’s Short Black Opera at the Sydney Opera House. In 2023, she returned to the theatrical stage in ‘The Lucky Country’ at Hayes Theatre Co. in Sydney. Kristal recently showcased at BIGSOUND, and the Australian Women in Music Awards First Nations Showcase in September 2023 and is currently developing her debut EP to be released in 2024.

    Will Oui, a proud Meriam man with connections to the Samsep people from Erub (Darnley Island). He is also the First Nations Program Lead for Support Act, the hand and heart of the music industry. From his tireless advocacy work for First Nations people, and his heartfelt contributions to the music scene, Will's story is nothing but inspiring.

    Moderator: Rachael Sarra. Rachael vibrant creative practice embodies her experience as a proud mixed race, First Nations woman from Goreng Goreng Country. Driven by a belief that art and design are vital to communication, connection and culture, Rachael invites us to see the world through her eyes with bold colours and dynamic contours. Her distinct contemporary style is resonating around the world, and challenging societal perceptions of Aboriginal art and identity. Rachael is a change-maker. She is redesigning how First Nations businesswomen navigate success while anchoring their business in culture. Building a business bigger than herself, she is committed to significant charitable donations and pro-bono work that has a tangible impact back into the community.BEMAC Discussions is a series of free monthly panel discussions tackling key topics relevant to creators and artists from diverse artistic practices, backgrounds, and cultures. These discussions will be held at BEMAC in Kangaroo Point on the last Monday of each month and will be followed by our BEMAC Discover open mic and performance evening from 8:00pm to 9:30pm.

    For those who are not able to physically attend the sessions, BEMAC Discussions will be live streamed on BEMAC’s Facebook page

    Proudly Presented by BEMAC, in partnership with QMusic and BIPOC Arts Australia.

    BEMAC Discussions: The Interconnectedness of First Nations Art and Healing
    6:30pm, Monday April 29th
    Followed by BEMAC Discover at 8:00pm
    Queensland Multicultural Centre
    102 Main St, Kangaroo Point
    Free to attend.

    Proudly Presented by BEMAC, in partnership with QMusic.

    BEMAC Discover:

    Join us on Monday April 29th for BEMAC Discover, an open mic night to celebrate the importance of art, music and creativity in our lives and our community. This space will focus on sharing and testing out new work! We invite artists from all backgrounds and languages to showcase and share! Entry is free… bring your instrument, poem, monologue or dance and sign up to take part in the open mic at the door on arrival!

      There is very limited parking around the QMC. We encourage all guests to use public transport. QMC is only a 2-minute short walk from the Holman Street Ferry Terminal and bus routes 27 and 234. You can find more info about how to get to QMC at

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