Linda is a respected Wamba Wamba Elder and artist living north of Swan Hill. As a photographer she has studied at TAFE for three years in both analogue and digital photography. Her photography has been exhibited in the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery and her portraiture work is in a permanent exhibition at the Swan Hill Aboriginal Health Service. In addition she has also taken photographs for the Halls Gap Aboriginal community. She also has experience working with film and video and has worked on Community Cultural Development projects such as documenting an elders gathering at the Pioneer Settlement and on the film Lore vs Law as a camera assistant and an actor. Linda is excited to have the opportunity to work on the Marruk Project to build her skills as a photographer and support the creative and personal development of the young people involved.
Jeremiah is a Wadi Wadi /Tati Tati dancer and singer currently based in Swan Hill, Victoria. He grew up in Mildura and moved to Swan Hill 6 years ago. Since arriving in Swan Hill Jeremiah has become a strong cultural leader in the community. As a singer he has performed solo in two shows titled Strong and Deadly Community Concert, performing alongside artists such as Kevin Kropinyeri, Nikki Ashby and Shiralee Hood. He has written a song with Uncle Kutcha Edwards called The Mighty Murray River and performed with him as part of a community choir in Malthouse Theatre’s Blak Cabaret. As a dancer Jeremiah has worked with IDJA artist Jacob Boehme in the creation and performance of a cultural dance piece as part of Regional Arts Victoria’s Illuminated by Fire. As part of The Marruk-Marruk Project Jeremiah taught children, young people and Elders Beyonce’s Single Ladies, performing to audiences of over 400 people. In 2013, he choreographed a dance to Beyonce’s End of Time and taught it to over 80 people from Aboriginal, Anglo-European, Indian, African and Filipino backgrounds. Jeremiah has facilitated dance lessons with children as young as 3 and Elders in the 80’s. More recently, he preformed as the lead dancer and choreographer on a Music Video production for the community to participate in.
Richie is a Lebanese man and graduate of Swinburne University’s Diploma of Theatre Arts. He has had over 10 years experience working in Community Cultural Development as a project manager, writer, director, actor and filmmaker. Richie’s work has led him to have a particular focus on collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds. Richie worked with communities in the Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne’s CBD, Melbourne’s Western suburbs, Bendigo and St. Kilda. During this time, he delivered projects working alongside the Aboriginal communities, the homeless, migrant communities including Lebanese, Greek, Italian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Pacific Islanders, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghani, and South Sudanese to name a few. Richie has taught community development techniques at a tertiary level the subject ‘Working with People from a Culturally Diverse Backgrounds’ which included the study of the Racial Discrimination Act. In 2009, Richie wrote, directed and managed a CCD Project in Seymour called “The Homecoming”. This was the first play made in response to Black Saturday. Richie is currently a member of the Artistic Directorate of Outback Theatre for Young People on Gifts of Translation, working with the African community in Swan Hill.
Mandy lives in Castlemaine in Central Victoria and is a cross art form performance maker, director and creative producer. Mandy has focused on creating community based outcomes, that reflect local identity and place, and has worked with young people and regional communities across Australia. Drawing on a synthesis of physical theatre, visual theatre and video to create engaging experiences for participants and audiences.
Mandy completed a Graduate Diploma in Animateuring (Cross Art Form Performance Making) at the VCA in 2005, under the mentoring of Helen Herbertson, and has trained extensively in Butoh and Dance Theatre with Kazuo and Yoshito Ohno, Min Tanaka (Japan), Deigo Pinon (Mexico); in Physical Theatre and Circus with the Angry Mime, Spaghetti Circus, Zen Zen Zo, Theatre of the Ordinary, NICA (Social Circus), and in puppetry and visual theatre with Polyglot Theatre and Philipe Genty. From 2007 – 2010, Mandy was Program Manager with Polyglot Theatre, managing creative developments, festivals tours and seasons at the MIAF and Singapore Arts Festival. For over a decade, she has directed and produced award winning projects organisations such as Outback Theatre for Young People and events such as The Village Festival,The Big West Festival, Yalikut Wilam Ngargee Indigenous Arts Festival, The Friendship Djerrip Festival, The Woodford Folk Festival, The Falls Festival, This Is Not Art Festival in Newcastle, The Regional Arts Conference in Launceston, and The Castlemaine State Festival. In 2014 – 2015 Mandy directed ‘The Grandma Tree’ and collaboration with Koori Families from Deniliquin, Produced ‘The Book of Shadows’ Indonesian/Australian Collaboration, and was the co-founder of Castlemaine Circus Inc.
Mandy is currently directing a new work physical/visual theatre work with The Castlemaine Circus, titled ‘Atopia’, and is producing new works with the multi award winning ‘The Marruk Project’ (Swan Hill), and ‘Enfold’ with the acclaimed Opal Vapour Artists.
Bebe Backhouse began his creative career as a performing pianist and music teacher. He delivered his program to both Indigenous & non-Indigenous youth in the Kimberley region of Western Australia to encourage engagment in a creative environment that was lacking in the community. He furthered his musical career by joining Short Black Opera as a repetiteur and pianist, working on Australia’s first Indigenous opera. It was this work for Indigenous youth that saw him win the ‘West Australian Young Person of the Year in the Arts’ award in 2011. With vast experience in the Indigenous media and arts industry, Bebe has managed and coordinated various mainstream and community festivals and events. He also assisted in the implementation and delivery of the state-wide Indigenous Contemporary Music Strategy with the Western Australian Department of Culture and the Arts, allowing Indigenous musicians to access resources and support to further develop their careers. Recently, Bebe was awarded the 2015 City of Melbourne Indigenous Arts Mentorship Program and, as a result, is now Assistant Producer at Federation Square.
At the The Marruk Project, Bebe’s role is focused on delivering creative and artistic projects to intercultural youth in regional Victoria. Bebe delivers creative and entertaining concepts, projects and services to the wider community through the various mediums of the entertainment and arts industry.
Angela is a multi-award winning theatre maker. Her career spans over 10 years as a community cultural development practitioner. She has worked with over 40 communities throughout Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and remote areas of the Northern Territory as a producer, project manager, director, writer and actor. She has worked across all age groups, cultures and demographics and created over 30 new theatre works. Angela’s practice has a focus on theatre performance and cultural ceremony to bring people together in an open, collaborative and empowering environment.
She is a recipient of the Australian Council for the Arts Community Partnerships ‘Kirk Robson Award’ 2009 for excellence in leadership in arts and community development, and the Regional Arts Victoria ‘Youth Engagement Award’ 2011. Career highlights include working alongside Zeal Theatre’s Stefo Nanstou with regionally based young people to create and perform in The Forwards; working with remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory to build community arts and cultural festivals in Yarralin, Binjari and Wugularr; working as part of The Torch Project — bringing together 14 communities from across Victoria for a Community Cultural Development capacity building and theatre making festival RICignition. Most recently as the Artistic Director of Outback Theatre For Young People’s Illuminate Project Angela collaborated with four communities in the Wakool Shire in South West New South Wales for over 12 months to create the new play A Town Called Mills Acre.