Our ‘Children & Youth Workshop’ Facilitators


Tony ‘Duwun’ LeeTurti

Tony ‘Duwun’ Lee has extensive experience in working with youth and children in the area of healing, visual art, craft and music – via a variety of health programs based in Darwin, including Balunu and Danila Dilba. A Larrakia man, Duwun is from Darwin and his areas of expertise include:

  • Exhibiting Artist (prints, paintings, carvings, sculpture)
  • Public Art
  • Art by commission
  • Corporate gifts
  • Healer
  • Welcome to Country presenter
  • Didgeridoo musician
  • Smoking ceremony facilitator
  • Workshop facilitator

Tony_Lee_Turtle_Print_Larrakia_NationArt Practice

Duwun is a painter, printmaker, carver and conceptual artist. He has worked in multiple public art projects as a designer and conceptual artist based on the meaning of traditional artefacts and music. Duwun’s three Aboriginal bloodlines are a major influence of his work.

“Through the traditional forms of art comes healing. My basis is traditional – governed by traditional protocols – but I find ways to bring it to contemporary society. I work in all mediums including textiles, glass, silver, gold, bone, semi-precious rocks, plastics, foam, tin cans, cottonwool, compressed polystyrene.” Duwun works in all sizes, from eight metre bronze figures to fine jewellery.Tony-teaching-didg_ACIKE_27.2.14_lr

“How I began creating art? On the way to school, at aged seven, I sat down with an old man by a campfire Mr Leigh. He showed me how to carve a boomerang and paint on bark with ochre. This was before the cyclone where the mob in Bagot had little huts.”

Duwun has travelled around the world, including: China, America, South Pacific, India, New Zealand, Philippines.

“My art is not the ‘Art of War’ but the ‘Art of Peacemaking’”. 


 Danella Lee

Danella has years of experience working with troubled Indigenous youth in Darwin through  the Balunu program.

Danella_LeeDanella Lee (Nutburra Nutburra) was born in 1961. Her areas of expertise include:

  • Art workshop facilitation
  • Exhibiting artist
  • Exhibition coordination and sales
  • Cultural Image Design

Danella’s mother is Larrakia (Traditional Owner of the Darwin Region). Danella has travelled extensively but now resides in Darwin:

  • Clan: Larrakia, Darwin N.T
  • Skin: Dhua

Art Practice

I started painting in my mid-teens. My first exhibition was held in 1995 in Toowoomba Qld with renowned photographer Steve Parish. I then opened ‘Bidjibarra, Arts Crafts and Culture Shop’ in the Bell Street Mall in Toowoomba. The next two years gave me the opportunity to become an Indigenous educator around the Darling Downs area in the primary and secondary schools APPES 2014 001providing cultural and art based activities. In 1996 I became the first Australian Indigenous woman to exhibit several of my painting and sculptures in the Milano Art Festival in Italy. I sold most of them. I now have art all over Europe, America and Australia. I am currently based in Darwin to continue my type of a mix traditional and contemporary art.

I recently painted a mural at the front exterior of the Larrakia Nation Head Office – see image here.

Workshops & Enterprise In the late 1990s I facilitated an eight-week workshop with 25 young indigenous people, teaching how to create artworks – including: painting, sculpture and ceramics. I also coordinated opportunities to establish themselves as small business owners. Since then I have been contracted to assist in a number of ‘Back to Country’ programs for Indigenous youth.

 


 

Ali Mills

Ali Mills is a Larrakia woman of many creative talents. She has facilitated a number of creative workshops with Corrugated Iron Youth Arts. Her expertise also includes:Ali Mills Musician

  • Welcome to Country Presenter
  • Songwriter and Musician
  • Dancer
  • Film & Theatre: Director, Scriptwriter and Actor
  • Workshop Facilitator (children, youth, adult)

Music & Family

In 1982 Ali took to the road as full time entertainer, sometimes as a solo artist and sometimes as lead singer of the famous local, Darwin NT group, The Mills Sisters. The Mills Sisters were support act for local and international acts such as Tina Turner, Charlie Pride, Bullamakanka, Bushwackers, Sir Harry Secombe, Sweet Honey in the Rock and much later on Pete Murray.

Ali has also produced an album titled Waltjim Bat Matilda - Aboriginal Kriol for Waltzing Matilda featuring a lead track with the same name, has taken Australia by storm.

Theatre & Film 

Ali also played the role of the grieving Grandmother in the film Yolngu Boy. Ali is an artist linked to The Australian Playwrights Conference, The Darwin Theatre Company, Browns Mart Theatre, Darwin Community Arts and Corrugated Iron Youth Arts.

Therapeutic Theatre Workshops

For the last 20 years Ali Mills has concentrated on promoting her entertainment career, her music cd album and balancing it all with her therapeutic theatre aspirations which include learning more about techniques such as playback theatre, theatre of the oppressed, psychodrama, theatre sports and invisible theatre. Ali has a passion for these theatre techniques and a bigger passion in promoting the use of them as a wonderful, impactive and immensely effective tool for wide community use in conflict resolution activities and in programs where community sharing of hardship stories is valued and can be engaged as a means to an end in promoting community bonding, health and support.


 

Clinton Gaykamangu

Clinton Gaykamangu has extensive experience in teaching traditional painting, dance and movement to Indigenous children particularly, and also school children from many backgrounds and various ages through Darwin school programs. Clinton’s areas of expertise include:Clinton_Gaykanangu

  • Workshop facilitation: Visual Art, Dance and Spear-Making & Spear-Throwing
  • Exhibiting Artist
  • Cultural Image Design

Clinton Gaykamangu was born in 1970 and is originally from Arnhem Land but now lives in Darwin with his wife and children.

  • Language: Yolngu Matha
  • Clan: Gupapuyngu
  • Totem: Main totem is Birrkuda, Sugar Bag Honey

Clinton’s explanation of creativity and culture is below:

Painting story I have been painting since I was 15, I would watch my dad paint for hours when finally one day he asked me to help him paint some areas and to my relief he asked me again and again and I realised that living in Darwin I missed something like my cultural stuff as I am living away from my home land, I never talk about my real homeland, I can only talk about my homelands through my art. Sitting here doing painting I can see my homelands through my painting and talk about it and share it with my kids. When I paint I paint about Sugar bag honey Gapapuyngu it is me, I am that clan and I do paintings about sugar bag honey. Each painting is from a tree, rocky place or valley, honey that is especially from the stinging bee the pale face bee that can sting. That is why we paint, it earns respect, people know what you are doing, and the old people can trust me and know that they can hand on knowledge to me, they can share the traditional stories with me, and see me as a future leader of the clan.

Song & dance story We as a Gupapuyngu clan we sing song lines about the bee and we dance like a bee, we go into the hive and come back out like a bee. When they fly out to get some honey nectar from the flower and also when they fly out to go and find another hive also. The bee itself is so aggressive, we embody the characteristic of the bee its self and mimic the bees action, when it stings we show that through fire.

About Country The Yolngu people have been here for many years and we know the animals, how they move how the hunt, we know everything about nature, about the animals about the trees and about the land.

Art symbology The diamonds in my art we paint to as acknowledgement of the honey comb, this design is also what we paint on our bodies for ceremony. The colours red, yellow, white, black show the larvae inside the honey comb and the cross hatching in between shows the sweetness of the honey. Ever thing when you talk about honey bee, we represent the honey its sweetness, the bee is everything . When we paint the diamond symbol other Yolngu can read this as a honey bee people.

Totem in art When I paint it has deep meaning and tradition to me and my clan showing my connection to the sugar bag honey. As an artists I want people to understand the symbols in my art that I am allowed to share with people, some meaning I cannot share as it is sacred. When someone purchases my artwork I need them to understand the meaning of that piece, as it more than just painting it is the law, discipline, self-esteem, world view and creating the balance of life between wrong and right.

Creativity & Culture Painting, dancing,  singing, culture helps Aboriginal people to earn respect. It guides my life every day with art, it helps me guide my kids, they can respect me. In my home in Karama I am able to protect my family as people respect the fact that I am a cultural artists and they cannot swear or drink or smoke around this practice, this creates a safe environment for my children and a good environment for people to live in.


June MillsJune Mills

June Mills is a Larrakia woman of many talents. However, the closest to her heart is working with children – particularly Indigenous children – in the areas of art, craft, storytelling and music. She works actively with youth to inspire creativity while also teaching cultural significance. June facilitates  a popular t-shirt and singlet painting workshop program for children of all ages

June Mills is a well known Darwin identity – a traditional owner of Larrakia land, the country on which Darwin is built and the surrounding area. Her areas of expertise include:

  • Welcome to Country presenter
  • Cultural knowledge presenter
  • Ceremony facilitator (smoking and saltwater blessings)
  • Songwriter and musician
  • Script writer and theatre actor
  • Exhibiting artist
  • Cultural image design
  • Fashion designer
  • Workshop facilitator

Family & Music

June Mills can play many instruments including:  guitar, ukelele, mandolin, piano accordion and
organ. Her musical career started at a very early age. Music and singing was an everyday part of life and the family homeJune_Mills_Print was always full of people. June’s parents – David and Kathy Mills – are both accomplished singer/songwriters and musicians, recognised by their induction into the Hall of Fame at the 2005 NT Indigenous Music Awards.

Mills Sisters Group

For many years June was a member of the famous Mills Sisters group, often giving support performances for famous acts like Harry Secombe, Charlie Pride and Tina Turner. June on guitar, Ali on ukelele, Barbara on tambourine and shakers, Violet on Tbox (bush bass) and Robin Forscutt on lead guitar.

Music Recording

“I’ll Be The One” (Skinnyfish Music) June Mills’ debut album, reflects a lifetime of performance, songwriting, activism and creative endeavour. Recorded at Audrey Studios in Melbourne, June had the benefit of backing by some of the best of that city’s boy with story on t-shirt_lrsession musicians such as Craig Pilkington (Killjoys) on guitars, trumpet and banjo and Stuart Speed on double bass and bass guitar. The album also features nationally and internationally – acclaimed master guitar player Jeff Lang, who has toured with the likes of Bob Dylan, and Ani Di Franco.

Listen to a sample here
(Skinnyfish site – scroll to bottom of page)

Creativity and Country

June is an accomplished artist who is known for her paintings, limited edition prints and public art projects.June’s art and music have always reflected the environment in which she lives, the people, landscape and the stories of her country. She sings about love and loss, the connections between people, between country, and the importance of belonging – themes that are universal.


 

Denise Quall

Denise Quall

Denise’s mother is a Larrakia woman and her father is of Fillipino descent on his father’s side and his mother is from the Lake Nash area, near Alice Springs. Denise was born in Darwin and grew up in Parap camp in the old Sydney Williams huts and has lived in Darwin all her life.

Denise has always been passionate about her art and is skilled in fabric printing, lino cut printing, painting on canvas, and more recently large scale public murals on a range of surfaces.

Taught by her family, Denise started at the Larrakia Nation Art Centre in 2005, after many years of painting on canvas and fabric from her home in Karama. Denise now works on large scale public art projects such as the roof painting at the Darwin airport, Lyons Park rock sculpture and design, Tiger Brennan Drive and currently the interior and exterior public art work for accommodation at the hospital. Denise’s dreaming totems are the saltwater crocodile (Dangalaba) and Sea Eagle (Nagandji Nagandji).

“I wish to continue on this road, learning more each day of an artist view, especially in cultural ways.  I believeculture is very important; every individual has a unique way of expressing their feelings in artistic form.  Learning from Aboriginal elders is a treasure of memories.” -  Denise Andjurra Quall

artwork

Dianne Quall

Dianne is a Larrakia woman who has extensive experience in facilitaties cultural activities for Indigenous children. As past employee of the NT Police Force, Dianne is now working for the Larrakia Night Patrol program while also facilitating arts-based workshops.  Her areas of expertise include:Dianne Quall_2

  • Art workshop facilitator
  • Exhibiting artist
  • Art demonstrations
  • Public art projects
  • Bush Tucker workshop facilitator

Dianne’s mother is a Larrakia woman and her father is of Fillipino descent on his father’s side and his mother is from the Lake Nash area, near Alice Springs. Her totem is Dangalaba.

Taught art by her family, Dianne focuses on painting, textiles and public art projects such as the East Arm Tank Mural Project and the Shell Supply Base Rock Carving Entrance Project.

Art as Identity & Education

For Dianne, creating art is about identity – where you come from and how you are connected to the land. It is also a way of showing and sharing culture. This spiritual connection is something that always resides in her heart, but is also like a snake traveling though the county. It does not stay in one place. Dianne hopes her art will facilitate greater understanding and respect and allow people to understand her as a Dangalaba person. It is all about respect. What she can share though art, she hopes, will bring about a greater understanding.East-Arm-Tank-Mural_vertical-250x300_c

the Shell Supply Base Rock Carving Entrance Project.

Art as Identity & Education

For Dianne, creating art is about identity – where you come from and how you are connected to the land. It is also a way of showing and sharing culture. This spiritual connection is something that always resides in her heart, but is also like a snake traveling though the county. It does not stay in one place. Dianne hopes her art will facilitate greater understanding and respect and allow people to understand her as a Dangalaba person. It is all about respect. What she can share though art, she hopes, will bring about a greater understanding.

 

 

Victor Williams

Victor Williams’ is a multi-talented Larrakia artist and musician, and is considered by the community a strong cultural knowledgeVictor_Williams_2014 holder. Victor has had extensive experience facilitating creative and cultural workshops with children and youth.

Victor’s father is from Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory and his mother is Larrakia and Tiwi. Victor offers the following services:

  • Cultural ceremony facilitator
  • Artist/designer
  • Singing/Music performer
  • Art/craft workshop facilitator
  • Performance workshop facilitator
  • Bush tucker/medicine guide/presenter

 

About learning culture

My grandmother and mother taught and passed on their artistic skills to me. I learnt language from my Victor Williams playing clapsticks with kids_2014grandmother from my Dads side -  and music, art and plants  from my dad’s side too. My father’s family live in Crocker Island, Oenpelli and Maningrida. When I was fourteen I went to live on Crocker Island. I didn’t know any language when I arrived but I didn’t speak English for a year. I was forced to speak their language. My grandparents didn’t speak any English so the kids on the Island helped me to learn so I could talk to them.

I was in and out of jail when I was young. When I was 19 years old my father decided to trick me into staying on Country in West Anrhem Land to sort myself out. He said ‘We’re going to hunt goose’, so we drove out into Country where Dad had a five bedroom house. There was no one else around for miles. When we stopped, he asked me to go and get some water. When I came back he was gone. He left me for a year out there. I learnt how to make fire, how to do smoking in the house to fend off mosquiVictor Williams playing didg to boy_2014tos.

I had no  fishing line – and nowhere to buy smokes! I did have water and electricity, but no fuel. Plants are important in the bush. You’ve got to learn how to eat, how to survive. That’s what I did. A year later, Dad came back in a helicopter. By then I had lots of hair and a long beard. “You look really healthy” he said.

In 1991, I helped Lorraine Williams write the first ethno-botany book from an Aboriginal point of view: ‘Allawa ethnobotany: Aboriginal plant use from Minyerri, NT’”

About sharing culture

“Sharing culture is important – and to understand that Aboriginal culture is not all the same across Australia. For example, playing clapsticks is different in different areas – they sing differently.”

 

Robbie MillsRobbie-Mills_guitar_Darwin-300x200

Robbie Patj Patj Mills was born Larrakia, Kungarakan, Mayali, Yangman, Jawoyn, Gurrinji (tribal language groups of Northern Australia). Robbie enjoys fostering creative skills while sharing cultural knowledge to children and youth. Robbie’s areas of expertise include:

  • Singer, songwriter, musician
  • Storyteller
  • Aboriginal cultural experiences in Country

Listen to Robbie Mills & The Collective on My Space

Ancestry
“As an Aboriginal, I inherit the culture of all four of my grandparents. This determined my ‘Pombah’ which means track or path that I was to walk in life. You are expected to learn about your grand parents culture to help you make sense of yourself and why you feel and act the way you do. I was born into culture and my responsibilities began when I was a child. This meant learning language, songs and stories associated with country as well as the universe.”

Music
“People often describe my music as ‘eclectic’. We have been known to play a wide variety of genres. I also have been influenced by tradtional Aboriginal music. I try to blend all these feels into a contemporary form.”

Robbie_Mills_The_CollectiveThe Collective
Robbie Mills plays with musician Brendan Hicks (who is close to the Larrakia community and works for Larrakia Nation’s Community Services) and a number of musicians who specialise in traditional Aboriginal instruments.

Robbie offers his music as:

  • A soloist
  • Duo
  • Ensemble, including traditional Aboriginal instruments: Kenbi (didjeridoo) and Dil Dil Mah (clapping sticks)
  • Big Band

 

 

 


 Leslie GordonIMG_3075

Leslie Gordon is a Larrakia traditional owner from the Shepherd family group (one of the 8 family groups that make up the Larrakia language group).

Leslie is an:

  • art/craft workshop facilitator
  • bush tucker/medicine guide and presenter

About family  groups

More specifically, Leslie is from the Briston family group – a well-known sporting family. Her mother, Alice, is part of the stolen generation. Her mother’s mother is from the Marrathiel language group. Her mother’s father is from the Shepherd family group.

About learning and sharing culture

Growing up in the Darwin area with other Larrakia family groups gives me a great sense of pride. Lots of families camped and hunted together. My experiences as a child has given me courage to hunt and forage on country. The plant and bush tucker knowledge that I have learnt from my sisters has given me my identity. I feel comfortable and enjoy sharing my knowledge with the wider Darwin community. Thoughtout my life I have never stopped learning about Larrakia culture. I feel comfortable with my identity and who I am. I am a proud Larrakia, and I thoroughly enjoy interacting with people and sharing my knowledge.

 

Working history

  • 10 years: Driver Primary School
    AIEW (Aboriginal and Islander Education Worker) – set up bush tucker garden, cultural awareness parenting programs, community engagement
  • Rosebury Middle School
    AIEW (Aboriginal and Islander Education Worker)
  • Larrakia Menbeni Rangers:
    Developed bush tucker garden
  • Cultural activities:
    NAIDOC Palmerston Family Day
    NAIDOC: various schools
    Darwin City Council Fun Bus
    Garrmalang Festival (2014)
    Parap Day Care
  • Community Engagement
    Partnerships with parenting programs; initiated connections/partnerships, developed program with NGOs, implemented & delivered programs in the school environment
    - Smith Family
    - F.A.S.T. NT (Families & Students Together)
    - HIPPY Program
  • Larrakia Cultural Heritage Monitor
    Icthys, Bladdin Point
    Maintain and manage Larrakia cultural heritage sites

Holds a current ochre card

 


 Sylvia Nulpinditji

Sylvia Nulpinditji is Galpu clan. Her family is the Arnhem land people. SilviaHer skin-group is Balinydjan, and she is from the Dhuwa group.

Syliva  now lives in Darwin with her husband Clinton Gaykamangu and their children.

Sylvia is: an

  • Exhibiting Artist
  • Cultural Image Designer
  • Traditional/Contemporary dance and movement workshop facilitator and performer

About learning culture

“Both of my parents were responsible for teaching me culture. My mother is a strong storyteller and my father was responsible from crafting arm and head bands for ceremonies”

About cultural responsibility

“My role is a very important one. I am appointed as a traditional artist by my family and other clan groups. They recognise me for the work I do. I am recognised for painting for ceremony – painting women of all ages but especially young girls. I support and teach other Yolngu  women and they teach me – we enjoy sharing ideas.”

About sharing culture

“I can’t hold myself back and not share! I hope that people get the idea of what we are trying to teach about our culture. Hopefully they will understand where we are coming from and embrace it.”



 

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