Keynote Speakers, Panels & Story Telling
See program for details of times

KeyNote Speaker:
Lynette Narkle

Lynette Narkle

Dr Lynette Narkle’s remarkable career spans five decades and she is recognised nationally and internationally as one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal actors and performing arts practitioners and a pivotal force in theatre. As a proud Noongar elder, born in Wagin in WA, Lynette Narkle received an honouring doctorate from ECU in 2018 and was presented with the Australia Council’s prestigious Red Ochre Award for 2017. Lynette will offer a keynote on Indigenous Voice in Storytelling. Lynette is also part of The Wilding Stories - offering a re-telling of the tale in Noongar English, and is on the Women's Storying panel.

KeyNote Speaker:
Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann

Miriam Rose

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann is an Aboriginal Artist and Educator. She was born in the bush near Daly River in 1950. While Miriam-Rose is a member of the Ngangiwumirr language group, she also speaks four other local languages. While maintaining traditional cultural education, Miriam-Rose learned to "read the country" as well as the pages of her text books. In recognition of her outstanding service and contribution to the Northern Territory, in acknowledgment of her leadership and example in the fields of Aboriginal education and the visual arts, and for her contribution to the general community Miriam Rose was awarded an honorary doctorate from Northern Territory University. On January 25, 2021 Miriam was named the Senior Australian of the Year. Miriam Rose will present a very special keynote via zoom on the inner, deep listening and quiet still awareness that is Dadirri.

For more information click here.

KeyNote Speaker:

Tyson Yunkaporta

Tyson Yunkaporta

Tyson is an author, academic, educator, Indigenous thinker, maker (traditional wood carving), arts critic, researcher and poet and will be offering a keynote talk at this year's festival. Tyson Yunkaporta looks at global systems from an Indigenous perspective. He asks how contemporary life diverges from the pattern of creation. How does this affect us? How can we do things differently? His book “Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save The World” provides a template for living. It’s about how lines and symbols and shapes can help us make sense of the world. It’s about how we learn and how we remember. It’s about talking to everybody and listening carefully. It’s about finding different ways to look at things. Tyson Yunkaporta will offer two keynotes and will be speaking at the Indigenous Ways of Knowing panel.

koodjal djinnung
Dr Noel Nannup and Prof Stephen Hopper

a Noel Nannup & S.D. Hopper Serpentine 2

Join Noel Nannup and Stephen Hopper as they take us through a journey of ‘koodjal djinnung’ or ‘looking both ways’ research. Both experts in their respective fields – in traditional Aboriginal knowledge and Western natural science - they have travelled widely throughout the state’s southwest together to share and swap their respective understandings of the unique life found there, and the stories which both traditions offer to explain the ‘long story short’ of the 300 million year history of the south-west.

Panel Discussion: Music of Poetry


The Music of Poetry is a collaborative project between Great Southern and interstate poets and musicians. The project is based on the premise that poetry and music can come together in ways which reveal, express and evoke new resonances in the works, the artists and audience.

Join musicians Jen Lush and Marianthe Loucataris and seven poets Maria Zajkowski, Kim Scott, Maree Dawes, Barbara Temperton, Yann Toussaint, Graham Kershaw & Renee Pettit-Schipp  for a panel discussion where they will discuss their process of collaboration for this special project.

Panel Discussion: Global Goals

Year 5 & 6 Spirit of Play

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Children from years 5 and 6 Spirit of Play Community School have been questioning our Global Goals. They invite you to come to their discussion where they will lead us all in considering the most important questions.  

Panel Discussion:Indigenous Ways of Knowing
Dr Noel Nannup, Tyson Yunkaporta, Joe Northover & Carol Pettersen-facilitated by Prof. Stephen Hopper

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Author Tyson Yunkaporta subtitled his recent book ‘How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World’. Come listen to an engaging panel discussion with Tyson, Perth elder Noel Nannup, Collie elder Joe Northover and Albany elder Carol Pettersen, facilitated by special guest Professor Stephen Hopper.

Panel Discussion: womens storying
Dr Lynette Narkle, Margot Edwards, Christina Cairns, Asha Kiani and Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson


Women are raising their voices across the globe, joining hands in solidarity through the intuitive and healing power of story and song. Calling for an end to suppression and bringing women to the centre of their own storying, new narratives are fast emerging, uncovering and reimagining aspects of the feminine long held underground. Leaping from these depths, female characters hardwired with intuition, innate courage and unbreakable determination are leading us through change. Join in to listen to this engaging panel discussion with four women festival artists: Dr Lynette Narkle and Margot Edwards (The Wilding Stories), Christina Cairns (Tree Song) and Asha Kiani & Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson (Avareh) as they discuss women’s storying.

Story TellinG: 
Dr Noel Nannup


Noel Nannup is a Nyungar/Injabarndi story teller and cultural elder and guide who has worked to promote public awareness of the importance of caring for the environment. His career has been dedicated to educating young Western Australians about the rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal people and their lands; and, throughout that process, Noel has played an active and leading role in reconciliation. Noel was the winner of the NAIDOC Perth 2017 Male Elder of the Year Award. His father Charles William Nannup lived and worked around Mundaring Weir and he belonged to the Bibbulman people. Noel Nannup's mother was Alice Isobel Bassett and was from the Pilbara. Noel will be story telling, discussing 'two-way knowing' with Stephen Hopper, on the Indigenous Ways of Knowing panel and leading a short excursion with Stephen Hopper.

Joe Northover

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Joe Northover is a Beeliargu Wilman Noongar. He was born in Collie and has strong connections to the river. He tells of living the Noongar way off the land, eating bush tucker. Joe tells of the strong ties within his family, with his aunts and grandmothers. He speaks of the easier life he had, compared to his parents, who had to carry citizenship papers and had restrictions placed on where they could go and when. Joe will also be on the Indigenous Ways of Knowing panel.

Asad Alizada

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Asad arrived in Australia seven years ago. The former Afghan soldier became partially blind after a clash with the Taliban. Mr. Alizada performs traditional Hazara songs on the tambura, something he was unable to do during the Taliban era . Join him in a story telling session where he will share his experiences.

Elders Stories

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Join local Elders Averil Dean, Treasy Woods, Annette Eades, Eliza Woods and others as they share stories from their lives.

STORY tELLING Excursion 
Dr Noel Nannup and Stephen Hopper

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Join Noel Nannup and Stephen Hopper as they share their insights of two-way knowing on a site in granite country near the Denmark CBD. Excursion on Country (drive to Inlet Drive, weekend or day pass required)
Join Noel Nannup and Stephen Hopper as they share their insights of two-way knowing on a site in granite country 5km from Civic Centre. We will drive to the flatrock on the west side of Inlet Drive, 200m N of Poison Point carpark, 150 m N of Inlet Crescent. Muster on the south end of the rock. Avoid trampling shrubs and herbs – walk on bare rock. Sturdy shoes recommended. Parking suggested on Crowea Rd or Lyra House car Park, 77 Inlet Drive, 600m N of site.  Sturdy shoes required.