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dreamtime @ the G

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Our intention was to create a spiritually steeped event, a celebration of land, cultural survival, and of honouring ancestors: a re-inscribing of sovereignty and ongoing spiritual connection to land, on a highly significant and symbolic site which took place over an exactingly-timed 14.5 minutes, due to broadcast requirements for national television, in the middle of what was ostensibly a ‘footy field!’


There was always a focus on community involvement in each of these ceremonies - with large numbers of First Peoples participants. 2013, the final ceremony created by Margie and Aunty Joy, saw 5 Elders of the Kulin nations come together on this sacred space - possibly for the first time since colonisation. This ceremony was a special one. A ngargee was performed to the sound of drumming on possum skins, just as it might have been done for scores of thousands of years. Fires were lit to honour ancestors.

Alongside Elders and musicians there were 60 – 70 young Indigenous dancers from across the state, an Indigenous children’s circus troupe from the central desert, a band of 40 young First Peoples drummers, and the ‘core team’ of Indigenous choreographers, performers, artists and musicians who had collaborated on these events since the first year. Collaborators include: Jacob Boehme, Mariaa Randall, Gilbert Douglas, Nicky Ashby, Skin Choir, Shane Howard, Archie Roach, Neil Murray, Christina Anu, Street Warriors , Idja Dancers, Songlines Dancers, Wannick Dance Academies, Ninja Circus, Whittlesea Koorie Choir, The Ltyentye Apurte Drummers and many many others.

In 2010 Margie was invited by senior Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Joy Murphy to direct an event of particular importance to First Peoples across Australia. This nationally televised event hosted by the Australian Football League, a multi-million-dollar corporate business, was a spectacle attended by around 80,000 people and watched by millions across the nation. The event marks the commencement of the ‘Indigenous Round’ of Australian Rules Football (Aussie Rules) at the southern hemisphere's largest sporting arena - The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Victoria Australia. 


Bound up in layers of contested social significance, it is a place where the sacred and profane merge in unexpected ways: from shifting calendrical and highly ritualised sporting activities (is it a cricket ground or a footy oval?) to the continuing cultural associations and significances ascribed by the Indigenous community.

photo credit : Natalie Davey

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