6 July 2023

Home-grown First Nations talent on show for special NAIDOC Week celebration

| Jarryd Rowley
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Indigenous artists

Some of the region’s best First Nations talents will be performing at the Wagga Civic Theatre on Friday night as part of The Curious Rabbit’s Live Local Original series. Photo: Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre.

The Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre will host some of the Wiradjuri community’s most creative artists as part of The Curious Rabbit’s Live Local Original series this Friday (7 July).

The showcase, which kicks off at 6 pm, will feature diverse talents including drag, dance, didge, poetry and country from some of the region’s most impressive First Nations artists, such as drag queen Rose Quartz, The Voice contestant and country singer Nathan Lamont, and poet Marie Clear.

The Curious Rabbit’s owner Vicki Burkinshaw said she believed the calibre of the line-up was an indication of the First Nations talent in the region.

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“We’ll be out on the balcony of the Civic Theatre from 5 o’clock. The doors will open and we will have the best view in the house of the Festival of W,” Ms Burkinshaw said.

“NAIDOC Week is always a great opportunity, but it should be every week, in terms of putting our First Nations people first and in the spotlight.

“We’ve got so much talent in this town that is coming out through the Festival of W, and through events like this.”

First Nations poet Marie Clear said she was excited for people from Wagga and surrounds to come to the theatre and celebrate Indigenous cultures and performances.

“It’s a great honour to perform because I don’t think First Nations talent is represented extensively through Wagga,” Ms Clear said.

“This is a great opportunity to show everybody what we have and what we can do.”

Ms Clear said she hoped that having several talents on show on Friday night would inspire younger people to take to the stage and showcase their talents.

“I think it [the event] should be at the bare minimum shown through NAIDOC Week, but there should be a lot more regular input for the First Nations talent here in Wagga.”

Former The Voice contestant and local country singer Nathan Lamont said it was important to highlight the sacrifices that First Nations elders had made to offer opportunities for younger Indigenous generations to perform.

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“The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations is For Our Elders,” he said.

“Our elders have had to go through a lot, they’ve faced it all with strength and courage. Being able to perform really is a privilege and an honour and a luxury that our elders didn’t, unfortunately, have growing up.

“For me, it’s an opportunity to really showcase the strength that we’ve been able to acquire through our elders and the brilliant advocacy and trailblazing that they did.”

Lamont will showcase several unreleased tunes from an upcoming EP that he intends to release later this year.

“I’m really excited to be able to show everyone what I’ve been working on, and to do that during NAIDOC Week as well is really, really special.”

To learn more about the Live Local Original: First Nations Celebration, or to purchase tickets, click here.

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