Cultural Residency Round-Up - 13.04.22

“Our Cultural Residency program and our relationships with our Cultural Tutors and communities are core to everything we are and everything we do at NAISDA. We are guided by the knowledge, the wisdom and the teachings they share” – Jo Clancy, NAISDA Head of Cultural Practice.

NAISDA’s cultural learning journey for our 2022 cohort began at the start of this year under the guiding direction of Cultural Tutors Dujon Niue, Jeanette Fabila and Edward Savage who travelled to our Darkinjung campus to teach our Developing Artists songs and dance connected to Moa Island in the Torres Strait.

This was Cultural Tutor, Elder and former NAISDA student Dujon Niue’s seventh year of passing on cultural knowledge to NAISDA’s next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Developing Artists through his own song and dance compositions. We were delighted that this year, his grandson Edward Savage joined him to help teach the songs and dance. 24-year old Edward has been learning and performing cultural dance since the age of two, and now has his own dance school in Townsville.

“We are here keeping that fire burning for our Ancestors – teaching and learning our diverse cultures. I am beyond blessed and grateful to have been given the opportunity to share the love, passion and energy I have for my culture with our present and future generations,” said Edward Savage.

In The News

The week of learning culminated with a Cultural Showing with students performing song and dance for a small invited audience in the NAISDA studio. We were pleased to welcome the NITV team who covered the performance – watch the coverage below.

Cultural Tutor Edward Savage and NAISDA Head of Cultural Practice, Jo Clancy also featured on the National TalkBlack Radio Show, chatting to Trevor Tim.

“Growing up with my grandparents they taught me a lot about Island culture. My grandfather would teach me about dancing and that sparked a passion in me,” said Edward.

“To be able to share my knowledge and experience of Islander culture in this way was definitely a blessing.”

Listen to the full interview below.

Further coverage of the Cultural Residency in Torres News can also be viewed here.

What’s Next?

NAISDA’s long-standing Cultural Residency Program is an integral part of our culturally connected and supportive learning model. Later in the year, we look forward to a return visit to Moa for a week, to be welcomed by the community and connect with the Country where the songs, dance and stories originate.

NAISDA students will continue to learn and rehearse throughout the year in preparation for a final celebration of performances at Sydney Opera House in December called ATI which means Journey in the Meriam Mer language from the Torres Strait Islands. Directed by NAISDA Head of Dance Deon Hastie, ATI’s journey back to culture will come to life on stage through cultural and contemporary Indigenous dance, vibrant projections and an emotionally charged soundscape of song and live voices.