Inspirational Indigenous Australian TedX talks

12 Jun 2016

This is a list of all the Indigenous mob we could find who have TEDx videos online. If we have missed anyone please let us know and we will update it.

This is a list of all the Indigenous mob we could find who have TEDx videos online. If we have missed anyone please let us know and we will update it.

What can we learn from 2000 generations of welcome? | Mickey O’Brien | TEDxAdelaide

“Mickey welcomes everyone to TEDx Adelaide and draws on his own experience into how the act of welcoming others links to more than 2000 generations of Aboriginal people.

As an Aboriginal person and descendant of the Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) and Narrunga (York Peninsula) peoples, providing cultural advice has been a responsibility passed down to Mickey by his father, well-known Kaurna elder, Lewis O’Brien.”

Keep our languages alive: Kylie Farmer at TEDxManly

Kylie Farmer [Kaarljilba Kaardn] is an Aboriginal Australian actress, TV presenter, writer and director from the Nyungar/Bibbulmun nation. ‘Kylie’ means ‘a small boomerang’. Kylie has performed in numerous stage production roles, both nationally and internationally, starring in The White Divers of Broome, The Sapphires, One Day in ‘67, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Aliwa and King Hit. Her television and screen credits include Redfern Now 2, The Gods of Wheat Street, Ace of Spades, Stone Bros and Sa Black Thing.

Finding Power in Culture | Alec Doomadgee | TEDxSydney

“Alec Doomadgee is a descendant of Waanyi, Garawa and Gangalidda tribes from the Aboriginal community of Doomadgee in the Gulf of Carpentaria QLD. He had bridged the gap between his traditional life and his modern life.

Here he tells the emotional story of how he succeeded in life and paints an optimistic picture of how to make it work in the future.”

ONExSAMENESS: Dr Anita Heiss at TEDxBrisbane

“Anita is a contemporary Australian author. She is a Wiradjuri woman. She is an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambassador and an Adjunct Professor with Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS amongst many other things.”

TEDxBrisbane Chris Sarra — All you need is…. TO DREAM

“Dr Chris Sarra an internationally recognised Indigenous education specialist and is the founder and Chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute.”

IndigenousX: Luke Pearson at TEDxCanberra

“Luke Pearson’s journey from country NSW to teaching in Sydney, and then to the creation of @IndigenousX on Twitter, is part of a bigger journey to share Australia’s diverse, courageous, and inspiring Aboriginal heritage.”

Working Inter-culturally : Mark Yettica Paulson at TEDx Alice Springs

Mark is an Indigenous man from southeast Queensland and northeast NSW regions. He is a founding member of the National Indigenous Youth Movement of Australia (NIYMA) and a member of the Community Advisory Council of the National Australia Bank. Mark is currently a consultant in Leadership and Indigenous Engagement. He has significant experience in leadership management consulting, community education, leadership training, church and community organising and youth work. Mark is a gifted facilitator and presenter with wide-ranging experience including business, government agencies, universities and training institutions, non-government organizations and not-for-profit organizations. Mark’s employment history across a range of sectors has crafted an inimitable skill set and wealth of experience. Mark was the ABC 2012 Strictly Speaking grand final winner. Strictly Speaking is the search for Australia’s best speaker — from all corners of Australia.”

Cultural education: Mundanara Bayles at TEDxSouthBankWomen

“Mundanara highlights the opportunities to learn from Indigenous culture and some of the differences between our cultures. She is a strong advocate on promoting everyone to better understand Australian Indigenous culture, through The Black Card course.”

Waverley Stanley — Indigenous Education Scholarship Program TEDx StHilda’sSchool

“Waverley Stanley is the founding Director of Yalari. Yalari is a not-for-profit organisation that offers quality, secondary education scholarships at Australia’s leading boarding schools for Indigenous children from remote, rural and regional communities.”

Indigenous leadership and 10 weeks in Borneo: Jason Tambling at TEDxDarwin

“Jason Tambling is an Aboriginal man, born in Darwin who grew up in Jabiru… In this talk, Jason shares his experiences as a volunteer in Borneo for 10 weeks helping people in remote villages.”

Experimental beds | Judy Watson | TEDxCharlottesville

“Judy Watson is an Indigenous artist whose matrilineal family is from country in north-west Queensland. She co-represented Australia in the 1997 Venice Biennale, was awarded the Moët & Chandon Fellowship in 1995, the National Gallery of Victoria’s Clemenger Award in 2006 and, in the same year, the Works on Paper Award at the 23rd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award. In 2011 her exhibition waterline was exhibited at the Embassy of Australia, Washington, DC.”

Knowing you can do anything if you want: Frank Ansell at TEDxBrisbane

Frank Ansell is a traditional Indigenous healer (nungkari) and lawman from the Eastern Arrernte desert country in Central Australia. He offers nungkari Aboriginal healings and wisdom teachings from Aboriginal dreaming and culture to support individuals, leaders and workplaces to open to altjerre or spirit.

Twice Upon a Time… : Mikaela Griffiths w/ Ruth Mirams at TEDxCanberra

“Mikaela Griffiths and Ruth Mirams combine art, spoken narrative, and new technology to keep the oral histories and languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians alive into the future.”

Two worlds | Ingrid Cumming | TEDxPerth

“Ingrid Cumming is a custodian and traditional owner of Whadjuk Nyungar country. Ingrid has worked in many areas including national and local Indigenous Australian media (including film, radio and print), marketing and communications, state health, the arts, anthropological research, higher education and is now CEO and Principal Consultant of Kart Koort Wiern.”

Mary Victor O’Reeri — Indigenous Australian Wisdom. A Story of Life, Discovery & Death. TEDxSydney 

“Mary Victor O’Reeri lives and works in the remote north-west Kimberley region of Western Australia. As a traditional owner, educator, UN delegate and communicator, Mary works with her people to transform relationships with governments, NGOs, businesses and individuals. In her talk to the audience at TEDxSydney, she surprises and touches us with an appropriately-meandering story of life, discovery & death.”

“Mineness” and “Oursness”: Jandamarra Cadd at TEDxNoosa

“Through the journey of his art and philosophical awareness, Jandamarra shares the importance of understanding and seeing the value of investing in sustainable principles based on the concept of “Oursness”. Through this way of living we see the importance of investing in our communities, our natural resources and a spirituality that is based on a ‘oneness’ way of living, in which we all walk and act as one race. Living this way not only increases the well-being of the world around us, but also restores our own state of inner happiness and peace. He shares how non-Aboriginal people are faced with an opportunity to learn some of these principles through a relationship with the Aboriginal culture.”

40,000 years of TEDx talks | Bernard Lee Singleton | TEDxJCUCairns

“Bernard Lee Singleton is an artist and performer. He was born in Cairns and raised in the small Aboriginal community of Coen, Cape York. Bernard’s mother is a Djabuguy woman born in Mona Mona mission and his father is an Umpila (east coast Cape York)/Yirrkandji man from Yarrabah mission. Bernard believes that continuing to develop and explore traditional dance and mediums such as bark paintings, artefacts and crafting is an important cultural responsibility to maintain and pass on traditional techniques and knowledge.”

Black women: tipping the balance | Michelle Deshong | TEDxJCUCairns

“Black women have shaped history globally and courageous Indigenous women have helped shape Australia. Many Indigenous women posses the qualities that have made a huge impact on civil and Indigenous rights in Australia, these same qualities give Indigenous women a unique perspective that enables them to tip the balance and provide genuine political leadership.

Michelle Deshong was named the 2015 National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Scholar of the year. Michelle is from Townsville and draws her connection to Kuku Yulanji and Butchulla nations. She has extensive experience in areas of leadership, governance and politics and completed a BA with First Class Honours in Political Science and Indigenous studies at James Cook University. She is completing her PhD in ‘enabling the participation of Aboriginal Women in public and political life in Australia.’ In 2013 Michelle was named in the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work with the First Nations women in America.”

ONExEAR: Michael Williams at TEDxBrisbane

“Michael is an Indigenous man with a long career in public and higher education. Michael is an advocate for the importance of identity, education and the responsibility of listening.”

Understanding Systematic Oppression and Institutionalised Racism | Kyol Blakeney | TEDxYouth@Sydney

“My presentation was about understanding the concept of systematic oppression and institutionalised racism. This ranged from presenting ideas about the current structure we live under in the country of Australia and its perceptions of Indigenous Affairs. I speak about stereotypes and the approaches consecutive governments have taken to ‘deal’ with the Aboriginal people throughout the 228 year period of colonisation. Questions are raised about the effects of some of these actions pursued by governments towards Aboriginal people and the long term effects they carry for future generations of the longest surviving culture in the world.

My name is Kyol Blakeney. I have served as Indigenous Officer of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Sydney for 2 years and was the NSW State ATSI Officer for the National Union of Students in 2014. Currently, I am the President of the SRC at the University of Sydney and a vocal Aboriginal Rights Activist. I am also studying a Bachelor of Primary Education.”

Authentic Identity through Indigenous Art | Bianca Beetson | TEDxNoosa

“Bianca’s work is concerned with her individual identity as an Indigenous Australian, as well as the identity of Australia as a nation in terms of its history and its concept of itself. Bianca’s work is loaded with layers of meaning and numerous reference points.

Bianca Beetson is an Artist and Kabi Kabi (Sunshine Coast) woman, born in Roma in Western Queensland. She studied a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) at QUT and completed her Honours degree at the same university in 1998.”

How long does it take to become a Territorian? | Bennie Lew Fatt | TEDxPalmerston

“How Many Years does it take to Become a Territorian in Australia? A long term view of 1000s of years of history is rolled up into 1 honest answer.

Bennie is a local historian, sporting legend, and entrepreneur. He shares his unique perspective, blending Chinese and Aboriginal ancestry. His message of inclusion and belonging is very powerful. ”

Connecting with country | Max Lenoy | TEDxTownsville

“How can you become a better Earth citizen? You can develop a better understanding of your identity by connecting with where you are on this planet – this place we all call home.
“Connecting with Country” provides you with strategies to connect with the country you live on by learning about the relationship that the world’s oldest continuing culture has with their home – the Aboriginal people of the land called Australia. By practicing these simples steps you will develop a better understanding of how you relate to the place you call home.

Max Lenoy is a Jirrbal/ Yalangi man who spends his spare time teaching pre-service teachers about Indigenous education and educational technology at James Cook University. His ‘mob’ are from Yarrabah and Palm Island and he was born in Cairns and raised in the Burdekin sugar cane fields. He completed a Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) at James Cook University focussed on Educational technology and Indigenous education. He also holds an Education Masters from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and enjoyed the opportunity to also study at the MIT Media Lab and the Sloan School of Management. He recently had the chance to teach in Brazil and is the recipient of a United Nations fellowship.”

Never too old to learn, never too young to teach | Max Lenoy | TEDxJCUCairns

“Max Lenoy is fascinated with how people learn and what they can teach. Max as well as being a full time dad guides pre-service teachers to develop an understanding about Indigenous education and educational technology at James Cook University. His mob are from Yarrabah and Palm Island and he was born in Cairns and raised in the Burdekin sugar cane fields.

Max Lenoy holds an Education Masters from Harvard and a Bachelor of Education, JCU. ”

Have Didge will Travel | David Hudson | TEDxJCUCairns

“David Hudson has travelled the world as an entertainer. His experiences are very different from that of his mother’s who had to apply for an exemption card to live away from a mission. David explains how a boy once classified by the Government as fauna, grew up and is now able to spread a positive message about Aboriginal culture, especially through his passion for the didgeridoo.

David Hudson is an internationally renowned musician, singer/songwriter, artist and entertainer. His work comprises a combination of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal influences. David is a consultant for Indigenous and cultural projects. He is the co-founder of internationally renowned Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and has been awarded the Centenary Medal for services to Aboriginal and Islander culture. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from James Cook University for services to Aboriginal and Islander culture and the arts.”

Fight today for a better tomorrow | Jesse T Martin | TEDxJCUCairns

“Jesse T Martin is a community development zealot and advocate for social revolution. He is the founder of the Streets Movement and looks to fight today for a better tomorrow, fighting for a hand up rather than just a hand out

Jesse T Martin is the founder and Director of the Streets Movement Organisation. Jesse is of Indigenous descent with his people coming from Sydney and the Torres Strait. He has a degree in politics and international relations, and is a fighter in and out of the boxing ring. His firm and unwavering conviction for human rights and social justice has ignited the ideology and formation of the Streets Movement.”

Freedom | Shaun Nannup | TEDxBunbury

Shaun Nannup describes himself as a human being, an Indigenous man and a father. His purpose in life is to connect people through his stories. If you have sat through a ‘welcome to country’ by Shaun you will know how connected he is. He is connected to the ancestors. He knows their stories. He knows what must be done. He is a leader of reconciliation.

However, he also understands the struggle. As a teenager, sitting on country he just got angrier and angrier, and he didn’t understand why. He could not feel the connection to Earth, he had something blocking his energy connection. This impacted on many aspects of his life. He, like most Indigenous people was carrying trans generational trauma.

This trauma stops or limits connections, not only to Earth but to each other. By healing this trauma, he could connect to himself and therefore to the land.


Dirtsong: Black Arm Band at TEDxSydney 2014

Featuring Deline Briscoe
Sung in Yorta Yorta
Written Lou Bennett, Alexis Wright
Musical arrangement Iain Grandage

“From the Echuca, Barmah region, the heartland of Yorta Yorta country, it is a song of the connection of people, song and country. ‘Baiyan Woka’ is Yorta Yorta for singing for country/land. This song comes from the depths of my knowing and understanding that we all have connection, we just have to learn ‘Gulpa Ngarwal’ (deep listening).” – Lou Bennett

Black Arm Band is a flexible musical theatre ensemble that performs on stages and in community contexts across the globe, as well as extensively across metropolitan, regional and remote Australia. In an international context, the group interrogates and promotes contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through the creation of large-scale music theatre productions, music, installations and multimedia projects. In seven years, the company has provided professional pathways and opportunities for many artists and performed to over one million people. Black Arm Band’s current performance, titled Dirtsong, inspired by the words of award-winning author Alexis Wright, mixes traditional approaches and contemporary songs, existing repertoire and newly commissioned music to conjure a sense of ‘country’ as not only a geographical place, but as encounters, memories, obligations and nature.

Ladies and gentleman, Thelma Plum | Thelma Plum | TEDxBrisbane

Divine singer-songwriter , Thelma Plum, has wowed audiences around the country on her national sell-out tour. She cites her musical influences as Paul Kelly and Maryanne Faithfull.

Indigenous Performance | Frank Yamma | TEDxSydney

Nguta Waljilpa: This song is about a big open lonely place in the remote western corner of Australia. She Cried : deals with indigenous issues from a personal perspective.

A traditional Pitjantjatjara man from Australia’s central desert, Frank is regarded as one of Australia’s most significant Indigenous singer/ songwriters who sings in language as well as English.

Kalyakoorl and Boorda | Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse | TEDxPerth

“We all have a responsibility to this place because we all call this home. It is important that we are all connected to it… through language, through storytelling… because when we connect to where we come from, we connect to each other. When we connect to each other, we become powerful and we defend – and we protect.”

Music connects people through emotion and imagination. When the lyrics are in a rare language, it is even more special. Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse perform in Noongar language – the language of the traditional owners of the South-Western region of Australia.

Today, it is spoken by fewer than 400 people.

ONExGUITAR: Chris Tamwoy at TEDxBrisbane

Far Away From Home/Gungalaira: Black Arm Band at TEDxSydney 2014


Featuring Emma Donovan
Sung in English and Bundjalung
Musical arrangement Eugene Ball

Composed by Graham Tardif with lyrics by Rolf de Heer with Archie Roach. Words and music from the award-winning film The Tracker directed by Rolf de Heer.

Performance: Stiff Gins with Sydney Childrens Choir at TEDxSydney

The Stiff Gins, Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs, are one of Australia ‘s best known and most loved Indigenous music acts. These two women combine stunning harmonies and a wicked humour to transport you to a world of joy, spirit and song. Here they perform at TEDxSydney in 2012 with The Sydney Children’s Choir.

Under the direction of Lyn Williams OAM, the Sydney Children’s Choir has built a worldwide reputation for choral excellence, inspiring audiences with a distinctive Australian choral sound. The choir has commissioned more than 100 works from leading Australian composers and performs a significant number of Australian compositions each year.

Performance: Stiff Gins at TEDxSydney

The Stiff Gins, Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs, are one of Australia ‘s best known and most loved Indigenous music acts. These two women combine stunning harmonies and a wicked humour to transport you to a world of joy, spirit and song.

The didgeridoo — a window into culture and heritage | William Barton | TEDxUVA

William Barton is one of Australia’s leading didjeridu players. He is committed to educating the public about the rich cultural heritage surrounding this ancient instrument. Born in Mount Isa, William was taught to play the didjeridu by his uncle, an elder of the Waanyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga tribes of northwest Queensland. Touring internationally since he was 15, William played his first classical concert with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra when he was 17. William has worked with traditional dance groups and fusion/rock jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets and mixed ensembles. He has composed and recorded a number of orchestral works. His recording Kalkadungu won the 2012 ARIA award for best classical album.
Barton says, “My passion is to create a journey for people through music and present to them a diversity in musical styles with the didjeridu and engage with audiences about the uniqueness of Australia. It has been a specific passion of mine to work closely with classical music and composers to develop and sustain music for the didgeridoo in this environment.”

The future of Indigenous storytelling | Digi Youth Arts | TEDxSouthBank

Opening TEDxSouthBank 2015, Digi Youth Arts performed this moving acknowledgement of country to showcase how very bright the future of Australian Indigenous storytelling is. Special thanks to Mau Power for allowing part of the performance to feature his song ‘Freedom’.

Digi Youth Arts is a creative voice for Indigenous youth, they empower Indigenous young people through creative exploration and story-telling. Through innovative arts practices Digi Youth Arts advances culture by empowering the lives of Indigenous youth to tell their stories. Digi Youth Arts promotes reconciliation and cultural competency by fostering compassionate relationships between non-Indigenous and Indigenous people. @DigiYouthArts

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