Artwork by Charlotte Allingham.
Artwork by Charlotte Allingham. Image: Charlotte Allingham
© Charlotte Allingham

Ngalu warrawi marri means ‘we stand strong’ in the language spoken by Aboriginal peoples of Sydney city. This popular up late event returns in 2023 on 25 January to celebrate the continued resistance and ongoing resilience of First Nations Peoples and features an outstanding line-up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, performers and activists.

Experience live music, hands-on workshops and talks that will interrogate the way we celebrate national identity.

First Nations voices will join together to share lived experiences of colonisation and reclaim First Nations agency. Guests will encounter truth-telling and an opportunity to challenge their own perceptions.

Hosted by Brothablack and Aiesha Saunders, with performances by Jem Cassar-Daley and Bow and Arrow, plus live demonstrations, weaving workshops and much more.

Registration is required.



Event program

Time: 5.30pm
Location: Hintze Hall stage

To open the evening, guests will be welcomed to Gadigal Land.


Time: 5.45-8.45pm

Location: Hintze Hall stage

Jem Cassar-Daley

Jem Cassar-Daley graced the Brisbane music scene in 2021 with her debut single ‘Letting Go’, followed by sophomore track ‘Changes’ and now her latest, ‘Like it More’. Still in the early days of her solo career, the 21-year-old singer-songwriter is already creating the standard of art that can only see her flourish.

The young talent has come into her own as a contemporary artist, with a world class sound that is a unique combination drawing from favourites like Missy Higgins, Phoebe Bridgers, Angus and Julia Stone, and Carole King. As imagined, the result is a gorgeously diverse soundscape of soul, indie, pop grooves.

Bow and Arrow

Bow and Arrow are a contemporary First Nations electro-soul trio (Wiradjuri/Gamilaraay/Dhudhuroa) operating out of Gadigal Country. As multi-instrumentalists their unique live show sees them create an eccentric experience right before your very eyes as they continually cross live between instruments.

Come for a ride on the mothership! You can expect a big vibe with a mix of modern day and traditional FN instruments, monster vocals, jungle rhythms with electro beats, funky guitars, weird gadgets, live sampling, looping, language reclamation, a whole lot of heat and a massive heart!


Time: 6.20pm

Location: Hintze Hall stage

Winner of the 2019 Young People’s Human Rights Medal, Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts, will discuss how her advocacy work brings attention to the prejudice faced by First Nations people in statutory care and the justice system.

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts is a proud Bundjalung Widubul-Wiabul woman, an advocate for Human Rights, a storyteller and writer. A survivor of statutory ‘Out of Home Care’, Vanessa continues to drive national discourse and to empower First Nations voices using education, advocacy and research. After completing a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Social work at the University of New South Wales with First Class Honours, Vanessa has continued to dedicate her life towards the movement and freedom for justice, self-determination and ensuring children’s voices are heard and represented. Vanessa is currently a researcher at the University of Technology, where her work is centred around decolonising child protection in the lives of First Nations people.


Hear from Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts and Sené Maluwapi as they share their perspectives on the ongoing challenges affecting mob today and explore ways Australians can engage to be greater allies in the efforts towards self-determination and genuine change with host Aisha Saunders.


Time: 5.30-8.45pm

Location: Westpac Long Gallery

Brad Burrows gives live wood carving demonstrations throughout the evening in the Westpac Long Gallery. Plus you can catch him being interview by Biripi woman Aeisha Saunders, a First Nations journalist, content creator, researcher, and curator.


Time: 5.30pm -8.45pm

Location: Westpac Long Gallery and Hintze Hall

An artist of Barkindtji, Yorta Yorta and Duduroa heritage, Tegan Murdock and the team from Ngumpie Weavers will host drop-in workshops guiding visitors through the cultural practice of weaving.


Time: 6.30pm | 7.30pm | 8.30pm

Location: First Nations Galleries

Join us for free Waranara Tours every hour during Ngalu. Meet near the Admissions Desk and have our guides take you through our First Nations Galleries and share their own personal connections, stories and insights into the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.



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