Portrait of Christine Donnelly by Mervyn Bishop, exhibited in the Sydney Elders exhibition.
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CONTENT WARNING: This website may contain voices, images or names of people who have died.
Christine Donnelly has been connected to the Eora community (inner Sydney) since she was a teenager. Her grandfather’s bloodline is from the Hawkesbury River Darkinjung people who are connected to the Sydney clans.
Christine is the founder of the Aboriginal Dance Theatre in Redfern, which opened in 1979 and she is currently the CEO. The original concept for the theatre grew out of political struggles, especially the land rights demonstrations. The theatre and use of performance were utilised by the Aboriginal community in Redfern as a form of political action, and helped to publicise issues such as Aboriginal rights and self-determination.
Dance is a powerful form of creative expression in our culture, and Christine supports Aboriginal people being able to dance in their own way, whether they have learnt it traditionally or if they now incorporate more contemporary forms into their practice.