namu nunar 

(mother, mountain, sky)

Image: Trina Cary Photography

Coming soon as part of Festival 2018

Saturday 14 April, 3:45pm

The Circle, Cultural Forecourt, South Bank, Meanjin (Brisbane)




I was told stories of land, the sky and the feminine connections.

One is the story of the Bunya Mountains and Namu; the mountain, her breast and the mother’s milk, the Bunya nut.

The Wakka Wakka people would travel to the Bunya Mountains to feast on the Bunya nut when they were in season. Many people from surrounding areas would also travel to the mountains where they would all meet and feast on the nut.

My Aunt spoke of the clouds that sit on the mountains and that these are called Namu. They are the strings that carry our loved one’s spirit away to the sky once they have passed.

Nunar is the Wakka Wakka word for sky but also the same word for clouds, Namu is the mountain which is also the breast. The mother gives life and then sends the passed life to the sky.

We are the sky, we are the stars.

I dearly thank my Wakka Wakka Elder Aunty Evonne Chapman for sharing this story and also thank my other Wakka Wakka and Kombumerri Elders for their guidance, support and wisdom. This work is dedicated to my mother Warru.

This research has been supported by Critical Path and Mirramu First Nations Residency.

Yalu Dad

Image: Gavin Clarke

Coming soon as part of the Blak Friday program at Festival 2018

Festival Hub, South Bank, Meanjin (Brisbane)

Friday 13 April, 5 – 10pm (I’m on around 9:45pm)



One an Aboriginal man, the other a white Australian; Katina intertwines and embodies both dance histories of her two father figures from two different bloodlines.

Her Great Grandfather, a Wakka Wakka man, was a drover who not only wasn’t able to practice his own cultural dances but also wasn’t allowed to enter dance halls in his youth.

Her direct father, an Australian of Norwegian and British heritage celebrated Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary year on an official Tall Ship dancing away on Sydney Harbour with Katina as the youngest crew member aboard, one year old.

Merging these two distinctively contrasting and ironic dance histories of her patrilineal bloodlines, we go on a journey of nostalgia delving into Australia’s historical truths.

From the Australian Dance Award Nominated show DADS choreographed by Dance Makers Collective with direction by Miranda Wheen; Dance Makers Collective member Katina Olsen presents her story of her own Dad’s dance histories.