Legislative Council: Thursday, March 21, 2024


Baleen Moondjan

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (14:41): My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Will the minister please inform the council about the recent Baleen Moondjan performance at the Adelaide Festival?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:41): I thank the honourable member for his question. I was able to talk about the Fringe Festival earlier today, and I am very pleased to talk about the Adelaide Festival now, which since 1960 has been one of our state's most significant and beloved events on the calendar, amplifying artistic voices from homegrown talents as well as the best from around the world.

There is one particular performance that I am glad the honourable member has asked about because it is worthy of highlighting today. Glenelg Beach was transformed with towering white whale bones, creating a backdrop that took the viewer in the audience out of the suburb, surrounded by hotels, bars and high-rises, into a new place on the beach. Baleen Moondjan is a contemporary performance intertwining traditional ceremony, dance, spoken word, song and language and premiered for the first time in the world.

Stephen Page, who was most recently the artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre, co-wrote what he deems a 'generational, totemic, human creation story told through song, dance and language' with Alana Valentine. Talented First Nations dancers took part on the stage with the flow of the natural ocean surroundings. It enabled viewers to have one of the most intimate storytelling experiences possible. I know the Adelaide Festival is committed to amplifying First Nations voices, and with the success of the Baleen Moondjan performance it is completely understandable why that is the case.