Sydney – Monday 20 November 2017. The Sydney Opera House today announced a new series of its acclaimed podcast, Deadly Voices from the House, presenting intimate conversations with prominent First Nations artists and leaders exploring the vibrancy and diversity of contemporary culture. The podcast is hosted by acclaimed producer and Head of First Nations Programming, Rhoda Roberts AO.
The second season could not be more timely. Titled Perspectives, it features interviews with First Nations personalities from the arts, sport, social services and the entertainment industry who identify as LGBTQI+. Each episode explores gender, sexuality and marriage equality from an Indigenous and personal perspective.
Rhoda Roberts AO says: “The recent postal survey result delivered a resounding yes vote on same-sex marriage. However, the intersection of race, sexuality, gender and culture will continue to be very precarious for First Nations Australians who identify as LGBTQI+. I wanted this series to highlight the enduring spirit, trust and pride of the community – both in the city and the bush – and discuss some of the social justice challenges and cultural nuances that our LGBTQI+ community face.
“These influential and prominent First Nations leaders generously share highly personal stories of coming out, working with the system, working against it, and challenging those who continue to marginalise queer voices in the community.”
The first episode is available now on iTunes and Stitcher with new episodes will be released every Monday until December 18.
Episode 1: Transitioning features Beau James (who was known as Donna Carstens at the time of recording) – from the Mununjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation from South-East Queensland, with links to Stradbroke Island. Beau is an accomplished physical theatre/circus performer working in the community, arts, social-justice and education sectors. Beau has worked extensively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia and is currently employed as the Manager of Indigenous Programs at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney.
Beau reveals in the episode: “I’m so happy in my life at the moment, and who I’m becoming. It’s not becoming someone different, It’s becoming … the person that I’ve always wanted to be. I look at pictures of myself these days and I love what I see. I didn’t used to like pictures of myself – but now the outside matches the inside.”
Four additional interviews were recorded in the Sydney Opera House’s Intel Broadcast Studios for Season 2, featuring:
- Kirstie Parker and De Greer-Yindimicarlie - Kirstie holds a senior position within the South Australian Public Service and is the former CEO of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, seasoned political campaigner and representative for Indigenous voices. De is an award-winning Aboriginal artist practising across a variety of mediums and the owner/operator of Yindi Artz. She is also a graphic designer, film and music producer and entrepreneur. Kirstie and De make a formidable team.
- Dameyon Bonson, founder of Black Rainbow Foundation – a national advocacy and touch point set up as a social enterprise to prevent intentional self-harm and social isolation among Indigenous young people who identify as LGBTQI+.
- Ben Graetz – AKA Miss Ellaneous is an Indigenous queen who co-founded Miss First Nation 2017 which took place in September in Darwin and was a search for Australia’s best Indigenous Drag performers – it built on his work with Queens – The Ultimate Drag Crown. Ben is also a Creative Producer, director, writer & performer.
- Casey Conway, a Queenslander, former NRL player, leading Aboriginal model and advocate for LGBTQI+ inclusion in sport and acceptance within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Deadly Voices from the House
In July 2016, Deadly Voices from the House was launched as a podcast after over 20 years of success as a syndicated radio show on the National Indigenous Radio Service and the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. Season 1 featured interviews with AFL legend and Brownlow winner Adam Goodes, and the Shadow Minister for Human Services, Linda Burney, first Aboriginal woman to serve in the House of Representatives in the Federal seat of Barton. Hosted by the Sydney Opera House Head of First Nations programming Rhoda Roberts AO, it is part of the year-round First Nations program at Sydney Opera House, which celebrates the richness of First Nations culture and culminates in the free annual event Homeground taking place on November 25 - 26, 2017.
Deadly Voices from the House is supported by Sydney Opera House Presents, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia and the National Indigenous Radio Service.
The Sydney Opera House recognises the traditional owners of this country and pays respect to its Elders, past, present and future.