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Deadly Voices from the House

A podcast that takes intimate interviews with First Nations artists and leaders to the world

Acclaimed presenter, journalist, actor, producer and arts guru Rhoda Roberts AO presents Deadly Voices from the House, recorded live from Sydney Opera House. Featuring a diverse selection of guest appearances from prominent First Nations leaders from the music, arts and culture sector. Deadly Voices from the House provides an important platform to discuss critical issues and explore the vibrancy and diversity of contemporary culture.

Music series

To celebrate Reconciliation week, Rhoda Roberts speaks to musicians Julian Bel Bachir, Dobby, and Bow & Arrow, who all performed at the Sydney Opera House as part of the From Our House to Yours COVID19 Digital Program during 2020.

Julian Bel Bachir

Taken under the wing of leading instrumentalists and griots after studying with some of Africa's most highly respected masters, Julian Bel Bachir has worked with incredible bands and musicians from around the world. His works voyage through traditional melodies of Indigenous music from North-Western Africa with a modern influence. Accompanied by a collective of musicians of Saharan and sub-Saharan ethnic backgrounds the seasoned producer and musician fuses traditional folkloric African music together with contemporary and modern production


Rhyan Clapham, aka DOBBY, is a Filipino and Aboriginal rapper, drummer, composer and speaker with family from Brewarrina on Ngemba land. His works combine cultural stories and experiences with his impressive vocal, keyboard and drum skills to create rap that is contagious and unforgettable. Musically trained, DOBBY studied Aboriginal hip hop at UNSW.

DOBBY has performed as a rapper and drummer for Dance Rites, BIGSOUND 2017/18, The Plot Festival, Yabun Festival, Koori Radio events, at NAIDOC celebrations across Australia and as been a panelist at VIVID Sydney’s VIVID Ideas Exchange.

In this conversation, recorded in June 2020, he was interviewed by our former Head of First Nations, Rhoda Roberts.

You can watch DOBBY's Digital Stage performance from the Joan Sutherland Theatre Stage on Stream.

Bow & Arrow

Eccentric Blue Mountains-based electro soul duo Bow and Arrow, aka husband and wife team Mindy Jane (Bow) and Mitchell Kwanten (Arrow) have been seen tearing up the stage at Homeground, and headlining the 2020 Badu Gili Live series. Gathering a following through appearances on NITV, at Blues Fest and a nation-wide tour with The Sapphires, their debut EP 'Return To Me' is a flurry of creative expression made in one week from composition to release.

In this conversation, recorded in May 2020, they speak with our former Head of First Nations, Rhoda Roberts and are also joined by Gamilaroi man, Jack Hickey, the newest member of the band. Between them, they discuss how they met, their introduction to the music scene and what Reconciliation Week means to them.

Watch their energetic, entertaining and fun Digital Stage performance from the Joan Sutherland Theatre Stage, on Stream.

Letters to Cook

In two new episodes of Deadly Voices, recorded during creative development of the World Art Orchestra, participating artists Lisa Reihana, Moana Maniapoto and Nayuka Gorrie wrestle with the lingering legacy of one man and his colonialist mission.

Moana Maniapoto

“I have no emotions towards Cook whatsoever. I see him as a symbol of a change, and the impact of that change we are still dealing with.”

The musician and current affairs presenter Moana Maniapoto delivers a bold address not only to Cook, but to Australia as a nation. In this episode, she talks about passing identity through language, the shield of white privilege in New Zealand and Australia, and challenges the myths that our nations choose to uphold.

Lisa Reihana & Nayuka Gorrie

"I see him as a navigator, not as a hero."

In the first episode of our Letters to Cook miniseries, Rhoda Roberts introduces the Indigenous World Art Orchestra, a new First Nations gaze at Cook's journey told through fine music and first instruments.

Participating artists Lisa Reihana and Nayuka Gorrie read their two searing Letters, and chat with Rhoda about language, land, white mythmaking, the scar of colonialism and their experiences as First Nations women.

Natives Go Wild

In this Natives Go Wild miniseries, we talk with the cast and crew of the 'Sydney Opera House Presents' First Nations program which flips the narrative portrayed by history of the Barnum and Bailey circus, the so-called “greatest show on earth”.

Seini Taumoepeau

Listen to Seini Taumoepeau AKA SistaNative on the Deadly Voices podcast, a Tongan Australian who has a career spanning over 30 years in the performing arts as a presenter and a performer. She has been involved in broadcasting since she was 13 years old and is committed to extending the stories and narratives of Oceania and refers to herself as an orator and song woman.

Exploring the truth of a mistold tale of circus and wonder, Natives Go Wild uncovers the stories and tales of a mob of circus delights, highlighting their strength and resilience through provocative political humour, searing irony and stinging social commentary.

Josephine Mailisi

We are very excited to welcome to the stage Niuean multidisciplinary artist Josephine Mailisi. Josie is a talented contortionist, aerialist, choreographer and dancer. Some of her career highlights include MOTIVE 2018 where she was an aerial hoop soloist and co-producer, and the 2018 All Blacks vs China half time entertainment where she performed as an aerialist. Josie will be bringing our ‘FeeJee Mermaid’ to life through mesmerising aerial contortion. Listen to Josephine on the Deadly Voices podcast.

Exploring the truth of a mistold tale of circus and wonder, Natives Go Wild uncovers the stories and tales of a mob of circus delights, highlighting their strength and resilience through provocative political humour, searing irony and stinging social commentary.

Mika Haka

Listen to Mika Haka on the Deadly Voices podcast and discover this incandescent queer Maori performance artist. An absolute firecracker in New Zealand’s performance art world, Mika’s life has been an ongoing production of both the fabulous and the revolutionary. After discovering disco in the ‘70s, Mika has worked with Carmen, Dalvanius Prime and others to develop striking stage shows. He has recorded seven albums in Maori and in English and has received an APRA Maioha Award nomination recognising his contribution to contemporary Maori music. Mika will be leading our cast as the as the effervescent Ring Master.

Exploring the truth of a mistold tale of circus and wonder, Natives Go Wild uncovers the stories and tales of a mob of circus delights, highlighting their strength and resilience through provocative political humour, searing irony and stinging social commentary.

Chelsea McGuffin

Chelsea McGuffin is a circus performer and leading circus director from Brisbane, QLD and is leading our mob as the Director of Natives Go Wild. Chelsea has worked in circus companies such as Circus Monoxide, Flipside Circus and CIRCA Contemporary Circus. Since founding her own company, Company2, she has been committed to creating her own work which combines her dance background and passion for circus. Listen to Chelsea’s Deadly Voices podcast episode and hear all about her directorial plans for this exciting new circus cabaret.

Exploring the truth of a mistold tale of circus and wonder, Natives Go Wild uncovers the stories and tales of a mob of circus delights, highlighting their strength and resilience through provocative political humour, searing irony and stinging social commentary.

Season One

Patricia Ansell Dodds & Mervyn Rubuntja | Badu Gili

As part of our Badu Gili series, Rhoda Roberts chats with Patricia Ansell Dodds and Mervyn Rubuntja about their selected artworks.

Patricia has been painting for 14 years and has earned a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Associate Diploma in Business Management and Certificate One Tourism. She has lectured in Art, Aboriginal Cross Culture Courses at IAD as well as Aboriginal Cross Culture, History of Central Australia at Remote Health in Alice Springs for Flinders University. Her art has featured in logos for Nationals meetings in Alice Springs. Her art contributed to Alice Springs claiming the title of Territory Tidy town in 2007 as it decorated 30 bins for the local town council.

Mervyn was born at the Telegraph Station in Alice Springs. Mervyn has followed in his father’s footsteps painting in the watercolour style that his father taught him. When Mervyn was 13 years old his family moved to Hermannsburg this is where he first saw watercolour paintings as he watched his uncles Maurice, Oscar and Keith Namatjira painting like their father Albert. Arnulf Ebatarinja another uncle kindled Mervyn’s painting talent when he gave him some watercolour paperboard and taught him to paint.

Aiona Tala Gaidan | Badu Gili

Ainoa Tala Gaidan's artwork was selected to be projects onto the Sydney Opera House Sails as part of Badu Gili 2018.

Rhoda Roberts sits down with Ainoa to chat about his style and history in the art scene.

Dalisa Pigram | Gudirr Gudirr

Fervent, fierce and profoundly personal, Gudirr Gudirr is a powerfully emotive solo work by one of Australia's most revered Indigenous dancer-choreographers, Dalisa Pigram. Rhoda Roberts sits down with Dalisa to chat about the stage show's inception and what it means today.

Casey Conway | Sport

Casey Conway, is a former NRL player from Queensland. Not only is he an advocate for LGBTQI+ inclusion in sport and acceptance within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, but Casey's recognised around the world due to his modelling career with aussieBum.

Kirstie Parker & De Greer-Yindimicarlie | Partners

Partners features 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.

Ben Graetz | Performing

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.

Dameyon Bonson | Support

Dameyon Bonson is the founder of the 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+.

Beau James | Transitioning

Transitioning features Beau James (who was known as Donna Carstens at the time of the recording)—from the Mununjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation from South-East Queensland, with links to Stradbroke Island. Beau is an accomplished physical theatre and circus performer working in the community arts, social justice and education sectors. They have 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.

Danielle Ireland-Piper

Rhoda Roberts is joined by Danielle Ireland-Piper who serves as Co-Convenor of the Transnational, International and Comparative Law and Policy (TICLP) Network. She teaches constitutional law and various aspects of public international law. Her research interests include human rights, transnational crime, comparative constitutional law and public international law. Her employment history includes time as a NSW Ministerial Policy Advisor in Community Services and Aboriginal Affairs, as a legal officer at the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission, and in private legal practice. Danielle was also an Associate to the Honourable Justice Kiefel. In 2014, she was awarded a 'National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning' and in 2013, she won the 'LexisNexis / Australasian Law Teachers Association Early Career Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Law.

Linda Burney

Join Rhoda Roberts in conversation with Linda Burney in this week's Deadly Voices from the House.

Together they discuss Linda's career in politics, growing up not knowing of her Indigenous heritage, and the feeling of marching alongside 350,000 people for social justice and reconciliation.

Adam Goodes

Rhoda Roberts is joined by AFL legend, Adam Goodes for a discussion about his tireless work as Australian of the Year, the racial discrimination he faced throughout his sporting career, his work as a White Ribbon ambassador, and his plans for life after the Sydney Swans.

Rhoda Roberts and Ann Mossop

Welcome to Deadly Voices from the House an informative, entertaining half hour of storytelling and discussion, it delivers lively and revealing conversations with prominent First Nations leaders from the music, arts and culture sector here in Australia and overseas.

In the first episode, we turn the tables and Rhoda Roberts is interviewed by Ann Mossop, Head of the Talks and Ideas program at Sydney Opera House.  Rhoda discusses her childhood, her parents, coming to terms with the loss of her sister, and recently being awarded the Order of Australia medal.

Sneak Peek: Deadly Voices from the House

Announcing Deadly Voices from the House, a monthly podcast featuring conversations with First Nations artists & leaders from around the country hosted by Rhoda Roberts Head of Indigenous Programming.