We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders, Ancestors and leaders of the Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands ILBIJERRI Theatre Company is based.
We extend this respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, recognising their resilience and ongoing connection to land, water and culture, despite ongoing colonial interruption and genocide.
Always was, always will be, sacred Indigenous land.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be advised that this website may contain images of deceased persons.
ILBIJERRI is one of Australia’s leading theatre companies creating innovative works by First Nations artists. The longest established First Nations theatre company in Australia, ILBIJERRI creates, presents and tours powerful and engaging theatre by First Nations artists that gives voice to our Cultures.
ILBIJERRI is committed to growing a sustainable and vibrant First Nations arts ecology and is investing in the next generation of First Nations theatre makers and industry professionals.
Deep listening with and for Community and Country is central to our work. We take seriously our role as cultural leaders, continuing to make work that speaks to the truth of this country, celebrating the extraordinary resilience and strength of First Nations Peoples.
With 2021 marking 30 years since incorporation, ILBIJERRI continues to bring the brilliance and sophistication of bold, black voices to audiences in country halls, community spaces, prisons and major venues, across Australia and the world.
ELDERS IN RESIDENCE
Vital to the company’s operations has been the role of our Elders as cultural authorities and leaders. This ongoing program acknowledges the importance of Elders in our Community as leaders and keepers of Culture and knowledge.
Our Elders in Residence, N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs and Uncle Larry Walsh, contribute to ILBIJERRI’s strategic, artistic and cultural direction, with a particular focus on nurturing future generations.
ILBIJERRI Theatre Company exists to:
First Peoples voices are powerful in determining the future of Australia. We create impact by and for First Peoples through sharing our stories, our way.
THE POWER OF FIRST PEOPLES' VOICES
We work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytellers (writers, directors, actors, key creatives, theatre practitioners), to tell our stories through high quality theatre as a continuation of our culture.
FIRST PEOPLES' PROTOCOLS AND WAYS OF WORKING
We respect our people, community, and artists by working in accordance with the protocols of our own Community, and those whose Country we are working on. We honour our Elders and the lineage and legacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytellers who have come before us.
We ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people drive all key decision-making processes within ILBIJERRI.
We always give our fullest respect to our people, our Elders, our Culture, and Country and to all peoples with whom we share our land. We work with reciprocity and empathy, ensuring that all voices are heard.
DIVERSITY OF FIRST PEOPLES
We respect, celebrate, and embrace the cultural diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, our stories, our culture, and our experiences.
ILBIJERRI (pronounced ‘il BIDGE er ree) is a Woiwurrung word meaning ‘Coming together for Ceremony’.
ILBIJERRI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Cooperative (ILBIJERRI Theatre Company) was formed in 1991 when a group of Melbourne First Nations artists and Community members came together to form a professional theatre company for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Victoria.
Since the company’s inception we have been initiating and developing performances in collaboration with Community and artists. Our plays explore a range of complex and controversial issues from a uniquely First Peoples perspective. Our work possesses the power to reach out and remind audiences of every person’s need for family, history and heritage.
2023 GREEN ROOM, OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN/COMPOSITION
HEART IS A WASTELAND - Gary Watling, Lydia Fairhall, and James Henry
2021 GREEN ROOM, LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD ILBIJERRI Artistic Director, Rachael Maza
2019 AUSTRALIA COUNCIL AWARD FOR THEATRE
ILBIJERRI Artistic Director, Rachael Maza
2017 MELBOURNE AWARD
Contribution to Community by a Community Organisation
2017 DROVER AWARD ILBIJERRI Artistic Director, Rachael Maza - Touring Legend
2016 GREEN ROOM AWARD
BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR - Best Independent Theatre Production
2015 VICHEALTH AWARD
Building Health Through Arts
2015 DRAMA VICTORIA AWARD
Best Performance by a Theatre Company for VCE Drama - BEAUTIFUL ONEDAY
2014 HELPMANN AWARD
Best Regional Tour for 2013 - National Tour of JACK CHARLES V THE CROWN
2014 APACA DROVER AWARD
Tour of the Year for the 2013 - National Tour of JACK CHARLES V THE CROWN
2014 GREEN ROOM ASSOCIATION AWARD For Industry Contribution
2014 MELBOURNE AWARDS FINALIST
For Contribution to Profile by a Community Organisation
2013 CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS AUSTRALIA AWARDS Creative Partnerships Arts & Health Award - ILBIJERRI Theatre & Department of Health and Hepatitis Victoria
2012 HELPMANN AWARD NOMINATION Rachael Maza – Best Director Nominee for JACK CHARLES V CROWN
2012 HELPMANN AWARD NOMINATION Jack Charles – Best Actor Nominee for JACK CHARLES V CROWN
2012 THE SIDNEY MYER PERFORMING ARTS AWARDS Group Winner
2011 THE WOOR-DUNGIN AWARDS Celebrating partnerships between Indigenous organisations and philanthropy
2008 PUBLIC HEALTHCARE AWARDS Department of Services Secretary’s award for CHOPPED LIVER
2008 INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY JUSTICE AWARDS
Enforcement Initiative - CHOPPED LIVER
2006 DEADLY AWARDS Outstanding achievement in literature - Gary Foley, Kylie Belling and John Harding for DIRTY MILE