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 collaborates with partners to deliver innovative performance works that connect with mob, spark conversations, and sustain healthy communities. Our partnerships with government departments and health agencies coupled with our connection to Community ensures we deliver focused, socially impactful, works from a uniquely First Nations perspective.
These works are crafted from health message provocations, devised with Community, for Community. Our methodology privileges Indigenous knowledge and cultural values, with community engagement as a central goal. For us the journey of developing theatre-works with Community is just as important as the resulting finished works.
We are acutely aware of the unfairly disproportionate numbers of our people represented in places such as legal centres, prisons, youth detention centres, and health care hubs - and the systemic problems behind these statistics.
This makes it even more important for us to meet Community where they are at. We strive to give community members ownership over material being explored, and agency in discovering culturally safe ways to reduce stigma and address health. ILBIJERRI’s Social Impact works are performed at no charge to participants, audiences, or Communities.
In 2005 ILBIJERRI was approached by the Victorian Government Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) to develop a play that would communicate hepatitis C prevention and education messages in a culturally appropriate way to the First Nations Community. Through this partnership, and further partnerships with Hepatitis Victoria (now LiverWell), VACCHO and NACCHO, ILBIJERRI went on to create works including: Chopped Liver, North West of Nowhere, VIRAL and Body Armour.
In 2019, ILBIJERRI was invited into a new partnership through a Social Impact Program funded by Creative Victoria and Vic Health to create a new work with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), titled Scar Trees, dealing with issues of family trauma. In 2019 DHHS confirmed funding for two new works - one tackling the topic of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) called The Score and the other focused on menopause, Goodbye Aunty Flo. These works are both in development in 2021 and 2022. They will be created and delivered through a holistic engagement process including community workshops and yarning circles.
This program incorporates a new training program for our facilitators who work in Community with Community. This program bolsters ILBIJERRI’s commitment to constantly evolving our methods of working in and with Community - creating work that is relevant, empowering, and impactful to those whose lives it reaches.
We are currently devising new touring models for these productions, and are leading our creative sector in doing so.
Top photo: Workshop 2018. Photo by Tiffany Garvie
This project is supported by the Victorian Government through the Department of Health