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  • Indigenous event suppliers to enhance your sustainability outcomes

    May 14, 2023

    The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) actively encourages event professionals to consider using local indigenous event suppliers when holding a conference, business meeting, gala event or incentive program in Victoria.

    It could be something simple, like engaging with a First Nations graphic designer to incorporate indigenous-themed artwork on your exhibition booth, as MCB did for its 2023 AIME booth built by partner, Harry the hirer.

    Or use a First Nations artist to design your conference logo and promotional artwork, recently implemented by the Rotary International Convention coming to Melbourne in May.

    Here are some indigenous suppliers taken from the Kinaway directory you may wish to work with on your future event.

    Singer: Bumpy

    Emerging with her own independent artistry, BUMPY is a proud Noongar woman who delves into a world where vulnerability is power. She presents an introspective view into her truths and learnings whilst delivering it with her hypnotic vocal style and layers of lush melodic themes.

    As well as performing solo and in full band form, Bumpy has been sighted on stages across Australia such as Rabbits Eat Lettuce, Strawberry Fields, Grampians Music Festival and St Kilda Festival. Her debut release ‘Falling’ (Sept 2020) caught national attention and saw her featured in ABC’s NAIDOC special alongside Emma Donovan and the Putbacks and Uncle Kutcha Edwards.

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    Musician: Kiernan Ironfield

    Kiernan Ironfield is a Dharug man and self-taught Yidaki player. Through his music Kiernan creates spaces to explore thoughts and be led by the vibrations of the Yidaki. Kiernan acknowledges the Yolngu people as custodians of the Yidaki and the people of the Kulin nation, whose land he lives upon.

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    Kiernan Ironfield 

    Image: Kiernan Ironfield performing at the Melbourne stand at AIME 2023.

    Dance troupe: Djirri Djirri Cultural Services

    Djirri Djirri Cultural Services are the only Wurundjeri female dance group and are also Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne). Many of their group have danced since they were young children, while others have learnt as adults. Their dances are created to honour their Liwik (Ancestors), Kerr-up-non (Family), Biik (Country) and animals. They are all related by blood through one woman, Annie Borate, William Barak's sister. They teach their dancers to also sing in Woiwurrung language, their Mother Tongue.

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    Musician and speaker: Kutcha Edwards

    After performing for 10 years with other bands, Kutcha released his first solo album Cooinda in 2002 followed by Hope in 2007. Inspired by the album Songline, Kutcha wrote, produced and performed his first theatre piece, Songlines of a Mutti Mutti Man, with the show receiving a Victorian Indigenous Performing Arts Award. Kutcha went on to create a one-man version of Songlines of a Mutti Mutti Man, called yuyukatha, which he toured throughout Victoria. Kutcha was subsequently invited to join the renowned Black Arm Band and toured for several seasons both nationally and internationally.

    In 2016 Kutcha was inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame and has since been awarded the Melbourne Prize for Music and received the inaugural fellowship with the VCA for Most Distinguished Musician. Kutcha has performed many concerts and festivals, presented workshops to numerous educational and organisation bodies on a range of issues, and acted as guest speaker at significant occasions.

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    Opening Ceremony AIME 2023 

    Image: Including meaningful Welcome to Country performances into Melbourne business events, such as AIME 2023 at Marvel Stadium.

    Artist: Karalinar

    Jarra Karalinar Steel is a multidisciplinary artist known for her Melbourne Art Tram and curating the 2022 Rising art trams, powerful poster art, large-scale public installations, augmented reality, digital art, emu egg engravings, and commemorative signage. Steel's work explores her identity, memories, pop culture, folklore from her cultural history, and lived experiences growing up in Melbourne and living on country in culture with knowledge passed down through her family. Steel is of Boon Wurrung, Wemba Wemba, Trawlwoolway, English and Scottish descent, and is based in Melbourne’s south on Boonwurrung country.

    She is a passionate advocate and consultant for self-representation of Victorian First Peoples art and culture and making sure it is kept alive and thriving. Her focus in public and community art looks at ways to insert contemporary cultural visual language into the urban and digital landscape by reclaiming space and belonging through digital storytelling.

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    Graphic designer: Neonic

    Neonic is a freelance graphic designer, helping to strengthen visual brand identities. Providing graphics to get your messages across in ways that are memorable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing, Neonic works with clients to help translate their goals and ideas into design concepts.

    Melbourne stand at AIME 2023 

    Image: Incorporating indigenous designs into tradeshow booth artwork.

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    Graphic designer, public speaking and video production: K‘Tahni Pridham

    K'Tahni Pridham is a proud Marra & Yanyuwa woman originally from Darwin, who is now working and thriving in Naarm. She is a creative soul who has demonstrated professional and personal experience in art, graphic design, hosting/public speaking and video production. K'Tahni prides herself on her unique and vibrant style, which embraces her cultural lens - blending traditional and contemporary elements.

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    Caterer: Street Feast

    Street Feast is an Indigenous Owner/Operator business, with Dale being a proud Monero Ngarigo man from Orbost in East Gippsland. Based in Campbellfield, Street Feast is the original 'Low and Slow' street food vendor in Melbourne. The work of husband and wife team Dale and Jenni, they have over 30 years combined experience in the hospitality industry from cooking and creating, to Front of House management and exceptional customer service.

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    Caterer: Mabu Mabu

    Mabu Mabu are a Torres Strait Islander owned and operated catering business with a focus on using native ingredients to bring people together. You’ll also find their restaurant, Mabu Mabu, at Melbourne’s Federation Square.

    Mabu Mabu is a saying from the Torres Strait that means ‘help yourself’. The Torres Strait is a multicultural place where Asian and Polynesian flavours have strongly influenced their cooking. Mabu Mabu believe that food is one of the greatest ways they can share both culture and community.

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    See catering menu

    mabu mabu 

    Image credit: Mabu Mabu by Tourism Australia

    Florist: Alchemy Orange

    Alchemy Orange is a botanical design studio based in Naarm, established by proud Yorta Yorta woman Shahn Stewart. Drawing on Shahn’s decade of floristry experience, Alchemy Orange’s work focuses on challenging the preconceived notions of what constitutes floral art by re-contextualising mundane and unconventional materials, transforming them into Organic Architecture.

    Alchemy Orange specialise in creating custom botanical sculptures, floral arrangements and activations to suit a range of spaces and events.

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    Videography and music production: Lion Heart Nation Productions

    Lion Heart Nation Productions was born in 2019, swiftly emerging from the arts and into the corporate world, to provide videography and music production solutions. With a raft of projects in its portfolio, ranging the genres of music video, corporate video, and documentary, Lion Heart Nation Productions has prided itself on quality, creativity and clarity of message. Not afraid to lean into the client’s vision, Lion Heart Nation Productions customises its projects to customer needs.

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    Find an event supplier on the Kinaway First Nations business directory

    Kinaway’s purpose is to provide business support and advice, help improve visibility and networks, strengthen relationships and create opportunities for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander businesses.

    Go to the Kinaway directory for more suppliers

    Ask MCB for free support and advice

    The MCB team is available to help source suppliers, enhance your program and support your social sustainability goals.

    Get in touch