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Parrtjima Speakers



Join Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts AO, and emcees Gemma Trueman and Marcellus Enalanga, in a series of captivating, thought-provoking and entertaining conversations and panel discussions. With topics as diverse as food sovereignty, the world’s first inventors and sovereign country, voices and action, get ready to be inspired and challenged by an amazing line-up of First Nations’s voices.

Dr Josie Douglas

Dr Josie Douglas is a long-time advocate for social justice and has been at the forefront of negotiating government policies to get the best outcomes for remote residents and communities. She is an award winning researcher having worked for research agencies such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Charles Darwin University (CDU). In 2017, Josie was awarded the prestigious WEH Stanner Award for her PhD. She has worked in senior executive positions at the Central Land Council (CLC) and Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, and is currently the General Manager, Professional Services, at the CLC. Josie is a descendant of the Wardaman people.

Declan Miller

An Arrernte, Anmatyerre man with Scottish heritage, Declan Miller was born and raised in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Declan is the Creative Director of Stick Mob Studio. He established the group while still at school, bringing on board a collective of local creatives to create visual stories through a broad range of media. He wrote the graphic novel Mixed Feelings to show the diversity of stories that make up the small town of Alice. Along with the team, Declan is working on sequels to three Stick Mob graphic novels – Mixed Feelings, Exo Dimensions and Storm Warning – and mentoring other students.

Benedict Stevens

Benedict Stevens is a Traditional Owner of Mparntwe (Alice Springs), senior Arrernte elder and Parrtjima Festival Reference Group advisor. He also works as an Aboriginal liaison officer at Alice Springs Hospital. Benedict believes it is important to keep passing on their culture to the coming generations.

Pat Ansell Dodds

Pat Ansell Dodds is from the Arrernte and Anmatyerre nations of Alice Springs. While Pat has always been involved in the arts, it wasn’t until the passing of her brother that she became immersed in art as a way of healing and tribute. Pat’s passion is her culture and the pursuit of social justice, tourism and cultural awareness outcomes in both academic and community circles. Pat expresses these pursuits through her art and has exhibited across Australia.

Floyd Doyle

Kabbi -Kabbi/Meriam man Floyd Doyle began his media career in 1989 as a trainee broadcaster with Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) radio. Hailing from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he was part of the ABC’s first intake of Indigenous cadets. He worked for ABC Radio and Triple J in Queensland before returning to Mparntwe (Alice Springs) to share his newfound skills and knowledge with local trainees. The veteran broadcaster made a welcome return to CAAMA in 2023, bringing listeners news and entertainment on the breakfast shift.

Felicity Hayes

Felicity Hayes is an Arrernte Elder, educator and senior traditional owner of Mparntwe (Alice Springs). She has spent her life campaigning for social justice for her people, the right to live on country and for the incorporation of the Arrernte language and culture to be taught as part of the education system. Felicity was the executive producer of the critically acclaimed documentary, In My Blood It Runs.

Marcellus Enalanga - Emcee

Marcellus Enalanga is a Western Arrernte, Pitjantjatjara, and Warlpiri filmmaker, TV presenter and public speaker from Mparntwe (Alice Springs). During his studies of screen and media at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education he was approached by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to provide a short video on how they “observe the moon” in the Western Arrernte language. Previous projects include being Cultural Producer on Dipped in Black, a multi-disciplinary film and photographic art project, and a host and reporter for Mob Talks, a First Nations focused talk show. Recently completing a journalism cadetship with SBS and NITV News, Marcellus plans to present the news.


A strong, proud Anangu/Torres Strait Islander woman, Miiesha (pronounced My-ee-sha) has a voice that showcases vulnerability and strength. She sings of her people, her community and her story with the raw emotion of lived experience. Her critically acclaimed debut collection of songs, Nyaaringu, means ‘what happened’ in the Pitjantjatjara language. Exploring the stories and strength she inherited from her late grandmother, the album won the 2020 ARIA for Best Soul/RnB release, a National Indigenous Music Award (NIMA) and Queensland Music Award. Miiesha uses her music to bring people together, inspired by the sounds of R&B, gospel and soul, and the power of spoken word poetry.

Dr Shellie Morris AO

Proud Yanyuwa and Wardaman woman Dr Shellie Morris AO is a multi-award-winning singer/songwriter. She creates music and sings in around 17 Australian Aboriginal languages, preserving and promoting culture. A celebrated international touring vocalist, feature performer in Black Arm Band and part of the internationally award-winning musical documentary Prison Songs, she is a varied and captivating artist. She was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours for “distinguished service to the performing arts, to the Indigenous community, and to not-for-profit organisations”.

Gemma Trueman - Emcee

An Anangu and Pitjantjatjara woman, Gemma Trueman grew up in Ceduna on the far west coast of South Australia. She is a dancer and an actress, appearing in the TV drama series Firebite, Rachel Perkins’s documentary series, The Australian Wars, and The Last Daughter, a documentary about the stolen generation. Gemma is the Indigenous Coordinator at Westminster School in Adelaide and also volunteers with Canteen Australia.

Roxanne Ngarulya Highfold

A mother of one, Roxanne Ngarulya Highfold has maternal ties with Central and Eastern Arrernte, and paternal ties with the Wirangu and Nurrunga peoples of South Australia. Roxanne is an experienced Aboriginal health researcher with a demonstrated history of working in the early childhood, child protection and primary healthcare industry. Roxanne works for the Central Land Council, supporting the economic growth and development of Aboriginal Prescribed Body Corporates (PBCs). She is also a keen environmentalist, with a specific focus on climate change and sustainability in the communities of Central Australia, and believes food sovereignty is critical to raising awareness and rethinking how communities are set up.

Emrhan Tjapanangka Sultan

Emrhan Tjapanangka Sultan (My Grandfather’s Country) is a distinguished Aboriginal artist whose creative journey weaves together ancestral traditions and contemporary artistic expression. Born and raised in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), he is strongly connected to his cultural values. He was taught, and given permission from his Elders, to paint in the traditional style of the Western and Central Desert art from an early age. In recent years he has been exploring different mediums, in particular digital designs and different colour pallets. In 2022, Tjapanangka helped found Solid Lines, a First Nations agency dedicated to representing First Nations illustrators. In 2023, Solid Lines took home the top Indigenous Design Award at the Good Design Awards.

Janet Turner

Janet Turner is a proud Arrernte woman who is an Aboriginal Liaison Officer with the Alice Springs Police, and joined the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group in 2023. She is the granddaughter of senior Arrernte elder, artist and author, the late Dr MK Turner OAM (1938-2023). For Parrtjima 2024, Janet has been liaising with the Turner family around one of the signature installations, Honouring.

Kutcha Edwards

A proud Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta, Nari Nari man, songman Kutcha Edwards is a strong advocate for Aboriginal people, and is dedicated to keeping his traditional Songline alive. His experiences as a survivor of the Stolen Generations and proud Mutti Mutti heritage has shaped his diverse creative output in groups like Blackfire and The Black Arm Band. At the same time, he’s forged a successful solo career combining his ‘Bidgee’ blues with traditional songs of people and country, performing at WOMAD, Port Fairy Festival, BIGSOUND in Queensland and Mona Foma in Tasmania. Now a multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Kutcha’s most recent album Circling Time has garnered critical acclaim.

Aaron Fa'aoso

Saibai Island man Aaron Fa’aoso belongs to the Kheodal (Crocodile) and Samu (Emu) clans of Torres Strait Islands. He is an Australian actor, screenwriter and producer, known for his roles in East West 101, The Straitsm, which he also wrote and produced, and Black Comedy. Aaron established Lonestar Productions in 2013, which brings stories of the people of the Torres Strait Islands and north Queensland to the screen.

Paul Ah Chee

An Alice Springs-based singer/songwriter, Paul Ah Chee ‘Ngala’ is Wangkangurru, Yangkuntjarra and Arrernte (southern). He has loved music since he was a young boy, but it wasn’t until he formed AMUNDA with three other local musicians in 1989 that he began to play in earnest. He recently embarked on a solo music project, Nowhere to Hide, releasing the vinyl and CD in 2023. Paul’s career has also embraced sport, business, and tourism. He is a Director on Tourism NT Board, Chair of the Aboriginal Tourism Committee and Director on the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) interim board.

Professor Greg Lehman

Professor Greg Lehman, from the Trawulwuy people of northeast Lutruwita/Tasmania, is the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership, at the University of Tasmania. An award-winning curator and writer, a well-known Tasmanian art historian, he frequently comments on Indigenous identity and place. He was a member of the National Museum of Australia’s Indigenous Reference Group and chaired the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s Aboriginal Advisory Council. He currently sits on the National Aboriginal Art Gallery Reference Group.

Nigel Browne

Nigel Browne is a descendant of the Larrakia and Wulna peoples. His traditional Country encompasses the lands and waters of the Greater Darwin Region, Darwin & Bynoe harbours, Shoal, Adam & Chambers Bay, Cox Peninsula, Vernon Islands, Adelaide & Mary Rivers, Acacia, Cape Hotham, Fogg Dam, Humpty Doo & Koolpinyah Stations and Djukbinj National Park.

He is the CEO of the Larrakia Development Corporation, previously serving as a Director from 2005 and Chair from 2010 to 2013. Nigel studied at Northern Territory University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 2001. Other professional roles include Crown Prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions NT (ODPPNT), Aboriginal Lands Solicitor for the NT (SFNT), and Policy Adviser. Nigel is a Director at The Healing Foundation, Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, Aboriginal Area Protection Authority (NT), AFLNT, Menzies School of Health Research and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. In 2011 Nigel was announced as the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year, in recognition of his advocacy, representation, and contribution to Larrakia and Aboriginal communities. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ken Lechleitner Pangarta

A Western Aranda and Anmatjere man, Ken Lechleitner Pangarta is on the leadership team of the combined Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC)/CASSE Aboriginal Men’s Shed Research Project. He is fluent in Western Aranda, Anmatjere and Warlpiri languages and is passionate about creating a place where men can be trained and developed in two worlds of understanding – Western World, Knowledge, Ideology, Society and Structure (WWKISS) and Indigenous culture according to Altjira (God). This is to help men regain responsibility in aspects of learning and relearning and what they need to know in going forward in this bi-cultural setting.