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Meet the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group

Parrtjima is held on Mparntwe (Alice Springs), which is connected to the estates of Mparntwe, Antulye and Irlpme. This also includes a network of people who have connections to these areas; some of whom have established the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group (PFRG) to guide and help create Parrtjima.

Together, they invite visitors to come and experience Parrtjima, and watch the desert come alive with new artworks, light shows and a program of performances, interactive workshops, music, films and talks.

Benedict Stevens

Benedict Stevens (Co-Chair, Parrtjima Festival Reference Group) 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.

Felicity Hayes

Felicity Hayes (Co-Chair, Parrtjima Festival Reference Group) 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.

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.

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.