About Clancestry

Beginning in 2013, Clancestry, A Celebration of Country was a week-long festival that recognised the diversity of First Nations cultures from across Australia and internationally. Live performances, exhibitions, workshops, masterclasses and conversations were programmed over the ten days, culminating in a gathering of clans for Yawar – A Gathering.

With subsequent celebrations in 2014 and 2015, Clancestry grew to become a signature event on the Queensland cultural calendar.


Highlights included:

  • Opening Ceremony featuring ACPA, Chooky Dancers and local school dance groups.
  • Dirt song Black Armband
  • Clancestry conversations:
    1. Postcode Justice – When ‘where’ matters as much as ‘what’
    2. Life Through Art – In Conversation with Rhoda Roberts
  • FREE Concert featuring Troy Cassar-Daley
  • Community program: Chooky Dancers, Dark Roots, Impossible Odds, marketplace, workshops and performances.
  • Closing Dance Program featuring Chooky Dancers

Photo credits Mick Richards 2013, Jo-Anne Driessens 2013


Highlights included:

  • Song Circle – Yarns in Song featuring Uncle Archie Roach, Troy Cassar-Daly, Warren H Williams and Shane Howard
  • Cultural Forecourt Program featuring ACPA, Belle Flowers Choir, Getano Bann, David Dow, Robyn Green, Pat Morgan, Mr Johnny Nichol, workshops and performances.
  • Clancestry Conversations:
    1. Big Story, Little Story
    2. Contested Stories...Forgotten War
    3. The makings and meanings of black stories on our screens
  • Clancestry Pathways Concert
  • Those Days - Living History Project
  • Yawar – A Gathering
  • Us now

Photo credits Mick Richards 2014, Jo-Anne Driessens 2014


Highlights included:

  • Clancestry Conversations:
    1. Intersectionality and Indigeneity: Narratives of Black Australians who are #NotJustBlack
    2. “The Whole World is Watching”: The Makings of a Movement and the Rise of Black Media ##Blacktivism
    3. Singin’ up Sovereignty: #SovereigntyX
  • Community Concert featuring: Dana Warana, Black Smoke, Diji Youth Arts, First Nations Choir, Chris Tamwoy, Garret Lyons, Georgia Corowa, blakboi, Verandah Chix, Kahl Wallace, Robbie Miller, Angus Rabbit and the TAB, Adam James, Buddy Knox, Getano Bann, Radical Son, Graham Ackhurst, A Tribe Called Red and Classik Nawu.
  • Community Program featuring Our New Dreamtime, Jeanette Fabila, Richard Monaei, Inala Dance Academy, The Children’s Monologue, Guruman Dancers, Generations of Poetry, Theresa Creed, Talethea Wright, Protest Monologues, Jack Gray, Getano Bann, workshops, storytelling and installations.
  • Clancestry marketplace featuring artists Libby Harward, Warraba Weatherall and Alicia Jones
  • Yawar – A Gathering

Photo credits Mick Richards 2015, Jo-Anne Driessens 2015


A key element of the Clancestry Festival was Yawar – A Gathering, a contemporary corroboree where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance groups gathered to perform their cultural song and dance.

'Yawar' being a shared word between Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi, Butchulla, Yuggera and Yugarapul languages to mean ‘to sing and dance’.

Curated by a team of artists including Fred Leone, Aunty Nancy Bamaga, Shannon Ruska, Darren Brady, Senior community members and many others; each gathering has been distinctly different from the next. Drawing on the richness of each clan’s stories, song and dance, they have not only been a showcase of culture but a vibrant celebration and reminder of First Nations people’s role in Australia’s cultural landscape.