Darwin Program 2011
The Long Walk is pleased to present Leila Gurruwiwi, Nova Peris and Shelley Morrison:
Originally from Elcho Island and Gove, North East Arnhem Land, Leila has lived in Victoria for most of her life. Leila has worked on the Marngrook Footy Show as a Reporter and News reader since the show began in 2007 and is also a regular presenter on the Marngrook radio program. She has a great understanding and love for the game and is a keen Western Bulldogs supporter.
Nova Peris has had a remarkable career as an athlete. A mother at 19, Nova worked hard to earn a place in the Australian Women’s Hockey team. In 1996, at the Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, USA, the Australian Women’s Hockey team won the gold medal. Nova became the first Indigenous Australian and the first Northern Territorian to win an Olympic gold medal.
She embraced the new challenge of competing at an international level in Athletics. She won gold in the 200 metres and 4 x 100 metre relay at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Nova then went on to represent Australia in the semi finals in the 400 metres at the Sydney Olympics.
Among her other achievements, Nova was named Young Australian of the Year in 1997 and then became a treaty ambassador for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). Through her charity “Peris Enterprises” she continues to advocate and promote an active lifestyle and health checks among Indigenous children and communities.
Shellie Morris is an Australian Aboriginal singer songwriter who performs earthy and honest songs. Shellie has a beautiful voice and her soulful enigmatic acoustic ballads are guaranteed to delight the listener. The Australian newspaper described her as ‘an aboriginal chanteuse of rare seriousness and grace’. She has performed everywhere from rural outback Australia to London Festival Hall and the Sydney Opera House with great reviews.
Shellie is currently a featured Aboriginal singer with the Black Arm Band. (A collaboration of Australia’s top indigenous artists and jazz musicians) Her song Swept Away was orchestrated and performed in 2008 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. A documentary film on Shellie’s life as an indigenous singer was commissioned and broadcast nationally in 2009 as well as her concert at the Sydney Opera house with aboriginal musician Gurrumul Yunupingu.
She has released two albums to date and is currently writing the music for her third CD. In addition to this Shellie performed and co-wrote the music Liberty Songs collaboration between refugees from Liberia and indigenous Australian singers. In 2004 and 2005 Shellie was awarded the Female Musician of the Year at the N.T. Indigenous music awards. Her album Waiting Road was nominated for album of the year at the 2007 Deadly Awards (Australian aboriginal awards). In 2010 Shellie performed her aboriginal song Swept Away at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with the Black Arm Band.
Shellie works with Indigenous / aboriginal communities and youth throughout Australia, helping young aboriginal people to write music about their experiences. She is an ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation (an organisation undertaking blindness prevention in Australian aboriginal communities, Asia, Africa and the Pacific)
This year Shellie sang alongside the international music stars Sinead O’Connor, John Cale, Meshell Ndegeocello, Rickie Lee Jones and aboriginal singer Gurrumul Yunupingu for the show 7 Songs to Leave Behind. Shellie has performed at WomadUK and WomAdelaide and has shared the bill and with touring artists of the calibre of Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach, Grinspoon, Vicka and Linda Bull, You am I, Tiddas, Jimmy Little, Bluehouse, Rebecca's Empire and Magic Dirt, Chris Bailey (The Saints) Shane Howard (Goanna)