Carriageworks announces inaugural First Nations Fellowship recipient Henrietta Baird

Carriageworks-First-Nations-Fellowship-Henrietta-Baird-photo-by-Blue-LucineCarriageworks, one of Australia’s largest multi-arts precincts, has announced it will launch a new First Nations Fellowship and award of the inaugural fellowship for 2022-2023 to Kuku Yalanji/Yidindji multimedia artist Henrietta Baird.

The Carriageworks First Nations Fellowship is valued at $100,000 and supports a First Nations artist in the research and development of new work, spanning a two year period. During the course of the Fellowship, Carriageworks will make a significant investment in the Fellowship artist, with a contribution of $25,000 per year plus additional support in the form of in-kind venue hire, production and producing support.

“The First Nations Fellowship represents a significant commitment to First Nations art practices, culture and perspectives,” said Jacob Boehme, Director, First Nations Programs at Carriageworks. “The Fellowship will give First Nations artists the opportunity to deepen and develop their practice at key moments in their careers.”

“We are thrilled to announce Henrietta Baird as the inaugural recipient of this major new artist fellowship. Henrietta is an exceptional artist working at the forefront of First Nations art, writing and performance.”

During her Fellowship from 2022-2023, Baird will continue her research of native bush plants from her Country, exploring movement based on the methods and processes of collecting, preparing and applying traditional plants to make medicine, telling stories and preserving cultural knowledge through dance.

Baird is currently developing a performance called Plant A Promise, centering around land management and climate change from both scientific studies and First Nation’s cultural perspectives. Alongside her art, Baird studies a Certificate III in Land Management and conducts tours and holiday programs involving native Flora and Fauna and the history of the Sydney people.

Henrietta Baird graduated from NAISDA (National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association) Dance College in 2005, and has performed and collaborated for many notable productions both nationally and internationally.

These include Wiradjourni (2004) NAISDA Dance College at The Rocks, My Right Foot Your Right Foot (2006) at the Australian Choreographic Centre with Vicki Van Hout, The Stirring at Carriageworks (2007) with Tess De Quincey Co, Pop Whistle Crack (2012) with Marilyn Miller in Cairns, Stolen (2017) at Riverside Theatre and regionally (2018) with Vicki Van Hout, The Serpent/s (2018) with Anandavalli and Vicki Van Hout at Critical Path, and Matriarchs Uprising (early 2020) performed in North America.

Henrietta performed at the Australian Performing Arts Market for Mariaa Randall’s work, Divercity, which premiered at Dance Massive in 2017 and at Adelaide Festival in 2018. Henrietta recently performed at the 2019 Dance Massive Festival directed by Mariaa Randall creating a work called Stories as part of Same But Different – Dubaikungkamiyalk. Henrietta was one of six Aboriginal writers to be a part of the Yellamundie Festival, as part of Sydney Festival.

In January 2019, Henrietta was invited to be a part of Hacking the Anthropocene by Critical Path in partnership with MAAS to respond to the ideas of the Anthropocene. Recently, Henrietta worked for Pauline Lampton as a guest choreographer alongside Albert David for Bayal Kaymanem (Dancing Smoke) which was performed with Miriki in 2019.

The Carriageworks First Nations Fellowship is open to artists across multiple disciplines. Carriageworks will undertake an Expression of Interest process in mid-2023 for the next 2024-2026 Fellow. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Henrietta Baird – photo by Blue Lucine