New leaders take the helm of YIRRAMBOI Festival

AAR-Yirramboi-Festival-J-Maine-Beezley-and-Sherene-StewartYIRRAMBOI Festival has appointed two new creative leads, heralding the arrival of a new and invigorating era for Australia’s premier First Nations festival in 2023.

The Festival platforms the interconnectedness and diversity of First Nations creatives, with a ten-day program spanning the breadth of artistic expressions with a collective voice of resilience.

Sherene Stewart (Taungurung/Filipino) will take on the role of Creative Lead, while J-Maine Beezley (Wakka Wakka) has been appointed the festival’s Lead Creative Producer.

“We have had the upmost privilege to be developed by the greatest First Nations community leaders and creative thinkers of our time,” said YIRRAMBOI Festival Creative Lead Sherene Stewart.

“Every person we’ve come across in our five years at YIRRAMBOI has some way shaped and informed our vision. We understand intimately what it means to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ when taking on these new roles.”

“Our community has given us the greatest gift of opportunity to now be in a position to return it and as Jacob once said, ‘if you have the platform to hold open the window of opportunities, you jam it open and pull as many people through as you can.”

“We are dedicated to continuing Caroline’s commitment in grounding the Festival in Victoria, reaching regional talent across the state to then extend that support across interstate lines and international waters.”

“YIRRAMBOI 2023 will be a feast of creativity, spotlighting the interconnectedness and diversity of our people. Different generations, different mediums, different communities, with one driving force – our commitment to the strength in our TOMORROW,” said Stewart.

The new co-leads will work closely with YIRRAMBOI’S inaugural First Nations advisory group, embedding the commitment to First Peoples self-determination and a collective voice in the festival’s 2023 iteration and beyond.

The advisory group will be made up of nine highly skilled creatives from a range of practises and generations to make informed decisions to best support the First Nations creative industry. Members of the advisory group will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Festival’s creative leads have gained more than five years of industry experience with YIRRAMBOI under the guidance of Elders and renowned creative practitioner Jacob Boehme (Narangga/Kaurna) and arts, culture and tourism senior leader, Caroline Martin (Boonwurrung/Wemba Wemba).

Sherene and J-Maine will mentor the next generation of First Nations creative leaders and work with the advisory group to make informed decisions to best support the First Nations creative industry.

YIRRAMBOI also welcomes back Cara Tamandl (Ally) as Business Manager, who’ll bring her wealth of experience in the events and creative industries.

YIRRAMBOI Festival 2023 will be back for its fourth iteration from 4 – 14 May. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: J-Maine Beezley and Sherene Stewart (supplied)