On the Couch with Brodie Murray

AAR-Brodie-Murray-photo-by-Denise-MartinWho is Brodie Murray?
My name is Brodie Murray. I am a Wamba Wamba man (Swan Hill, Victoria) with Indigenous and Scottish heritage. I am a 20-year-old Writer and Actor living near Castlemaine on Jaara country, Central Victoria. I grew up with a love of theatre and storytelling, coming from a performing family. My father is a cultural educator, musician and storyteller. And my mother is also a musician and a criminologist. I got into theatre through a youth acting program in Castlemaine before moving away to boarding school in year 8.

I spent last year in Perth, at WAAPA studying Aboriginal Performance. I am currently living back in Central Victoria and having a working gap year developing my craft as a young playwright. I’ve been lucky to have two plays that I have written be produced this year. Soul of Possum was performed at the Yirramboi Festival in May, and my new play, Billy’s Choice is about to be presented at Melbourne Fringe Festival.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
If I wasn’t a theatre maker, I would probably have gone down the career path of a tennis player. Tennis is a sport I’ve enjoyed from a young age, playing in a lot of junior tournaments growing up. And I still play in a local A grade competition in town.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by Evonne Goolagong Cawley, as I was mentored through her foundation. As well as her amazing achievements as an athlete, I respect the work she does to help young Indigenous kids in communities. Another personal mentor is friend and top First Nations theatre maker, Declan Furber Gillick. He is someone who has guided me over the past couple of years in my learning as an emerging playwright. I am inspired by his approach to storytelling and the Blak rights messages he expresses through his art forms, such as writing, poetry and music.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would like to keep writing and developing more stage plays. Being able to further express my Wamba Wamba and Scottish heritage through my writing. I’d hope that in doing this I’d be able to make a difference in telling the stories of Indigenous Victorians, to express what’s important to me about sharing knowledge and making connections between cultures.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’ve been to some nice places, but I would have to say Darwin. I’ve been lucky to stay in Darwin quite frequently growing up. I have good memories of taking family tennis trips as a teenager, visiting Litchfield National Park and the Sunset Market.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d take them to a place in Castlemaine known as The Mill. A nice complex in town used for Art exhibitions, and a solid place for live music gigs. Located next to the Botanical Gardens and a nice restaurant called Das Kaffeehouse.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading a novel called Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. I’ve recently read the tennis biography Rafa: My Story.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve been currently listening to Ed Sheeran’s music. I like how his strong Irish heritage comes through his music. I can kind of relate to this through my Celtic side, as I grew up listening to my parents play Celtic-Indigenous music.

Happiness is?
For me personally, happiness is felt when I’m surrounded by friends and family. When I’m around those I know are supporting and backing me in my journey; and who are only a phone call away. I’m happiest when I’m on stage, or when I’m home playing tennis with my little brother Lewis.

What does the future hold for you?
I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given so far, and the people who’ve guided me. I hope to keep working as a theatre maker.

Brodie has written and performs in Billy’s Choice as part of the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival’s Digital On Demand program: 7 – 17 October. For more information, visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au for details.

Image: Brodie Murray – photo by Denise Martin