Spend a day with some of Sydney’s most exciting and engaging musicians, performers, artists and cultural leaders to explore the meaning of Our Place...

Our Place: Australian National Maritime Museum X Vivid Ideas


2 Murray Street
2000 NSW

Australian National Maritime Museum
Our Place: Australian National Maritime Museum X Vivid Ideas
Our Place: Australian National Maritime Museum X Vivid Ideas


Sydney Sonata Singers

Sydney Sonata Singers

The Sydney Sonata Singers are a close-knit association of music lovers whose idea of fun is to come together on weekends and sing the songs they grew up with. The choir master and conductor is the amiable and charismatic Loy Tagudin who also does the vocal arrangement and coaching. The majority of their repertoire is in Filipino in keeping with their intention to revive and popularise classic Filipino music.

The Mesopotamian Tri0

The Mesopotamian Trio

The Mesopotamian Trio was established in 2018, and specialises in playing Mesopotamian (Iraqi) folk music in a contemporary style.

The Peacemakers Ensemble

The Peacemakers Ensemble

The Peacemakers Ensemble was established in 2016, and perform Arabic and Middle-Eastern songs from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and beyond. 

Jagath Dheerasekara

Jagath Dheerasekara

Jagath was granted political asylum in France in the early 90s when he had to leave Sri Lanka due to political and human rights activism. He settled in Australia with his family in 2008. Jagath’s multi-disciplinary work is chiefly informed by his personal and collective memory and the incidents of fragility of the principles of humanity. He has presented his work in a number of solo exhibitions and selected group exhibitions. His work is held in both institutional and private collections. Jagath lives and works in south-west Sydney.

Uncle Wes Marne

Uncle Wes Marne

Uncle Wes Marne is Bigambul man and community elder who has lived in Mount Druitt for the past 45 years. He is a storyteller, poet and custodian of his grandfather’s Creation and Dreamtime stories. Uncle Wes is a published author, and has toured his work, Fire Bucket at Sydney Festival (2016), Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival in Melbourne (2017) and Way Out West Children’s Festival at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2017).

Uncle Wes comes from a long line of storytellers and has been working with children, primary and high schools, universities, gaols, social housing and justice to share his love of culture and stories throughout all the community.

Agal Dance Company

Agal Dance Company

Agal Dance Company was established in August 2018 and is based in Parramatta. A contemporary dance company, Agal explores the style of Bharathanatyam (South Indian Classical Dance). It is the only company in Australia using a South Asian vocabulary to critically think about the world and the issues affecting the Australian South Asian diaspora.



A self-proclaimed dreamy-dark-pop princess from South New Zealand; Sepora feels good being a little bad and she sings a little sad. This now Sydney-based artist performs solo regularly at select venues and private functions, exercising the ability to command stages with just a guitar & her voice, including notable Sydney venues Big Top & Sydney Town Hall.
With a striking moniker, Sepora takes her well-crafted originals to band, leading with a passionate vim that shines through their captivating live shows, and a soulful voice brings a timeless quality to a unique and dynamic repertoire.

Jannawi Dance Clan

Jannawi Dance Clan

From the rich story telling traditions of Aboriginal NSW, Jannawi Dance Clan shines a light on strength, resilience and artistry of Aboriginal women, men, youth and dance culture today. Jannawi dance clan is an Indigenous dance company encompassing modern urban and traditional Aboriginal dance styles with traditional music by song man Matthew Doyle singing in the Sydney languages. The name Jannawi means ‘with me, with you’ in the Darug language of NSW Jannawi has a passion and are dedicated to continue and revitalize Sydney’s language culture and stories. Jannawi is committed to nurturing a strong cultural and contemporary identity, following the traces of our ancestor’s footprints. This is achieved by remaining strongly connected to the roots of its tradition, and creating a cultural pathway of dance, song and stories, from both past and present.

Cook Island Reo Manea

Cook Island Reo Manea

Be lifted by the sounds of vocal and ukulele ensemble Cook Islands Reo Manea. Sharing songs from their island homelands to Australian shores, these elders from the Blacktown and Western Sydney community gather to share culture and stories through music.

Bahman Kermany

Bahman Kermany

Bahman Kermany is an Iranian Australian painter who currently lives in Sydney. At the age of sixteen he moved to Australia where he finished High school. He holds a bachelor of visual Art from National Art School and currently exhibits with galleries. Bahman started to learn music in Iran and after migration he joined the school band. Having played with several different bands, soon he took interest in his native Iranian instrument, Dotar. With the help of his friend, teacher and mentor Mr. Maziar Kalantarian he starts to learn traditional on dotar and continues to learn from his master. He has been finalist in several major art prizes and performing music, including Art gallery of NSW.

Mohammed Lelo

Mohammed Lelo

Mohammed Lelo is a master of the Qanun, And one of the few true proponents of the instrument here in Australia. He completed a Masters of Arabic Music on Maqam (the Arabic music modal system) at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad. He has toured across the Middle East as a regular performer for Arabic popstars, before moving to Australia. Mohammed’s practice crosses the borders of Arabic music to western jazz fusion. For this reason, he is a highly sought after artist due to his musical flexibility. He regularly performs in ensembles and collaborations with musicians for festivals, theatre and music events.

PYT Fairfield

PYT Fairfield’s vision asserts and celebrates Australia as a culturally diverse nation. PYT Fairfield is the only professional theatre company in Western Sydney focused on the development and engagement of local young and emerging artists as core practice. PYT has a reputation as a brave and transformative theatre company who make urgent work that explores the critical issues of our times. We challenge the conventions of traditional theatre and respond to the needs and aspirations of the next generation of artists. We do this by creating innovative performance and social artistic experiences in theatre spaces and across diverse urban sites of Fairfield, Western Sydney and beyond, and with a key focus on cultural diversity.

A Taste of Dorr-e Dari

A Taste of Dorr-e Dari

Join us for this intimate poetry salon with the cast members from PYT Fairfield’s smash hit, Sydney Festival show Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love. In a pop up cabaret format the Dorr-e Dari performers will be sharing stories of life and love from the streets Mashhad, Tehran, Kabul and Merrylands. Please bring whatever problems of the heart you have with you. The great poet Hafez will solve everything. No problem to difficult. Satisfaction guaranteed. 

Heroines Heritage – Liliana Occhiuto

Heroines Heritage – Liliana Occhiuto

Heronies Heritage is a podcast that aims to honour the lives of heroic female figures within the Fairfield region. Having stories solely sourced from elderly women with cultural significance to Fairfield, this work aims to capture the stories of migrants, mothers, rebels and freedom fighters. Told over 10 episodes, this podcast aims to celebrate the lives of these women through the use of historically charged audio stories, complete with immersive soundscapes to reflect the nature of each episode.

Liliana is an emerging queer artist based and working within Western Sydney who specialises in creating multi-disciplinary artworks crafted to evoke empathy through sensory immersion. Throughout her art career, she has created works suited to various art purposes, including; gallery spaces, film, theatre, podcasts and standalone pieces.

Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation

Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation is a not for profit organisation that has been active as in Western Sydney as a community corporation for over 40 years. The organisation educates the wider community about Aboriginal people and our culture, we assist with educational programs on culture, cultural sensitivity, language and cultural delivery within all education sectors.

Education is key to our people moving forward in today’s society, our group can also assist with connecting people to community elders and organisations.

Lamb Shorba

Sometimes, people asked us about Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love and how we made the show for the Sydney Festival. Really, the answer is that we took the time to get to know each other. Mahdi, Bibi and Jawad would gather in Merrylands with other members of the creative team. We would sit around the table, tell stories, recite poetry, and Jawad would cook his favourite dish - Lamb Shorba! You might want to take notes for this video demonstration, and we are going to hand it over to Bibi to translate…

Jawad cooking lamb Shorba was shown at ‘A Love Letter to our Watan’ by PYT Fairfield and the Dorr-e Dari creative team.

Featuring: Jawad Yaqoubi and Bibi Goul Mossavi, Video filming: Mahdi Mohammadi, Video editing: Sean Bacon, Creative Team: Paul Dwyer, Daisy Montalvo, Gabriela Green Olea and Katy Green Loughrey, Captioning: 121 Captioning


CuriousWorks is a Western Sydney based community arts and cultural development (CACD) company that runs creative programs with diverse communities. Through deep, long-term engagement and inclusive art making we produce powerful, cultural artworks that engage at the grassroots.

Meet+Eat is an online documentary series in which people from very different backgrounds, sit down, share a meal and have a yarn. The Princess and the Bird explores heartfelt comparisons of the immigration experience through the narrative of Maria and Helen. Helen's family came from Greece in the 1960′s, fleeing the occupation of their island village by the Italian army; Maria, a Samoan Princess, was sent away from her tribe as a child to find a better life.

Mustafa Al Mahdi

Mustafa Al Mahdi is an Iraqi-Australian storyteller, using the mediums of film, food and live performance. Mustafa creates contemporary stories about love, belonging and identity using traditional Iraqi storytelling principles. He is active in the arts community appearing on various creative panels، exploring cultural & arts topics. Mustafa recently completed two films at AFTRS and a solo show ‘The Australian next door’ at MCA Sydney. He works commercially as a creative content and design lead at various Sydney agencies. 

Shivanjani Lal

Shivanjani Lal is a twice-removed Fijian-Indian-Australian artist and curator. As an artist living in Australia, she is tied to a long history of familial movement; her work uses personal grief to account for ancestral loss and trauma.
She is a member of the indentured labourer diaspora from the Indian and Pacific oceans. She employs intimate images of family, sourced from photo albums, along with video and images from contemporary travels to the Asia-Pacific to reconstruct temporary landscapes. These landscapes act as shifting sites for diasporic healing – from which she emerges.

Suara Indonesian Dance

Suara Indonesian Dance

Suara Dance presents an energetic mix of dance, body percussion and song. With a blend of traditional and contemporary influences from their Indonesian heritage and cultural learnings, Suara Dance brings liveliness, originality and all-engaging performances to the stage. Prepare yourself to embark on a spectacular journey with this highly talented group as they share their story with you.


Tarni Eastwood

Tarni Eastwood is a Ngiyampaa and Guringai artist and curator based in western Sydney. She has a multidisciplinary arts practice working in photography, video, painting, weaving, sculpture and installation. Tarni emphasises the importance of weaving groups through its contributions to revitalise the culture whilst providing a safe space to pass down creative knowledge.

Jason Phu

Jason is a practising artist working across a wide range of media. His work references personal narratives and poetry, he sometimes uses humour in his work. He is currently showing in The Way We Eat (2021) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and has just been awarded the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission (2021) at ACMI. He is currently based in Gertrude Contemporary as a studio artist. He is represented by STATION Gallery and Chalk Horse gallery.

Justine Youssef

Justine Youssef works across mediums from scent to video. Youssef lives and works across unceded Wangal and Dharug lands in Sydney, Australia. They were a Parramatta Artist Studios resident from 2019–21 and the 2019 recipient of the Copyright Agency’s John Fries Award. They were co-director at Firstdraft, co-founded the artist-run space Pari, and have organised various educational programs for the National Association for the Visual Arts. Their first work made in response to a site they have never visited, With the toughest care, The most economical tenderness, is currently being exhibited with the Hawai’i Triennial 2022. Recent exhibitions include: Under the table I learnt how to feed you at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2022); Lovesick Puppy with Utp (2021); and All Blessings, All Curses at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2018). They have exhibited widely, including through CARPARK, Brisbane (2021); PHOTO 2020, Melbourne (2020); and Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart (2020).

Event Details

Spend a day with some of Sydney’s most exciting and engaging musicians, performers, artists and cultural leaders to explore the meaning of Our Place - Sharing Story, Film, Dance and Song.

Join us for a vibrant and interactive program of live performances, music, workshops, conversation and film as we consider the voyages we make, what we take with us, and what we leave behind.

OUR PLACE: story


Museum Theatre, 4pm – 5pm, FREE event, capacity is limited: register here!

From food festivals to celebrity chefs, to sustainable farming to meat pies and banh mi, food underpins and expresses the very essence of our understanding of who we are as Australians.

But what is Australian food?

How does food define us as a contemporary society and how has it shaped us as a nation?

What is the food of the future and how will this change our perceptions of who we are?

Join the inimitable Simon Marnie and an expert panel as they explore diverse perspectives to peel away the layers of Australian identity formed over a hot stove, a bbq, a wok, a fire pit or a wood oven.

Panel members: Keg de Souza, Palisa Anderson, Clarence Slockee

Host and MC: Simon Marnie


** MEHREEN FARUQI and OSMAN FARUQI on family, food and identity **

Museum Theatre, 6pm – 7pm, FREE event, capacity is limited: register here!

Join us for an honest and hearty conversation between mother and son as they share their personal stories of family, food, identity and community in modern Australia.

Migrant, engineer, activist, feminist and politician, Dr Mehreen Faruqi is joined on stage by her son, Osman Faruqi, the Culture News Editor for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

This is a rare opportunity to share in the highs and lows of a family that can lay claim to being one of the most influential in the current cultural, social and political landscape of Australia.

OUR PLACE: dance, song and story

Museum venues and site, 12pm - 7pm

Be lifted up by the sounds of vocal and ukulele ensemble, Cook Islands Reo Manea, inspired by stories and songs from First Nations Elders and artists, tap your feet to Sydney Sonata Singers as they revive Filipino classics, recite poetry with Mahdi and Jawad from PYT Fairfield and much more. Full program soon to be announced.

 Artists include:

  • Uncle Wes Marne 
  • Jannawi Dance Clan 
  • Women’s Weaving and Connection with Tarni Eastwood 
  • Agal Dance 
  • Bahman Kermany
  • Mohammed Lelo
  •  Cook Island Reo Manea
  • Jagath Dheerasekara
  • Sepora
  • Sydney Sonata Singers
  • Cicem by Suara Indonesian Dance 
  • The Mesopotamian Trio
  • The Peacemakers Ensemble 
  • PYT Fairfield presents A Taste of Dorr-e Dari with Mahdi Mohammadi , Jawad Yaqoubi and Hasiba Ebrahimi and Heroines Heritage by Liliana Occhiuto



stories of family, ceremony, migration and place

 Museum venues and site, 12pm-7pm

See our City through the eyes of Western Sydney’s most exciting artists and filmmakers as they share stories of family, ceremony, migration and place.

Featured films include:

  • Dreamtime Story, Uncle Wes Marne 
  • Lullaby, Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation
  • Break the Cinnamon Branch, Jagath Dheerasekara
  • Lamb Shorba, PYT Fairfield 
  • The Princess and the Bird, Meet+Eat, Curiousworks 
  • Ashat Edich, Mustafa al Mahdi 
  • Baaro Part 1, Shivanjani Lal 
  • Our Country, Agal Dance Company
  • Videos for the Grandchildren I'll Never Have, Jason Phu
  • Under the table I learnt how to feed you, Justine Youssef


Presented by Vivid Ideas in association with Blacktown Arts and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

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