This is an ongoing archive of Next Wave Alumni spanning our 35-year history. You can browse the list below or use the filters to find someone fast. If you have been involved in a Next Wave Festival and don’t have an artist profile yet, email nextwave@nextwave.org.au.


Ripley Kavara, Yasbelle Kerkow, Vicki Kinai, Peter Lemalu, Florence Folole Tupuola

New Wayfinders is a community collective that serves as a platform for aspiring, emerging, and established Oceanic diaspora artists; creating opportunities, connections, workshops, and networks within Narrm and abroad.

Ripley Kavara aka Wahe is a producer/vocalist born in Papua New Guinea and now based in Melbourne. They have been prominent in Melbourne music and arts communities since 2009 as a producer, vocalist, DJ and event’s organiser. More recently in their career, they have had the privilege of supporting numerous notable acts including GAIKA (UK), Elysia Crampton (USA) and KLEIN (UK) at events such as Dark Mofo and Liquid Architecture. Wahe’s work as a multi-media artist has also been exhibited at No Vacancy and West Space galleries.

Their production in electronic duo Kandere, has received rave reviews in outlets such as Noisey, Purple Sneakers, Acclaim magazine and Swampland. After Kandere’s debut single BB GOY went live, Wahe was described as an innovator, who’s music evokes strong visions.

Through their creative process they break all conventions, nodding to a transportive space which takes “hip hop further”. Often working collaboratively with other artists, Wahe has worked to create their vision a reality. To create spaces for emerging underground performers and artists, particularly focusing on elevating underrepresented voices in music & arts.

**Yasbelle Kerkow ** is an Australian-born, Fijian artist. Her work focuses on promoting Oceanic communities in Australia and communicating Pacific stories through the arts. Her arts practice centres weaving but also interrogates visual art, video, poetry and voice.

Yasbelle is a community arts facilitator and leader of a collective of emerging Pasifika artists based in Narrm (Melbourne) called New Wayfinders.

**Vicki Kinai ** is from PNG, originally Mt. Hagen and now lives in Melbourne. She is highly recognised for Practicing her Cultural Art, the traditional ‘Bilum Weaving’ an integral culture of women in PNG. She has won three prestigious awards for sharing this unique culture and connecting with people in communities across Australia, mainly Victoria. She received two Emerge Ambassadors Awards from Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) in 2014 & 2017, and in 2015, she received the Aunty Sana Arts Award from the Pacific Contemporary Arts Festival.

For Vicki, living overseas has not replaced nor devalued this unique art practice but instead, inspired and deepened her awareness of the importance to practice and preserve this traditional craft. She has adapted the weaving technique to create wearable art and installations with other local and international artists. Every piece she creates tells a story, that connects her to people, place and land of Australia or her birthplace of PNG. Every creation has relevance and connection.

**Peter Lemalu **is an Australian-Samoan artist who is committed to investing in all things creative. Predominantly a painter, Peter experiments in a wide range of mediums that express his conceptual goals through means of utilising a deeper understanding of space and how the mind, body and spirit operates within it.

After completing a bachelors degree of fine arts at Victorian College of the Arts in 2016, Peter’s artworks have been honed to focus on the role of being of South Pacific descent and how that impacts the traditional and cultural rituals of his heritage of Samoa within the complexities of contemporaneity.

Within Peter’s methods and processes of art making is a sincere connectivity both physically and spiritually to his family and their interactions and growth in the world, being involved in multiple sporting communities, paying immense tributes to his first job working in a wooden box factory and having an everlasting curiosity to learn and reconnect with the roots and culture of his place of origin.

Florence Folole Tupuola is a Aotearoa born, Wiradjuri nation raised Samoan interdisciplinary artist and activist based in Narrm, Melbourne. She explores cultural identity and belonging through Samoan dance called ‘Siva Samoa’. She has performed in professional dance group’s internationally and across Australia, most recently National Multicultural Festival. A former recipient of FCAC Emerging Cultural Leaders program, she was able to delve into her passion for social justice, creative healing and community engagement. Facilitating art workshops and events across Melbourne, Canberra and Samoa, for community groups and non-profit organisations such as Arts of the Pacific, Glenroy Sporting Club and ANU Pasifika Australia. Her Interactive and collaborative works have been exhibited at activist events such as Activist Arts Festival. Her ongoing solo project outlines her advocacy for child rights and involvement with child justice organisations such as Samoa Victim Support Group. Her passion in the arts has connected her role in climate change movement by joining Pacific Climate Warriors. Sharing collaborative storytelling works in Melbourne and Sydney.

Above:
  1. Coconut by Peter Lemalu, New Wayfinders. Photo by Victoria Jacgung.