Four dreamboats join our team

We’re thrilled to introduce four young artists and culture makers who are getting us even closer to reaching our sky-high dreams, as we continue on our commitment to champion ambitious, self-determined and artist-led creative and cultural experiences.  
Artists Leigh, Tarryn and MaggZ join our team as Producers in Residence, embarking on a year long journey designing and curating projects with/for/by young people. Between them they bring relationships across communities, knowledge across waacking, writing for theatre and TV, visual art and storytelling, and explorations into identity through the work of remembering, reclamation, regeneration, and revitalisation.  
Leading our creative dreaming with Next Wave communities is Nickila, our new Associate Producer: Communications and Engagement. As part of VicHealth’s Future Reset: Arts Move The Dial program Nickila joins a cohort of young creatives across Victoria to build change making arts and cultural experiences with/for/by young people. 
The Producer in Residence and Creative Leadership programs are generously supported by VicHealth through their Future Healthy initiatives, created to amplify the voices and ideas of young Victorians to dream, build and connect in arts and cultural experiences and transform issues that are important into arts and cultural experiences for/by young people. Watch this space!

Next Wave started as a gathering for young people in 1984, and the story comes full circle in 2022.  
Let’s skip to the good part and get to know them ❤️

A colour portrait of Leigh. She sits backwards on a chair wearing a v-neck knitted black top with white criss-crossing lines. In this mid shot her hair is braided and long, falling past her shoulders. She wears gold hoops and looks straight at the camera, against a brick wall.

Meet: Leigh

Leigh is a Ugandan-Australian actress, writer, and theater maker based in Naarm. She joined Western Edge Arts in 2018, writing and performing theaterworks as a member of the ‘Sub-30 Collective’, including TIG (2018), THE WATCHING (2019) and THE RETREAT (2020). As a company Lead Artist, she also collaboratively devises and delivers drama workshops for young people throughout Melbourne’s Western suburbs. 
Leigh is the co-creator/co-writer of upcoming web-series ‘CEEBS’, which has received developmental support from SIGNAL, SBS’ Digital Originals and ABC iView’s Pitch-O-Rama. Other recent screenwriting credits include ABC ME’s ‘Turn Up The Volume’ (2022) and comedy short film ‘Checkmate, Atheists’ (2021). After assistant-directing Liv Satchell’s ‘let bleeding girls lie’ (2021), which represented Australia at the Women Playwrights International Conference, Leigh will continue working with Satchell for ‘The Grief Trilogy’ at La Mama Theater in 2023.

A colour portrait of Tarryn. She stands in front of a white background wearing a dark polo top, denim overalls and a statement necklace that says 'Aunty'. Her hair is long and curly and windswept as she smiles at the camera.

Meet: Tarryn

Tarryn is a proud Gunditjmara Keerray Woorroong woman, born and raised on Wadawurrung Country. She is a koorroyarr, teenyeen ngapang, tyeentyeeyt ngapangyarr and wanoong ngeerrang - granddaughter, youngest daughter, youngest sister and Aunty. Tarryn is an emerging artist and curator, whose practice exists in the space of creative cultural expression. She creates under the collective of Koorroyarr (grandaughter), honouring her positionality as a Gunditjmara woman and paying respect to her Ancestors, past and living. Tarryn’s work represents the distinctiveness of Gunditjmara ways of knowing, being and doing that is not one way but constantly happening and changing. She aims to explore identity in the here and now while centring language and carrying on the work of remembering, reclamation, regeneration, and revitalisation.

A colour portait of MaggZ. She is standing close to the camera against a white background. Her hair is slick and pulled up with strands on her forehead. She looks straight at the camera and is wearing a white singlet with asymmetrical straps

Meet: MaggZ

MaggZ is a Naarm-based movement and multimedia artist, specialised in waacking - a freestyle dance originated in 1970s LA from the latinix and African American queer community, predominantly involving arm movements. Traversing amongst street dance battles, live performances, installations and movement direction, MaggZ aspires to explore the possibilities of creativity whilst to honour the unique being of self and others. MaggZ’s recent achievements are - the recipient of the SIGNAL Young Creative Awards in 2020, nominated four times by the Green Room Awards, and the winner of Sisters Session Vol.8 allstyle dance battle in 2021.

A colour portrait of Nickila. She is standing in front of a white background and has short brown and brassy hair, parted in the middle. She is wearing pearl hoop earrings, layered gold necklaces and a white shirt with a black bodice on top.

Meet: Nickila

Nickila is a second-generation Sri Lankan-Malay immigrant, currently living and working on unceded Wurundjeri land.

With a background in international studies and anthropology, Nickila brings together a passion for writing and producing to her role as Associate Producer: Communications & Engagement. They are committed to working on projects that bring people together and embed values of working with empathy, compassion and trust to their role at Next Wave and beyond.

Nickila is a member of the Oolstay collective, who curate electronic music events with the intention to connect and spotlight the plethora of creative communities in Naarm.

Stay tuned for more updates on what they get up to. We’ll be sharing throughout!

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