Stolen Generation Marker launch, Atherton Gardens, Fitzroy 2018
We are the only Wurundjeri female dance group, and Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne). Djirri Djirri means Willy Wagtail in Woiwurrung, the language of Wurundjeri people, the Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne) and surrounds. The Willy Wagtail the Spirit Bird, gave us dance! Many of our group have danced since they were young children, while others have learnt as adults. Our dances are created to honour our Liwik (Ancestors), Kerr-up-non (Family), Biik (Country) and animals. We are all related by blood through one woman, Annie Borate, William Barak's sister. We teach our dancers to also sing in Woiwurrung language, our Mother Tongue.
You can check out our upcoming events on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/djirridjirri/
Djirri Djirri have set up a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for Baggarrook-al Biik-u (She is of Country). Run by Aboriginal women, for Aboriginal women. Baggarrook-al Biik-u is open to all Aboriginal women and girls who already dance and sing in language, but also those who have never danced or sang before! Watch this space for updates, times and dates TBC! Click the 'Find out more' tab below for more information.
Djirri Djirri represented Victoria at the 2018 Dance Rites competition. We won the Rites of Passage Award which was awrded to those who demonstrated the onflowing of knowledge to the next generation. This was shown by us being the only group that had young children singing in language!. Thanks for the recognition Dance Rites!
We teach leadership skills in song and dance development with our young dancers and singers.
We are the only Wurundjeri woman's dance group, and only female group who sings in Woiwurrung.
All our dancers have been through different ceremonies throughout their lives. When they do the Murrum Turrukuruk Ceremony (Coming of Age), they no longer wear their Dilbanain (Emu Feather Skirt) and start wearing a Possum (Walert) belts which are also drums. Possum skin drums have been used by our women for 1000s of generations!
Djirri Djirri coordinate private women's community ceremonies/dances, as well as performing at large events such as Dreamtime at the G, Tanderrum, Rainbow Serpent Festival, Melbourne Storm All Stars, Australian Grand Prix and more. We also incorporate ceremony into weddings and funerals.
Mandy is the founder, singer and songwriter of Djirri Djirri. She has been part of other mixed dance groups for over 20 years, and formed Djirri Djirri in 2013 with members of her family. Mandy is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Mandy's Spirit Protector is Gawarn the echidna.
Dharna is Mandy's daughter and also one of our lead dancers. She has been part of Djirri Djirri since conception in 2013, after being part of other dance groups since she was 3. Dharna is Wurundjeri, Yorta Yorta , Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Dharna's Spirit Protector is Bundabun the long necked turtle.
Ky-ya is also Mandy's daughter and another one of our lead dancers. She has been dancing since she was 3. Ky-ya also helps create the dance moves with her sister Dharna, but also sings and composes some of the Djirri Djirri songs. Ky-ya is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Ky-ya's Spirit Protector is Walert the possum.
Stacie has been dancing since 2017 and helps with creating new dances. She also takes the lead when Mandy is unavailable and explains all the cultural elements of dances and attire. Stacie is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung, and Ngurai illum wurrung. Stacie's Spirit Protector is Dandan the rainbow lorikeet.
Sue-Anne has been dancing since 2017. She supports her daughter Jedda, by dancing with her. Sue-Anne also takes the lead in Mandy's absence, and speaks about the healing involved in cultural dance. Sue-Anne is Wurundjeri and Ngurai illum wurrung. Sue-Anne's Spirit Protector is Dulum the black duck.
Sam has been dancing since 2017. She supports her 3 daughters, Bella, Laila and baby Azalea to be immersed in culture. Sam is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Sam will be receiving her Spirit Protector at our next ceremony.
Georgia has been dancing since 2017. She is a true leader and talented writer. She also helps menor our younger dancers. Georgia is Wurundjeri and Ngurai illum wurrung. Georgia's Spirit Protector‘s are Kunalumbra the little star and Muk muk the owl.
Mikayla has been dancing since 2017. She is also a mentor, and one of the leaders who run our dance workshops. Mikayla is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Mikayla's Spirit Protector is Gunuwarra the black swan.
Kiera has been dancing since 2017. She is another mentor for the younger dancers and holds her cultural pride high. Kiera is Wurundjeri and Ngurai illum wurrung. Kiera's Spirit Protector is Ngawanj the sun.
Hailey has been dancing since 2017. She is an up and coming mentor and also holds her cultural pride high. Hailey is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Hailey's Spirit Protector is Wurru wurru the sky.
Melissa has been dancing with Djirri Djirri since 2018, but has danced with us over several years at large events. She represents her culture with pride. Melissa is Wurundjeri and Ngurai illum wurrung. Melissa's Spirit Protector is Balam-balam the butterfly.
Nanjera has been dancing since she was 4. She is one of the original members of Djirri Djirri. She always dances with pride and now dances with a possum skin belt she gained by going through the Murrum Turrukuruk Ceremony (Coming of Age). Nanjera is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung, Ngurai illum wurrung and Gunnai. Nanjera's Spirit Protector is Dirrap the fresh water mussel.
Jedda (left), was the first to sing with Mandy, Laila (centre) and Djirra (right) followed. Now they are our three 'wayibu yinga guyup-guyup' (little song birds). Jedda is Wurundjeri, Kalkadoon and Ngurai illum wurrung. Laila is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Djirra is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung, Ngurai illum wurrung and Gunnai. Jedda's Spirit Protector is Dulai wurrung the platypus. Laila's is Wimbirr the Wallaby and Djirra's are Ngarrert the frog and Balam balam the butterfly .
Bella has been dancing with Djirri Djirri since 2017. She is a very passionate dancer and is a future leader. Bella is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Bella's Spirit Protector is Djirri Djirri the Willy Wagtail.
Damien has been playing the yidarki since he was a toddler. He supports the Djirri Djirri's by playing the yidarki during our dances. He also has permission from the custodians of the yidarki to play here in Victoria. Damien is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung, Ngurai illum wurrung and Gunnai. Damien's Spirit Protector is Marla the walla
Harmony Thomas started dancing with Djirri Dirri in 2019 and has quickly become one of the Djirri fam. Harmony mobs are Yorta Yorta, Gunnai and Wiradjuri.
Jacarla also started dancing with Djirri Djirri in 2019, and also become one of the Djirri fam. Jacarla's mobs are Yorta Yorta, Wemba Wemba and Wiradjuri.
Annie Borate is Berak's (William Barak;s) sister. All Wurundjeri descend from her, so all of our dancers are family!
We come to your kinder or after school care and run workshops that teach some Djirri Djirri dances! These workshops are suitable for all ages and abilities! (upon availability)
We can also come to your school to run dance workshops and teach some of our Creation Narratives that are connected to our Djirri Djirri dances. (upon availability)
All workshops at schools and kinders are upon availability, please enquire below under 'Kinder bookings' or 'School bookings' to see if we are available. If you would like workshops for boys, we do have contacts of male dancers (upon availability)
Djirri Djirri are available for private events and ceremony as well as small and large events.
Djirri Djirri are also available for talks, presentations, workshops and Yidarki (Didgeridoo) performances
Cultural talks, Language presentations, Cross Cultural Workshops and Professional Development
Bill, a Wurundjeri Elder provides comprehensive cultural education services suitable for schools, universities and work places. He focuses on Wurundjeri culture, language and ceremony and how Wurundjeri perspectives can be included in the workplace, university courses or curriculum. (Upon availability and require booking to be 1 month in advance)
Mandy, a Wurundjeri Community Leader has worked for many years reviving her sleeping Mother Tongue, Woiwurrung. She worked at the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages for 6 years gaining the tools to be able to revive her language. (Upon availability)
'Ngulu-nganjin' in Woiwurrung means 'Everyone's voice'. Mentored by Dr Lou Bennett who made my language into such a powerful chant!
Djirri Djirri perform at 'Trisna Fraser presents Rachel Brice at Memo', 2018
Djirri Djirri performing at Dreamtime at the G with other amazing performers!
CALL OUT TO ALL ABORIGINAL WOMEN AND GIRLS WHO DANCE AND/OR SING, THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER DANCED OR SANG BEFORE.
LET'S DANCE UP COUNTRY!
Djirri Djirri invites all Aboriginal women and girls to be part of BAGGARROOK-AL BIIK-U (She is of Country) cultural dance and song event. This is not funded so I will be looking for funding opportunities to get this off the ground. This will be run by BLACK WOMEN, no organisations or corporations etc etc, it will be run by mob.
so who's in????
Fill out this survey if you are an Aboriginal woman/girl individual, dance group, funding body, volunteer or anyone else who can offer support. This is simply for getting all our women/girls together and give opportunities to those who don't have access to this. Let's see how far we can get! We are in Narrm (Melbourne). Dates and times TBC, fill out the survey if you are interested!
Your support and contributions will assist us to keep our cultural practises alive!