Wurundjeri women's dance group
Wurundjeri women's dance group
Our logo represents the tail of the Djirri Djirri. The lines within depict the carving style of Wurundjeri people. These symmetrical and flowing lines are found on our wooden implements such as shields and boomerangs, but also on possum skins that are sewn together to create a possum skin cloak. These unique designs are regional identifiers, as each region have different symbols.
Pictured Mandy Nicholson (centre) and daughters Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward (left) and Dharna Nicholson-Bux (right)
Acknowledging all those who have supported Djirri Djirri over the years
Some Djirri Djirris including our youngest little Tiyawi Walker
Stolen Generation Marker launch, Atherton Gardens, Fitzroy 2018
Djirri Djirri are the only Wurundjeri female dance group, and are Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne) and surrounds. Djirri Djirri means Willy Wagtail in Woiwurrung, our Mother Tongue. The Willy Wagtail is the Spirit’s Messenger and gave us dance! Our dances honour our Liwik (Ancestors), Kerr-up-non (Family), Biik (Country) and animals. We are all connected by blood through one woman, Borate, Berak's (William Barak’s) sister. We dance together as cousins, nieces, aunties and mothers with daughters. 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 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.
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.
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 the Kingfisher and her name means the fresh water mussel.
One of our little Djirri Djirri's, Fenna has been dancing with us since she was 2 along with her mum Stacie. She is Wurundjeri Dja Dja wurrung, Ngurai illum wurrung and Gunditjmara. Her Spirit Protectors are Muk Muk the Mopoke and the Black Cockatoo. She went through her first ceremony when she was 1 year old.
One of our Yinga Guyup Guyup (Song Birds), Djirra has been dancing with us since she was 3, along with her sister Nanjera. She not only dances but sings with her Aunty Mandy and cousins Jedda and Laila. She is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung, Ngurai illum wurrung and Gunnai. Her Spirit Protectors are Ngarrert the frog and Balam Balam the butterfly
Another little Djirri Djirri, Azalea has been dancing since she was a babe in arms. She dances along with her 2 sisters and mum. She is Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung. Azalea will be receiving her Spirit Protector at the next ceremony.
Introducing our youngest Djirri Djirri, baby Tiyawi who danced for the first time in ihis mums arms at 2 months old. Tiyawi is Wurundjeri, Gunditjmara, Dja Dja wurrung, Ngurai illum wurrung, Yorta Yorta, Gunggari and Ngarrindjerri. Tiyawi's Spirit Protector is Gurrng Gurrng the Kookaburra. Djirri Djirri's littlest warrior!
Another Yinga Guyup Guyup (Song Bird) Jedda has been dancing and singing with us since she was 8 years old. She helps her Aunty Mandy sing all of our songs in Woiwurrung and is a Wurundjeri, Ngurai illam wurrung and Kalkadoon. Jedda's Spirit Protector is Dulai wurrung the Platypus.
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.
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.
Djirri Djirri are available for private events and ceremony as well as small and large events.
Welcomes for public and private events
A traditional Wurundjeri Welcome to Country. Offered for public and private events and private ceremonies. This option does NOT include a Smoking Ceremony.
Djirri Djirri also offer Welcomes, Smoking Ceremonies and dance for weddings and funerals. These are adapted to your needs and prices are negotiable. Photo of Talia and Patrick's wedding in 2019 (with permission)
This is a Welcome that includes the healing properties of a Smoking Ceremony to cleanse visitors who are on Wurundjeri Country. A Smoking Ceremony has ancient ceremonial links to our Ancestors and can only be done by a Wurundjeri person on Wurundjeri Country.
Djirri Djirri are also available for talks, presentations and workshops.
Cultural talks, Language presentations, Cross Cultural Workshops and Professional Development
Comprehensive cultural education services suitable for schools, universities and work places. With a focus on Wurundjeri culture, language and ceremony and how Wurundjeri perspectives can be implemented in the workplace or included in the curriculum
These presentations on the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people can be lecture-based or interactive with a focus on the revival practises to keep Woiwurrung alive. Suitable for all ages with age-based workshops available
Ngoon godgin (thanks) for your interest in Djiri Djirri! Credit card payment option now available. However this attracts a 2.2% surcharge.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Please note there may be a delay in responding due to work commitments.
Was an honour to open The Temper Trap's 10 year celebration concert, Forum Theatre, Narrm (Melbourne), 2019
'Ngulu-nganjin' in Woiwurrung means 'Everyone's voice'. Mentored by Dr Lou Bennett who made my language into such a powerful chant!
Djirri Djirri performing at Dreamtime at the G with other amazing performers!
Your support and contributions will enable us fund our annual Murrum Turrukurruk (Coming of Age Ceremony) and other cultural experiences. Your gesture is much appreciated. Ngoon godgin (Thanks)
Certified Business on Supply Nation's Indigenous Business Direct
Biladu-njan warr-ngat kirrip-nganjinu (How are all of you our friends). Just to let everyone know that Djirris have had a huge year and need to rest to reset and recharge. We will not be taking any NEW bookings from the 16th of November 2023 to 28th January 2024. We have danced, workshopped, yarned, done ceremony, and sung all over Narrm and met many 1000s of local, national and international new kirrip and look forward to starting fresh in the new year. We will honour all of our current bookings and will prioritise mob events/gatherings/ceremony through this time. Ngoon godgin (Thanks)