Ilbijerri Theatre Company

CORANDERRK: WE WILL SHOW THE COUNTRY

“With lessons to be learnt at so many levels – historical, social, language and geographical – this play should be compulsory reading in high schools across Australia.”– Jane Canaway, Australian Stage

“…a swift and absorbing ensemble performance, resurrecting a historical episode that holds lessons relevant today. 4 stars.” – Cameron Woodhead, The Age

VICTORIA, 1881: the men and women of the ‘Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve’ take on the Board for the Protection of Aborigines in a fight for justice, dignity and self-determination. For the first time, we bring back to life Coranderrk’s voices – both black and white – through a theatrical re-enactment of their official testimonies before the 1881 Government Inquiry into Coranderrk.

CORANDERRK: We Will Show the Country unites the power of oral history and the authority of the written-word to forge a personal connection with the voices of the past; allowing key figures such as William Barak and several of the men and women of Coranderrk to speak directly to a contemporary audience.

Not a story of “black vs white”, CORANDERRK pays tribute to the resilience and adaptability of a people who rose to the challenge despite all odds, appropriating the power of the written word and white political discourse to make their voice loud and clear; whilst also celebrating the spirit of friendship, and the power of genuine collaboration, between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.


FEATURING: Syd Brisbane, Jim Daly, Peter Finlay, Greg Fryer, Liz Jones, Tom Long, Kelton Pell, Melodie Reynolds and Jason Tamiru.

CONCEPT Giordano Nanni
DIRECTOR Isaac Drandic
DRAMATURGE Rachael Maza
ADAPTED BY Andrea James and Giordano Nanni
SET DESIGN Darryl Cordell
COSTUME DESIGN Emily Barrie
AUDIO VISUAL DESIGN Peter Worland
SOUND DESIGN Ben Grant
TECHNICAL DIRECTION AND LIGHTING DESIGN Bluebottle/ Frog Peck
STAGE MANAGER Jessica Smithett

PHOTOS BY Steven Rhall



>REVIEW: Aussie Theatre, Anne-Marie Peard


>REVIEW: Australian Stage, Jane Canaway


>FEATURE ARTICLE: The Age, Robin Usher


CORANDERRK lies at the heart of the Minutes of Evidence Project, a collaboration between leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, researchers, education experts and Community members, which aims to encourage a shared understanding of the past between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, by bringing the history and stories of CORANDERRK to high-school students, teachers and researchers, as well as to the general public.

Supported by the Australian Research Council, The Minutes of Evidence Project is a partnership between ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, La Mama Theatre, The University of Melbourne, The Koorie Heritage Trust, VicHealth’s Arts About Us program, The Department of Education, Arts Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria, The State Library of Victoria, and the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc (VAEAI).

ILBIJERRI and the Minutes of Evidence Project are preparing a regional tour of CORANDERRK: WE WILL SHOW THE COUNTRY to Victorian secondary schools in 2013/14, and developing associated curriculum modules that will assist teachers and students in engaging with the history and voices of Aboriginal Victoria. Schools interested in participating in the next phase of the project are invited to register.

email: info@ilbijerri.com.au


Original seasons of CORANDERRK at Melbourne University and Healesville Sanctuary directed by Rachael Maza. La Mama and Federation Square seasons lighting design and production management by Bronwyn Pringle. Cast involved in previous seasons include Tony Briggs, Uncle Jack Charles, Roberts Menzies and Glenn Shea.


ILBIJERRI acknowledges the support of the Australian Research Council and the Minutes of Evidence project (LP110200054)