Shared History, Different Perspectives

The Secret River Post-Show Conversation

Shared History, Different Perspectives

Playhouse Circle Foyer, Arts Centre Melbourne
15 March 2016, 9:30 PM

Join Andrew Bovell (Writer), Rachael Maza (Artistic Director, Ilbijerri Theatre Company), Rolf de Heer (Director) and Tony Birch (Writer, historian) for a post-show panel discussion facilitated by Lydia Miller (Executive Director Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts, Australia Council for the Arts) about storytelling, works of historical art and the different perspectives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on our shared history.

Only available for audience members attending the Tuesday 15 March performance of The Secret River at Arts Centre Melbourne

Limited free community tickets are available through ILBIJERRI Theatre Company. To RSVP please contact ILBIJERRI Theatre Company at or (03) 9329 9097 by Friday 11 March.

Speaker Bios


Tony Birch is a historian and writer. His books include Shadowboxing (2006), Father’s Day (2009), Blood (2011), The Promise (2014) and Ghost River (2015). He is currently the Dr Bruce MacGuinness Research Fellow in the Moondani Balluk Academic Unit at Victoria University.


Rachael Maza is one of Australia’s most recognisable faces of the Australian film, television and theatre industry with performance credits including the Australian Film Institute (AFI) award winning Radiance, Cosi and Lillian’s Story.

A Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) graduate, Rachael’s outstanding performances have been acknowledged with a Green Room Award and a Sydney Theatre Critics Circle award. Rachael has also worked as a presenter for ABC Message Stick and as Indigenous Liaison Advisor on films such as the multi- award winning Rabbit Proof Fence.

Rachael’s first taste for direction was for directing Stolen (1992) for ILBIJERRI Theatre Company; however, it wasn’t until 2008 that she rejoined the company as Artistic Director. Since then she has directed Sisters of Gelam (2009), Jack Charles V The Crown (2010), Foley (2011) and Beautiful One Day (2012).


Australian director Rolf de Heer, born in Holland, also writes and produces the films he directs. Works include Ten Canoes, Dance Me To My Song, The Quiet Room, Alexandra’s Project, The Tracker, The Old Man Who Read Love Stories and Bad Boy Bubby. His most recent film Charlie’s Country, the third of his collaborations with renowned Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil, won Best Actor in Un Certain Regard at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival.


Lydia Miller has more than twenty years’ experience as a performer, artistic director, producer, administrator and advocate. She has extensive experience in the arts, health, justice and community sectors and was previously Executive Officer, NSW Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council.


An award winning writer for the stage and screen, Andrew Bovell’s most recent screen credit is the adaptation of the John Le Carre’ novel A Most Wanted Man, directed by Anton Corbijn and staring Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The film premiered at Sundance in 2014 before its US and International release. His first major screen credit came in 1992 when he wrote the original screenplay for Strictly Ballroom.

In 2001 he adapted his own stage play Speaking in Tongues into the acclaimed feature film Lantana. His other film credits include Edge of Darkness (with William Monahan); Head On (with Ana Kokkinos and Mira Robertson); The Book of Revelation (with Ana Kokkinos); and Blessed (with Christos Tsiolkas, Melissa Reeves & Patricia Cornelius), adapted from their stage play Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? His recent work for

the stage includes the adaptation of Kate Grenville’s novel The Secret River, for the Sydney Theatre Company and When the Rain Stops Falling, which premiered at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 2008 and has subsequently been performed in London, New York and throughout America and Europe.

Other works for the Stage include Speaking in Tongues, Holy Day, Ship of Fools and After Dinner, which was revived by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2015.