In the lead up to NAIDOC week, the Victorian Government has announced they will provide unprecedented funding for a First Nations arts project.

The theatre project brought to life by the ILBIJERRI Theatre Company in partnership with Boonwurrung Custodian Caroline Martin (Director and Founder, Yalukit Marnang) will tell the stories of generations of Victorian Koorie women.

It will receive Australia’s largest ever grant of $931,470 for a single creative project through the Victorian Government’s Creative State Commissions program for the multifaceted Bagurrk (woman) project.

Sharing parallels with the 2018 NAIDOC week theme 'Because of Her, We Can', Bagurrk celebrates the untold stories of Victorian Koorie women from before colonisation to the present day and will forge new methods for making art based on First Peoples history and experiences.

Martin spoke about the importance of the project saying “It is through the sheer strength and resilience of Louisa [Briggs, Martin’s great, great grandmother] and the many other of our Matriarchal Ancestors that we are reminded, that women are not the silent partners in history — we all come from strong sovereign women; our Matriarchs defined history and because of them, we will continue to do so”.

“Bargurrk provides us our genetic responsibility to ensure that our murni-gurrk’s (old wise women’s) legacy is carried forward for many generations: just as it has been, so may it continue to be”.