Culture Squad is the heartbeat of Culture is Life and is a collective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who give voice to the views and cultural expression of our young people.
Kodi Galleghan - Malak Malak and Nhunngaburra
Kodi is a proud Malak Malak and Nhunngaburra woman, and is the daughter of singer-songwriter Glenn Skuthorpe. Kodi was born in Sydney, but calls Port Macquarie home.
At the end of 2016, Kodi successfully completed a double degree, receiving a Bachelor of Social Research & Policy and a Bachelor of Art Theory from the University of New South Wales.
Now living in Sydney, Kodi is set to begin the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Graduate Program in the coming months.
Kodi is a motivated young woman who is constantly seeking opportunities to grow and learn. She aspires to be a role model for young Indigenous women and is dedicated to supporting young people grow into their potential.
Rebekah Hatfield - Bundjalung
Rebekah is a proud Bundjalung women from Grafton in Northern NSW and has strong community ties to the small coastal community of Fingal Head on the border of the Qld and NSW border.
Rebekah completed a Bachelor of Media at UNSW in 2016, majoring in Communications and Journalism.
Rebekah is community minded and dedicated to created positive social change. She previously mentored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students and supported their career pursuits through ongoing coaching and training. She is now focused on sharing Indigenous stories and hopes to change perspectives.
Will Austin - Gunditjmara Keerray Wurrung
Will is a proud Gunditjmara Keerray Wurrung man and was born and raised in Daylesford, a small town in country Victoria. He has a strong cultural connection to the Framlingham mission in South West Victoria.
Will is a grounded, resilient, valued driven young man who is committed to creating grassroots community change. Working within the First Peoples youth space, Will is dedicated to supporting the development of strong young leaders, who are each confident in their individual stories, connected to their cultural identities and strengths and motivated to be the best version of themselves.
Will is known by many as an emerging leader within Victoria Aboriginal community for his role in a number of significant Koori demonstrations.
Clint Hansen - Iman
Clint is a proud Iman man, originally from Rockhampton, Queensland. Clint spent a few years in Brisbane before making the move to study Mechanical Engineering at RMIT in Melbourne.
Clint is one of only a handful of the First Nations Peoples studying Mechanical Engineering across Australia and is proud to represent his community in the field, which currently has a high underrepresentation rate for Australians First Peoples.
Clint has a strong self-motivation and high-level work ethic and is seeking to obtain an internship where he can progress his well-developed work skills and technical abilities.
Hollie Johnson - Gunai Kurnai and Monero Ngarigo
Hollie is a proud Gunai Kurnai and Monero Ngarigo woman. She grew up in Churchill, a small town in Gippsland Victoria and is one of six in her family. Growing up, Hollie spent a lot of time with her nan and pop who she truly looks up to, admires and respects. They taught her to be proud of who she is and where she comes from.
Hollie was the first student to study the VCE Indigenous Languages of Victoria course and graduated from her dream university course last year, a Bachelor of Arts (Photography) at RMIT. In the future, Hollie hopes to own her own business, focusing on not only photography but many art forms, to support up-and-coming Indigenous Peoples.
Tahlia Biggs - Barkindji and Ngiyampaa
Tahlia is proud Barkindji and Ngiyampaa born in Albury, Victoria, lived most of her life in Wodonga and now lives and works in Melbourne.
Tahlia has always been surrounded by strong women in her community and recognises that in a lot of Aboriginal communities, it’s the aunties, mothers and grandmothers who are the leaders of family, the matriarchs.
Tahlia is a product of the Korin Gamadji Institute’s, Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership (REAL) program. She feels that her connection with culture happened through KGI, coming down to Melbourne, to a completely different world, connecting with other Aboriginal young people and learning about leaders and role models.
Jack Stevens - Gunggandji
Jack Stevens is a proud Gunggandji man born in Darwin, Northern Territory.
Jack moved to Melbourne in 2015 to study a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) at RMIT University. Since completing his degree, Jack has gained full time employment at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service as the Project Officer leading the newly launched HisTribe project. #histribe is a 12-week men’s fitness and empowerment program beginning February 2018.
Jack is passionate about making a difference in the community, and through the #histribe program, hopes to create and strengthen connections within the Indigenous community here in Melbourne.
Alice Skye - Wergaia
Alice is a proud Wergaia woman, and a singer-songwriter, originally from Horsham, Victoria and now based in Melbourne. In her hometown she started piano lessons at the age of 5, and her love for music grew from there.
Alice’s voice is a combination of hopeful and haunting, naturally sweet and slow and dreamlike. Her stripped back piano melodies elevate the gentle moodiness of her song writing, transforming her once bedroom scribblings into well-crafted and articulated lyrics on love, loss and life.
She is influential and inspiring to young people in the community and is a vocal force on discussions about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Moorina Bonini - Yorta Yorta
Moorina is a proud Yorta Yorta woman and member of the Dhulunyagen Clan. Moorina is an emerging artist that works predominantly within the realms of video art, photography and installation.
Moorina picked up a camera at the age of nine during her primary school years. Her works are inspired by her own experiences as an Aboriginal and Italian woman, creating work that examines ideas surrounding everyday racism, stereotypes and identity through introspective accounts of lived experience.
Moorina believes her photography becomes a visual narrative where she can share and reflect on her experiences in a contemporary open gaze.
Nathan May – Arabana, Yawuru and Marridjabin
Nathan May was born in Darwin NT and is a proud descendant of the Arabana, Yawuru and Marridjabin clans.
Nathan is an emerging artist who is very passionate about music and the music industry. He has been performing in Adelaide for over 4 years, gaining experience to pursue a music career.
Nathan has completed an Advanced Diploma in Aboriginal studies in music. Recently, Nathan was funded to put out a 5 track EP of his own original music called Reflections. The EP is a reflection of his life and events that have occurred in the last few years of his journey.
Chrissie James-Atkinson – Yorta Yorta
Chrissie is a proud Yorta Yorta grew up in Shepparton and moved to Melbourne 6 years ago to finish school. She has working as a hairdresser for 5 years since.
Working in a mainstream organisation, Chrissie’s job gives her the opportunity to have everyday conversations with non-Indigenous people about her culture. For Chrissie, having enriching and enlightening discussions about her people gives her cultural strength.
Chrissie values culture because it’s where she comes from, who she is & something she never wants to lose. Having a connection to the land we live on is unexplainable but it’s a feeling she thinks needs to be shared with non-Indigenous people.
Chrissie is motivated by the strength of her people past and present and hopes to follow in the footsteps of those that inspire her.
Syrenne Anu - Koey-Buwai, Samu Augudh, Sui-Baidham, Kuku, Woppaburra, Butchulla
Syrenne was born and raised in Sydney and is proudly from both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
Syrenne was raised in the performing arts and Indigenous media and as a young person showed a natural talent in documenting and portraying stories. As a child, volunteering influenced her perception of the world through an Indigenous lens.
Obtaining a Cert III Film & Editing at the age of 16 at AFTRS, she then followed on with a Cert IV in Screen and Media Eora College for the Arts. At the age of 19, she landed an opportunity to photograph for her first mainstream lifestyle magazine, and this was followed by other portfolios in a variety of sectors.
Syrenne’s abilities in the creative sector, on both sides of the camera, provides her with the means to help others tell their stories. Apart from her freelance work, she currently works with Ngakkan Nyaagu (NGNY), a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated digital agency in Sydney.
Maya Hodge - Lardil
Maya was born in Melbourne and grew up in Mildura, Victoria. She is a second-year student at Monash University studying a Bachelor of Art History and Curating. Maya is passionate about expressing her identity through the creative field, and is interested in being involved in establishing a greater number of First Nations people in arts publications and art writing and criticism.
In 2017 Maya was the recipient of the MRS Indigenous Leadership Pathway Scholarship and the Mildura Indigenous Writers Award. In the future, Maya would love to use her degree to collaborate alongside young Koorie people to support and inspire creativity.
Allara Pattison – Yorta Yorta
Allara is a proud Yorta Yorta woman. Allara is an amazing role model within the rural town of Bendigo in Victoria.
Allara is extremely proud of her heritage and very committed to promoting a heightened awareness of First Peoples culture within the community at a large scale.
Allara is a talented musician. Her approach to music is inspirational to other female musicians and Indigenous Australians as she recently finished her Bachelor of Music Performance and shared the stage at the Sydney Opera House with Archie Roach being the youngest on stage at 22 years old.
Maddy Pickwick - Munanjahli and Gureng Gureng
Maddy is a proud Munanjahli and Gureng Gureng woman, born in Perth, and grew up most of her life on Ngunnawal land. From a young age she was fortunate enough to meet and connect with different communities and inspiring people on their land.
Maddy is currently studying a Bachelor of Communications at University of Technology Sydney, majoring in digital and social media. She understands the importance and is passionate about creating and supporting positive conversations about culture and identity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly the youth of today.
Maddy is currently involved in the CareerTrackers program, where she is an intern at Caltex Australia. Maddy is assisting Caltex Australia on their Reconciliation Action Plan, which aims to develop respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Marcus Weatherall – Wayilwan and Kooma
Marcus, a proud descendant of the Wayilwan and Kooma people, grew up in Walgett, with family connections to Brewarrina and Goodooga in the Far North West of NSW. Since moving to the Newcastle region in 2012, Marcus has dedicated his time to working with young Aboriginal people as an Activities Officer for the Safe Aboriginal Youth program at PCYC Newcastle and as an Aboriginal School Learning Support Officer at Hunter Sports High School.
Marcus believes that teaching Aboriginal young people about culture will help them to gain a deeper understanding of their Elders who fought long and hard for their mob to receive the opportunities that they have today.
In the past, Marcus has received awards such as Young Citizen of the Year from the Walgett Shire, Duke of Edinburgh Award and has been a part of many young Aboriginal leadership committees.
Marcus has a deep understanding of the role and support that family and community play in overcoming educational and social barriers in order to thrive. His strong focus is on helping Aboriginal young people to gain a good education and become leaders in their communities.