Facilitatied by ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

05 October


Smoke. Fire. Water. Earth. Dance. Song.

Kulin Tanderrum (ceremony) is the meeting of the five clans of the Kulin Nation: Wurundjeri, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung, Dja Dja Wurrung and Wadawurrung, and your invitation to join them on this land.

This Tanderrum had not been practiced here in Melbourne since 1835, but in the past four years it has become an integral moment in the commencement of each year’s Melbourne Festival. These are the first words spoken before the 18 days of stories and sensations that will follow: an opening ceremony and Welcome to Country by the First Peoples, the traditional custodians of this land.

Through Tanderrum, we acknowledge the lore of the creator spirit Bunjil and pay respects to the vibrant living culture of this country.

With sand, leaves and bark, a space is made, and it’s a space to be shared. Come dance.

Education Pack

Learn more about Tanderrum with our Education Pack, including activities for school students. Download now →

IMAGE | Steven Rhall
  • Melbourne Festival's free program proudly supported by
  • Presenting Partner
  • ILBIJERRI Theatre Company supported by
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Artistic Director
Mariaa Randall
Muscial Director
Dr Lou Bennett
Mariaa Randall and Jacob Boehme in collaboration with the Tanderrum Elders and dancers
James Henry
Visual Artist
Maree Clarke
Kamarra Bell-Wykes
Damienne Pradier
Uncle Jack Charles
Artistic Directorate
Mark Ten Buuren, Trent Nelson, Tammy Gilson, Mandy Nicholson and Marbee Williams
Lead Singers
Barry Gilson, Wendy Berick, Michael Bourke, Mick Harding, Jodie Seilui, Caroline Martin, Mandy Nicholson, Mitch Harding, Corlene Cooper and Bonnie O’Leary
Session Singers
Dr Lou Bennett, Carly May and John Wayne Parsons
ILBIJERRI Artistic Director
Rachael Maza
Damienne Pradier
ILBIJERRI Company Manager
Lauren Bok
ILBIJERRI Production Manager
Emily O'Brien
ILBIJERRI Stage Manager
Brock Broklesby