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Richard Walley

Richard Walley

Richard Walley


Dr Richard Walley, OAM, (born 1953) is a Nyoongar man, one of Australia's leading Aboriginal performers, musicians and writers, who has been a tireless worker for the Indigenous cause. Born in 1953 in Meekatharra, 750 km north of Perth, Western Australia he spent much of his childhood at Pinjarra, 80 km south of Perth. He began his work in social justice for Indigenous Australians in the Perth region, the Nyoongars, at a young age. By 23 he was chairing Western Australia's Aboriginal Advisory Board Read more on Last.fm
Dr Richard Walley, OAM, (born 1953) is a Nyoongar man, one of Australia's leading Aboriginal performers, musicians and writers, who has been a tireless worker for the Indigenous cause. Born in 1953 in Meekatharra, 750 km north of Perth, Western Australia he spent much of his childhood at Pinjarra, 80 km south of Perth. He began his work in social justice for Indigenous Australians in the Perth region, the Nyoongars, at a young age. By 23 he was chairing Western Australia's Aboriginal Advisory Board, while also involved in the formation or operation of the Aboriginal Housing Board, Aboriginal Medical Service, Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Alcoholism Committee, Aboriginal Sports Foundation and the New Era Aboriginal Fellowship. In 1978 he founded the Middar Aboriginal Theatre with three friends, including Ernie Dingo, who he had met playing basketball. Richard had realised early the powerful potential of theatre to raise issues and bring messages to the broader community, black and white. Aiming to take the Nyungar culture from the south-west corner of Australia to as many people as possible, the Middar group went on to perform in 32 countries, on every continent, to live audiences totalling almost ten million people. After acting in theatre and TV, Richard went on to further develop his theatre skills, holding the role of either director or assistant director in 10 productions in theatre and TV from 1982 to 1993. Several of these productions took place in the United States and the UK.

During this period Richard also wrote several screenplays. Richard is also a renowned didgeridoo player and has produced a six CD collection of didgeridoo music that is inspired by the six seasons of the Nyungar calendar. He has played didgeridoo live at London's Royal Albert Hall, as well as in Greece, Slovenia, Japan, Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, to name just a few. In 2001 he performed in Westminster Abbey for dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II, as part Australia's Centenary of Federation celebrations. In the same year, he worked with Carlos Santana with music for his Supernatural Evening with Santana and contributed to the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Richard is also a visual artist, with his works in much demand by collectors in Australia and overseas In 1993 Richard was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to the Performing Arts and Nyungar culture. From 2000 he served as Chair of the Australia Council's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, a position he had held previously in 1992. In all he served on the Australia Council for nine years, the promotion of culture through the arts being one of his passions. In 2001, Murdoch University in Western Australia recognised his contribution to Nyungar culture and the wider community with an honorary Doctorate of Letters. In 2003, he released Two Tribes, a collaboration with a group of artists; an eclectic selection of songs combining traditional Indigenous music with contemporary styles such as rap and hip hop. Richard has been involved as director, designer, writer, musician, dancer and actor with a range of stage and television productions including The Dreamers (1982), A Fortunate Life (1984), Bullies House (1985), Coordah (1985), Australian Mosaic (1988), Jackaroo (1990), Balaan Balaan Gwdtha (1992) and Close to the Bone (1993). Most recently, he has toured with the John Butler Trio delivering a unique Indigenous and spoken word performance, Son of MotherEarth. Richard says, "through music, dance and art we can achieve natural highs and core inner strength without the use of artificial stimulants, thus enhancing the spirit, strengthening the mind and invigorating the body which brings a feeling of self worth and holistic respect." Richard is a fluent speaker of the Nyungar language. He is Director of Aboriginal Productions and Promotions. Read more on Last.fm.

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