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Shared voices: performance, knowledge and connection

An afternoon of performances on the diverse ways that Pacific peoples record, preserve, and celebrate their knowledge and histories.

The Chau Chak Wing Museum (CCWM), in partnership with the Sydney Environment Institute, invites you to an afternoon of performances, an extension of the Pacific Views exhibition. This event forms part of the ongoing collaborations with CCWM and senior-curator of the Macleay Collections, Jude Philp, who is presenting the 2022 Iain McCalman Lecture.

The resonating voices of Pacific peoples connect contemporary culture to the ancestral past and new futures. Come and hear Pacific voices in poetry, songs, dance and oratory, through the personal narratives, commitment, convictions and passions of Pasifika presenters. They will share traditional, folk, transitional and contemporary forms of communication from cultures across the vast Pacific and its Diaspora, including Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Fiji, and insights from their work in these regions and in Australia.

This event was presented at and in partnership with the Chau Chak Wing Museum on Saturday 2 April 2022.


Steven Gagau co-curator of the Pacific Views exhibition will share and reflect on the seminal contemporary poetry of his uncle, Papua New Guinea’s Apisai Enos, author of the collections, High Water: Poems (1971), Warbat: Magic Love Songs of the Tolais (1971) and Tabapot: Poems and Designs (1975).

Deveni Temu and his family will discuss their work passing on cultural knowledge to Papua New Guineans living in the Diaspora through songs and dances. They will showcase some traditional folk songs and dances in the Keakalo language of the Aroma villages of Kapari Viriolo in the Central Province of Papua New Guinea, and a ‘Peroveta’ song or two introduced by South Seas Island missionaries of the London Missionary Society.

Leo Tanoi will talk about his Samoan ancestry, knowledge, and experiences in the preservation of genealogies through Chiefly traditions and the power of Samoan oratory. He will also share some of the ways traditional forms of song and dance have been transformed by Samoan youth through their interaction with them in new contexts and settings.

Grace Hull will share her work with historic recordings of songs and dances from the Trobriand Islands and the role Diaspora communities can play in preserving and value-adding to their cultural heritage held in Australian Institutions to ensure that songs and dances and the cultural knowledge they represent are passed on to future generations.

Professor Jioji Ravulo, Chair of Social Work and Policy Studies in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney, will guide and engage a panel discussion following the presentations, bringing in insights from his iTaukei (indigenous) Fijian heritage and his work promoting collaborative spaces and the meaningful inclusion of indigenous perspectives and practices in research and educational settings.