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7 – 14 July 2024
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Brodie Murray

National NAIDOC Youth Award Category
Brodie Murray

Brodie is a proud Wamba Wamba and Ngarrindjeri man, living in Naarm (Melbourne) on Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung and Boonwurrung Country.  Brodie is a storyteller, playwright and performing artist driven to tell the stories of Victorian Aboriginal peoples’ survival. Brodie grew up near Castlemaine, Victoria on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. Brodie’s life has been heavily influenced by his grandparents, Uncle Bes and Aunty Lorraine Murray, who made sure he grew up connected to his family, strong in his culture, and guided by his Elders. He has also been fortunate in his connection to his Scottish Australian grandparents, Karina and Sholto James. Brodie’a grandfather, Sholto was an Actor himself in the 1950s performing in the early days of Melbourne’s Union Theatre. 

In 2020, Brodie’s passion for culture and performing arts led him to study the Aboriginal Performance Course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. The course gave Brodie a strong grounding in First Nations art, literature and politics. 

Brodie made his debut as a playwright at the 2021 Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival in Melbourne with his play ‘Soul of Possum’, a first contact story set on Wamba Wamba Country. With dramaturgy and cultural support from his mentor Arrernte playwright and multidisciplinary artist Declan Furber Gillick, the play was a great success.  

Brodie wrote his second play Billy’s Choice, as part of Yirra Yaakin Writers Group in Perth and then adapted it for film during Melbourne’s lockdowns for the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival, directed by Rachel Maza, with dramaturgy by Geoff Kelso. The play received the Melbourne Fringe Best Emerging Indigenous Artist Award and Young Creatives Award. Billy’s Choice is an autobiographical work about the choices and struggles young First Nations people face everyday living between two worlds.  

Brodie is currently studying at the Victorian College of the Arts in the Theatre stream and is an Alumni of the First Peoples Young Artists Program at the Melbourne Theatre Company. Brodie hopes to be a positive role model for young First Nations theatre makers. 

Brodie’s many achievements include:  

  • In April this year, Brodie won the prestigious Sofitel Melbourne on Collins Arts Award at the 2023 7NEWS Young Achievers Awards Victoria 
  • Brodie was among the recipients of the Australian Council’s 2022 First Nations Arts Awards, receiving the First Nations Emerging Career Development Award during a special event broadcast by NITV in Sydney. 
  • A highlight of 2022 was having his third produced play, The Whisper, performed at Melbourne Fringe Festival, directed by Maryanne Sam, with dramaturgy from Glenn Shea and Mari Lourey.  The play was inspired by the story of his Nan, Lorraine Murray and her Ngarrindgeri family’s secret journey across country in the 1940s, by horse and cart, under the cover of night to evade the welfare. 
  • Brodie has written for the Melbourne Theatre Company’s ‘First Stage’ Program (2022), and for Ilbijerri Theatre Company’s 10 IN 10 play reading project (2021) 
  • As an actor, Brodie has performed in Soul of Possum (as young warrior Dindi); in Billy’s Choice (as Billy); and in the role of Mathew in Some Secrets Should Be Kept Secret (part III of An Indigenous Trilogy), by Glenn Shea at La Mama Theatre in November 2022.  
  • Most recently, Brodie performed in a devised work with the MTC First Peoples Young Artists Program, directed by Nathan Maynard. A collaborative work about voice, identity and connection, One Day was presented for the 2023 Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival at St Martins Youth Art Centre. 
  • Brodie has been a guest presenter on panels for The Wheeler Centre, Blak and Bright and The Clune Writers Festival. He has also spoken on segments such ABC AWAYE, 3KND Radio, RRR Radio, and has had two featured articles about his work in The Age newspaper. 

Brodie hopes to continue to expand his practice in the creative space and community as an artist by both writing and performing First Nations stories. Being a finalist for the 2023 NAIDOC Youth Award means a great deal to Brodie as a proud Victorian Aboriginal person.


Video created by Blacklock Media.

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