Mitchell is a proud 25 year old Aboriginal man with deep connections to the Mununjali peoples of the Yugambeh Nation, the Minyungbal peoples of the Bundjalung Nation as well as further connections to the Gunggari peoples of south-west QLD. The direct links to Country are Beaudesert, Fingal Head (NSW) and Mitchell, Queensland.
Mitchell began his journey within performing arts in 2015, having discovered Aboriginal contemporary fusion dance in high school. Mitchell was awarded the Order of Australia Association 2015 Queensland Secondary Schools Citizenship Award for outstanding commitment to school and community. This awakened a passion and self-discovery which lead Mitchell to go on to complete an Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts, majoring in dance. Since graduating in 2018, Mitchell has put his knowledge into action by working extensively with community, Elders and youth within the performing arts, cultural and education sectors. Mitchell has choreographed works for school and community events, lead numerous workshops and performed in a number of independent and large scale productions.
At the core of Mitchell’s values and aspirations is the desire to ensure that our young people are proud and strong in their culture and identity. Mitchell hopes that through the confidence they gain from dance, they can grow and strengthen their own identity, skillset, and self-confidence and carry this strength with them through their lives.
Mitchell’s first big project was in 2019, when he was only 20 years old. Yugumbeh Elder, poet, and activist, Uncle Lionel Foggarty shared the Warrajum (Rainbow Serpent) Dreaming story with Mitchell and the community. The Warrajum story tells the correlation of our Totems, the Gullaninni (Water Hen) and Mibunn (Wedge-Tailed Eagle) and how they came to be. Mitchell was given permission to share this story through dance, which was a responsibility that he took very seriously. The performance inspired the revitalisation of dance in the community and the Warrajum creation story now continues to live on by being passed down to future generations to maintain connection to culture and Country.
Already at 20 years old, Mitchell was committed to and embedded in dance. However, this was his first significant project and finalmade it undeniably clear to Mitchell that performance itself creates a legacy as he witnessed first hands the ongoing ripple effects the performance had on community.
Mitchell has been a recipient of the Russell Page Graduate Award, which is a 12 month contract awarded to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance graduate or early career artist who wants to develop as professional dancer and performer in the performing arts space as part of Bangarra dance theatre. Mitchell was then offered an additional 12 month contract with Bangarra travelling Australia working with communities far and wide to connect with culture through contemporary dance.
Over the last few years Mitchell has worked with Creative Generation (C-GEN) – State Schools Onstage who give students, teachers and school communities the opportunity to be involved in a professionally produced, award-winning arena spectacular. This year Mitchell is working with 90 students on their latest production. This involves creative concepts, choreography, music, and coordinating school participation.
This year, Mitchell started his own business – Nalingurrie Projects. Nalingu is the Gunggari word for sharing, and gurrie or kurri means clan in Minyungbal language. Nalingurrie strives to enable artists to collaborate, grow and perform self-determined works within the creative arts space through live performance. Through Nalingurrie, Mitchell places significant focus on running youth programs, fashion, screen and media.
For CGEN, Mitchell will continue mentoring future dance professionals by providing industry standard training and pathways from school performance to post school training and to continue to achieve his personal career aspirations as a performer.
Mitchell has recently choreographed the large scale Dreamtime pre-show performance, working with well renowned First Nations performing artists and professional, industry recognised dancers.