Guest Curators

Fred Leone

A well-respected and intelligent community leader, with strong Australian Aboriginal, Tongan and South-Sea Islander heritage, Fred belongs to the Garawa of Far North West Queensland into the Northern Territory, and the Butchella of the Fraser Coast region of Queensland South East Coast. In 2014 he was a Guest Curator on the opening ceremony of the G20 Cultural Program.

He also collaborated on the official G20 World Leaders’ Welcome to Country ceremony at the Brisbane Convention Centre. He has developed his 16-year career across the Indigenous Hip Hop and Queensland Hip Hop movements, community cultural development, education and youth sectors to become an established performing artist, arts and cultural facilitator, educator, youth worker and creative producer.

A member of the Indigenous Advisory Group for the National Indigenous Music Awards, he is also a guest artistic director and artistic committee member for the internationally celebrated Black Arm Band. Fred is passionate about, and committed to, social change and social justice, particularly applying his skills and knowledge to support the strength, status and development of Indigenous culture. Through his music, language, dance, and body of work, Fred is also focused on enriching the lives of young people in the areas of positive leadership, self-expression, self-confidence, self-pride and pride in communities and culture.

Nancy Bamaga

Nancy Bamaga is a Torres Strait Islander woman descending from Saibai Island. Nancy is a highly regarded and much sought after community cultural development practitioner, with over 30 years experience.

She has been instrumental in guiding the Australian Arts Industry through her unwavering commitment to promoting and empowering Indigenous artists. She champions emerging, as well as established artists and enables them to access opportunities that lead to further employment and transferable skills in the wider mainstream arts industry.

Nancy has managed and curated numerous Indigenous exhibitions and projects and was the first to exhibit the Lockhart River Art Gang in the 1990s. She was involved in the development of well known Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists such as Richard Bell, Dennis Nona and Rosella Namok. Nancy has a solid history in promoting and retailing Indigenous arts and crafts and managed Queensland Aboriginal Creations on behalf of the Queensland Government for over ten years.

Nancy's event management experience has seen her present arts, music, dance and fashion to thrilled audiences across the country.

Dr Chelsea Bond

Dr Chelsea Bond (nee Watego) is an Aboriginal and South Sea Islander Australian, and a descendant of the Munanjahli people through the Williams family. Born and raised in Brisbane, Chelsea is a Research Fellow with the Indigenous Studies Research Network at Queensland University of Technology.

Throughout her research and teaching work in Aboriginal public health over the last 15 years, Chelsea has maintained a firm commitment to privileging Indigenous voices, knowledge, narratives and perspectives and it is for this reason that Chelsea has returned to the curatorial team for Clancestry 2015 and brings this Conversation Series to you.

Nadine McDonald-Dowd

Nadine McDonald-Dowd was born and raised in Mackay and now calls Brisbane home after 25 years. Having spent time working in theatre and community arts projects, one thing Nadine remains committed to is ensuring that our stories are told through our voices and shared with all to learn and enjoy.

The Living History Project: A Moment in Time is the second installation she has curated for Clancestry, and she hopes that people get an insight and enjoy the personal reflections of some of Brisbane’s inspirational Indigenous leaders.

Shannon Ruska

Born and raised in Brisbane, Shannon Ruska descends from the Yuggera, Nunukul and Yugumbir people. He has been working on reviving and maintaining Indigenous culture through arts and entertainment for over 22 years. Shannon brings his first-hand knowledge of the traditional ways of Indigenous culture to contemporary stages, regularly delivering Welcome To Country ceremonies across the region.

He has been involved with presenting traditional opening ceremonies for high profile events such as the Sydney and Athens Olympics and the Rugby League World Cup.

A cultural entrepreneur, Shannon has worked extensively with Gold Coast Tourism, Tourism Queensland and Tourism Australia on promoting Indigenous cultural products and experiences all over the world.