Artists and presenters

MC Grace Vanilau      

Grace is a Naarm-based Interdisciplinary artist and Arts and Cultural Development practitioner of Aotearoa Samoa descent. She has worked for 30 years in the Creative and Cultural Industry in Australia and Aotearoa (NZ) producing culturally nuanced programs for Tagata Moana – Oceania peoples and communities. She has a passion for developing intercultural knowledge-share spaces for diverse creative communities. As an artist, she morphs between disciplines as a singer/songwriter, storyteller, poet and weaver. She is a sometimes actor and dancer… and more importantly a proud mama of three and nana of one.  

Vicki Couzens      

Vicki is Gunditjmara from the Western Districts of Victoria. She acknowledges her ancestors and elders who guide her work.

Dr Couzens has worked in Aboriginal community affairs for almost 40 years. Her contributions in the reclamation, regeneration and revitalisation of cultural knowledge and practice extend across the ‘arts and creative cultural expression’ spectrum including language revitalisation, ceremony, community arts, public art, visual and performing arts, and writing. She is a Senior Knowledge Custodian for Possum Skin Cloak Story and Language Reclamation and Revival in her Keerray Woorroong Mother Tongue.

Australian Vietnamese Arts      

AVA works hard and plays hard. We produce performing arts and organise events. Every year AVA organise events for the Vietnamese Traditional Music and Dance Festival, Children Moon Lantern Festival and participated in the Luna New Year Festival. 

We have also organised variety fundraising events in Victoria and interstate to support bushfire-affected communities, clean water and education for children in Cambodia, etc.

Sin Frontera Mariachi Duo       

Naarm-based Sin Frontera Band was founded in 2009 and promotes the diverse range of Mexican Mariachi music from North to South.

Angliss All Abilities Choir      

The Angliss All Abilities Choir is a group of vibrant and music-loving community members living with disabilities. We have been singing together in the west for over fifteen years, partnering with Neighbourhood Houses across Maribyrnong and Brimbank to bring music into everyone’s lives. Music is a language we can all understand, and we sing and dance with a variety of community styles. We will be singing to you today in voice and in sign.

Pharos Modern Greek

Pharos is a dynamic alliance of Greek-Australian educators, academics, and enthusiasts, committed to rejuvenating the teaching of modern Greek in Victoria and Australia.

Pharos is dedicated to supporting and developing Greek teachers and empowering families and students to pursue their passion for the Greek language and culture

Náhuat Saturday School        

We are a community group who gather around the study of Náhuat of El Salvador and Central America from cosmovision and Indigenous spirituality perspectives.

Náhuat Saturday School is run by Archiving the Present which facilitates local initiatives at the intersection of arts and memory, from a Central American perspective. 

Đất Nước Library       

The Đất Nước Library is a community-curated collection from Vietnam and its diaspora. The library aims to encourage collective literacy, develop shared archives and create a more culturally-connected community through the provision of access to specialist programming and a book collection which centers people and voices across the plurality of the Vietnamese experience.

Cherry Crescent Community

Parents and children from the Cherry Crescent Preschool (Braybrook) community interested in practicing Vietnamese language and culture.

The festival will feature a reading and launch of the book Crocodile và Unicorn Đi Chơi, co-authored by parents and children at Cherry Crescent Preschool. The book explores the language worlds of the multilingual community.

Howie Manns      

Howie Manns is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Monash University, where he researches language and society in Australia and Indonesia. Howie is a frequent contributor to the ABC, SBS and media as diverse as the The Conversation, the New York Times and He is a passionate advocate for multilingualism and has worked with Farsi, Spanish and Indonesian.

Howie will take festival-goers on a playful journey through Australian slang, and the all-too-forgotten impact of Australia’s hundreds of languages on this slang. 

Jollity Bollywood

Jollity means celebration and they celebrate through dance! They are specialised in various Indian dance forms, including Bollywood, Bolly Hop, Folk and Bharatnatyam. Their team of experienced and trained facilitators run sessions in Docklands and Werribee for kids and adults. They promote Indian arts and culture through their dance, and they live by one motto – “You bring yourselves to them and they bring dance to you.”

Kids Own Publishing and friends

Kids’ Own Publishing is a not-for-profit arts organisation – we publish books by kids, for kids. Kids’ Own Artists co-create books with children and their communities that reflect their culture, identity and imagination.

The festival will feature two books created in partnership with ViệtSpeak and MACHID (Hazari).

Tāne Te Manu and Te Rarangi

The Māori Creative Tāne Te Manu and Te Rarangi are a visionary husband and wife duo who craft a compelling synergy of masculine and feminine energies, subverting conventional paradigms of gender through their diverse and multidimensional art forms.

Tāne’s deep-seated love for Māori and Pacific performing arts is evident in his reverence for the Poi, a seemingly simple ball on a string to some, but to Tāne, a vessel of profound cultural and spiritual significance. Te Rarangi, the embodiment of mana wahine, is a performing artist hailing from the vibrant cultural tapestry of Waikato, Aotearoa. 

celebrating language diversity