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Marion Taylor Opening Night Gala

Anisa Nandaula + David Stavanger + Baker Boy + Omar Sakr

Auditorium 1, State Library of Queensland

Performance / Special



#About the event


Anisa Nandaula

Anisa Nandaula

Anisa is a nationally recognised spoken word poet, performer, educator and published author. Her poetry has appeared on ABC radio, Triple Z, 4EB Radio and has been performed at the Sydney Opera house, Townsville cultural festival, Horizon festival and the New Globe theater. Anisa is the Queensland Slam Poetry champion 2016 and placed second in the Australian National Slam Poetry finals 2017. She is the co-founder of poetry group Voices of Colour which aims to elevate the voices of young people of colour and encourages them to engage with social justice issues. She was also the winner of the XYZ Innovation in spoken word prize.

David Stavanger

David Stavanger

David Stavanger is a poet, performer, cultural producer and lapsed psychologist. In 2013 he won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, resulting in the release of The Special (University of Queensland Press), his first full-length collection of poetry which was awarded the 2015 Wesley Michel Wright Poetry Prize. His poem Octonaut was recently short-listed for the 2019 Moth Poetry Prize (Ireland) and his next Australia Council funded collection CASE NOTES is due to come out in 2020. David was Co-Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival (2015-17). He is the Co-Editor of Rabbit Journal's Tense issue, Australian Poetry Journal 8.2 Spoken, Verity La’s spoken word stream Slot Machine and the anthology SOLID AIR: Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP, 2019). He is also sometimes known as Green Room-nominated spoken weird artist Ghostboy,helping to establish spoken word in QLD whilst featuring at festivals nationally and touring internationally in various iterations. These days he lives between the stage and the page.

Baker Boy

Baker Boy

In Arnhem Land they call Baker Boy the "fresh new prince". His totem is the Olive Python, his moiety is Dhuwa and his skin is Burralung/Gela boy.

Born in Darwin and raised in the remote NT communities Milingimbi and Maningrida, Danzal Baker aka Baker Boy is the freshest new Yolngu hip-hop talent from the Top End. Young, strong and proud Baker Boy raps in Yolngu Matha, the language language of the Yolngu People of Arnhem Land. 

Since Baker Boy's debut single, 'Cloud 9' in 2017, he has become a multi-talented, multi-lingual artist, working across rap, dance and acting, and he hopes to inspire younger generations to embrace their culture and become leaders in their communities.

New single ‘In Control’ was co-written with award-winning writer/producer and multi-instrumentalist Pip Norman (Troye Sivan, Tuka, CXLOE). Featured on the freshly baked track is the T.I.M.E (Thornbury Instrumental Music Experience) Crew of Thornbury Primary who contribute their raw and energetic vocals to the track.

Rapping in his native language Yolngu Matha, Baker Boy says of his new single, “In Control encourages not only kids, but everyone to be brave and confident in taking control of their futures. No matter what challenges they’re facing or how many times they’ve been knocked back, it’s about having the right mind set and supporting yourself to be the very best version of who you are and to achieve all your dreams, no matter how young or old.”

The rising Indigenous rapper has one of his biggest supporters contributing to his new release. Danazl’s father Josiah Baker, who previously appeared in his music video’s ‘Cool As Hell’ and ‘Marryuna feat. Yirrmal (“Dance”)’, paints the crosshatching on the original artwork.

Says Danzal, “Painting in the style of crosshatching is symbolic of where I am from, North East Arnhem Land. I wanted to use this art style because it represents me and who I am, I want to show everyone out there that I am proud and I want to encourage them to also be proud of who they are and where they come from.”

‘In Control’ is the follow-up to the strikingly upbeat single ‘Cool As Hell’ with over 2.5 million streams globally. The single has further rocketed Baker Boy’s success, jam-packed with his hallmark positive messages. Baker Boy will be performing at Yours & Owls Festival, Festival of the Sun, Falls Festival and other shows coming up.

Baker Boy has everyone talking, and is destined to be one of this country's greatest hip hop stars.

Omar Sakr

Omar Sakr

Omar Sakr is a bisexual Arab-Australian poet. His debut collection, These Wild Houses (2017), was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Award and the Kenneth Slessor Prize. His poetry has been published in English, Arabic, and Spanish, in numerous journals and anthologies. He placed runner-up in the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and has also been shortlisted for the ACU Poetry Prize, the Story Wine Prize, and the Fair Australia Poetry Prize. Omar has performed his work nationally and internationally.


Steven Oliver

Steven Oliver

Steven Oliver is a descendant of the Kukuyalanji, Waanyi, Gangalidda, Woppaburra, Bundjalung and Biripi peoples. He studied at the Aboriginal Music Theatre Training Programme in Perth and from there was accepted into the Music Theatre Programme at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Upon his return to Queensland he took on the role of Assistant Artistic Director with the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts in Brisbane. He has worked with companies such as Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre, Kooemba Jdarra Theatre, La Boite Theatre, JUTE Theatre Company, Kite Theatre and the Queensland Arts Council. He has had showings of his musical Black Queen Black King as part of Queensland Theatre Company’s Creative Development Series in Association with Playlab and also at the Brisbane Powerhouse for their World Theatre Festival Program. He has also been a Queensland state finalist twice in Brisbane and national finalist for the Australian Poetry Slam at the Sydney Opera House. He has also had his play Proppa Solid (originally Proper Solid) produced by JUTE Theatre Company in 2014 that will tour Queensland in 2016 and will also be published by Playlab. He is also a writer, actor and associate producer for ABC’s Logie nominated sketch show Black Comedy and has just finished filming season 2 to air in 2016.

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