Artist and Comedian
Who is Aretha?
Aretha made headlines following her speeches at both the 2017 and 2018 Invasion Day Protests in Melbourne.
The then Year 11 student, addressed an estimated 50,000 protesters in Melbourne on Invasion Day, calling for the date of the national holiday to be changed and fighting to make Indigenous history education mainstream.
Her delivery and ideas led her to be elected as Prime Minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament, the youngest ever person — and the first woman — to hold this position.
Now a practising artist and comedian, Aretha takes heavy influence from her home in Melbourne's Western Suburbs and her own identity as a queer, Blak, young person living in the confinements of an urban settler colony.
Photo Credit: Jamie Wdziekonski.
"Humour is my weapon of resilience. I think Indigenous people have such a unique way of telling our stories through jokes and cracking each other up and it’s something that we really stand out in."
Photo Credit: Sam Carson 2018.
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Slime & Ashes, cur. Matthew Harris. 28 Nov 2020 – 15 Jan 2021
Slime & Ashes, curated by Matthew Harris, brings together varied artistic approaches to uncanny figuration and anthropomorphic cuteness to consider the interlocking experiences of nature, culture, community and identity.
I wrote, directed and produced my first comedy short.
This documentary program follows the intense transformation of Aretha from “awkward loner” to “cool person,” by talking to some of the coolest people ever known (in Melbourne), as she gains secret insider knowledge in hopes that they can help her to overcome her permanent state of being a social reject.
TOP ARTS, Exhibition at the National Gallery Of Victoria.
My artwork "Time is on our side, you mob" was selected as the hero image for the 2019 Top Arts exhibition. The exhibition itself presented diverse and accomplished works of art from students who have completed Art or Studio Arts as part of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).
I spoke at the Syndey Opera House!
I was lucky enough to be included in Sydney’s favourite feminist gathering the All About Women Festival. All About Women annually features a stellar line-up of incredible international and Australian thinkers interrogating a range of topics impacting the lives of women.
#Learn My Truth Campaign hosted by (In my blood it runs; NIYEC and Be Collective)
I worked with the 'In My Blood It Runs' documentary, Be Collective Culture and NIYEC (The National Indigenous Youth Education Collective) to contribute to the 'Learn my truth' campaign to prioritise Indigenous histories to be taught in High Schools.