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First Spoken – Aiden Rowlingson and Ellen van Neerven

13 min watch

Aiden Rowlingson (Butchella) and Ellen van Neerven (Munanjali) represent a new wave of incredible First Nations writers, creating work that is fresh, challenging, and powerful. Both took part in QPAC’s Sparks program in 2019 developing new theatre work.

Here they share some of their original works with us. 

Picture This” Aiden Rowlingson and Merryn Trescott  

“Anti Espalier’ Aiden Rowlingson 

White Excellence Ellen van Neerven 

logonliveon” Ellen van Neerven 

Both poems by Ellen van Neerven are from her latest poetry collection Throat published by UQP May 2020. 

Aiden Rowlingson is a multidisciplinary artist and producer based in Brisbane. He is a proud queer Butchulla man of K'gari (Fraser Island and Wide Bay area). Aidan graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Acting and Performance. He has worked in classical and contemporary theatre including Henry V by William Shakespeare, The Chair Plays by Edward Bond, Dislocated and ANTHRO APOLOGY by Alethea Beetson and Digi Youth Arts. He has also performed poetry as a part of IMA's First Thursdays, Queensland Museum's Black Out  and Jungle Love Festival to name a few. 

Ellen van Neerven (born in Meanjin, 1990) is an award-winning writer and editor of Mununjaly Yugambeh (South East Queensland) and Dutch heritage. Ellen’s first book, Heat and Light was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize. Ellen’s second book, a collection of poetry Comfort Food, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize and highly commended for the 2016 Wesley Michael Wright Prize. Her second poetry collection Throat was published by UQP in May 2020. 

QPAC First Nations

Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy. The foundations laid by these ancestors – our First Nations Peoples – gives strength, inspiration and courage to current and future generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, towards creating a better Queensland.