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Prominent Indigenous voices set for talks program at Parrtjima - A Festival in Light

Callan Morse -

The Red Centre's large-scale light installation festival, Parrtjima - A Festival in Light, returns to Alice Springs this month with a raft of leading Indigenous voices set to discuss a variety of topics as part of the event's talks program.

While large-scale light installations light up the night sky above Alice Springs Desert Park for 10 nights from April 12, visitors to the festival will be able to hear from leading Indigenous figures from the arts, music and health spheres.

They include actor, screenwriter and producer Aaron Fa'aoso, health researcher Roxanne Ngarulya Highfold, TV presenter Marcellus Enalanga and art historian Professor Gregory Lehman.

Musicians Troy Cassar-Daley, Shellie Morris and Miiesha will also deliver talks as well as perform as part of the event's music program.

Parrtjima Curator, Rhoda Roberts said this year's talks program had something for everyone.

"We've got an incredible program of speakers for Parrtjima this year, with a fascinating range of topics to be covered," the proud Widjabul woman from the Bundjalung territories said.

"This is a real opportunity to listen to and learn from some of Australia's top First Nations voices, and that's what the spirit of Parrtjima is all about. Listening, learning and interconnecting to better understand each other."

In addition to Parrtjima's talks program, new initiatives including Late Night feat. Parrtjima will be held in the Alice Springs.

Taking place from 5.30pm-8.30pm on Thursday 11 April, Late Night feat. Parrtjima will see the Alice Springs CBD come alive with a fun program for all the family.

Planned events include a mini projection of crowd favourite Grounded, food stalls, music, late-night shopping and discounts, a pop-up cinema with free popcorn for movie attendees and a bouncy castle for children.

Also new is a legendary large-scale puppet by visual theatre wizards Erth. Named Arelhe Urrperle by the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group, who will delight people of all ages as she shares language and stories.

A Buy Blak Market will also be held for the first time, the three-night marketplace showcasing food and products from Aboriginal businesses.

Parrtjima favourites will remain yet with a new twist, with the MacDonnell Ranges Light Show to illuminate the 300-million-year-old landmark as a natural canvas, and Grounded, which animates the red dirt at ASDP, returning bigger and more interactive.

Parrtjima is delivered by Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) in partnership with creative directors Grumpy Sailor and events destination company We Are Gather.

Parrtjima Talks Program

All events held at Alice Springs Desert Park

April 12

- In conversation with actor, screenwriter and producer Aaron Fa'aoso - 7:30-8:15pm

April 13

- Turning point with Dr Josie Douglas and Aaron Fa'aoso - 6:30-7:30pm

- In conversation with music entertainer Troy Cassar-Daley - 7:30-8:15pm

April 14

- Interconnecting stories with Declan Miller and Emrhan Tjapanangka - 6:30-7:30pm

- In conversation with singer-songwriter Shellie Morris - 7:30-8:15pm

April 15

- Stewardship of country with Arrernte Elders and PFRG members - 6:30-7:30pm

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