The Sunday Stir

21 Mar 2021

A celebration of migrant stories

Mix it up at the Maritime Museum for an afternoon of art, storytelling, music and culture

Experience local contemporary artists sharing their stories of migration through drawing, poetry, story and song in a vibrant and interactive program that celebrates Australia’s multicultural society.

The artists will perform throughout the museum, interacting with visitors and deepening their experience and understanding of the journeys we make, what we take with us and what we leave behind.


Performance Schedule

 12.00 – 4:00  Hedar Abadi        2:00 – 2:15 Mariam Abbas and Hedar Abadi 
 12.00 – 4:00 Emmanuel Assante         2:00 – 2:30 Asma Nayim Ullah
 12:00 – 5:00 Teivao Pupu Tamariki        2:00 – 2:30 Hani Abdile
 12:00 – 12:15 Cook Islands Reo Manea         2:00 – 2:30 Assefa Bekele
 12:15 - 12:45 Karifi African drummers         2:15 – 2:45 Maryam Zahid
 12:15 – 12:45 Hani Abdile        2:15 – 2:30 Cook Islands Reo Manea
 12:15 – 12:45 Asma Nayim Ullah        2:30 – 3:00 Karifi African drummers
 12:30– 1:00 Microwave Jenny / Official launch        2:30 – 3:15 Uncle Wes Marne
 12:45 – 1:00 Mariam Abbas and Hedar Abadi        2:45 – 3:15 Microwave Jenny
 12:45 – 1:00 Emmanuel Assante (story)        3:00 – 3:15 Emmanuel Assante (story)
 12:45 – 1:15 Assefa Bekele        3:00 – 3:15 Mariam Abbas and Hedar Abadi
 1:00 – 1:45 Uncle Wes Marne        3:00 – 3:30 Assefa Bekele
 1:15 – 1:45 Maryam Zahid        3:00 – 3:30 Asma Nayim Ullah
 1:15 – 1:45 Ehab Hadi, Sinan Bayood & Dany Sequeira        3:15 – 3:45 Maryam Zahid
 1:15 – 1:45 Karifi African drummers         3:15 – 3:45 Hani Abdile
 1:30 – 1:45 Emmanuel Assante (story)        3:15 – 3:45 Aurora Choralis
 1:45 – 2:00 Cook Islands Reo Manea        4:00 – 4:30 Ehab Hadi, Sinan Bayood & Dany Sequeira
 1:45 – 2:15 Aurora Choralis          


Discover the full lineup of performers


Artists and Storytellers

Mariam Abbas and Hedar Abadi are both award-winning artists from Iraq. Reaching beyond the visual arts realm, Mariam has written and performed her family's story of migration as part of the StorySlam project at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in 2019. Mariam will be sharing her story while Hedar, her dad, delights the audience with intricate live sketching in pastels and charcoal.
Assefa Bekele is a respected community leader and works as a multicultural liaison officer with NSW Police. After growing up in a village in Ethiopia, Assefa moved to Greece to complete his degree in engineering, then migrated to Australia in 1988 while civil war was raging in his home country. Assefa and his grandson will tell their story of intergenerational migration.


Uncle Wes Marne is a Bigambul man and community Elder who has lived in Mt Druitt, Sydney for the past 45 years. When he was nine-years-old, the government removed his family from tribal lands in Stanthorpe Hills and took them to Deadbird Mission, Queensland.
Uncles Wes is committed to sharing the traditional knowledge of his grandfather's creation and dreaming stories, and his personal experiences of his life as an Aboriginal man over the last century.

Asma Nayim Ullah is a young emerging storyteller who just graduated high school. Asma is a Rohingya refugee from Myanmar who came to Australia by boat in 2013 at the age of 10. Asma recently began to write to cope with the trauma of migration and her story depicts her experience as a young Rohingya immigrant, a community which has been persecuted for decades.
Maryam Zahid is an emerging playwright and activist who fled Afghanistan at the age of 20 and came to Australia as a refugee. She now creates work focused on gender, women and the displacement of Afghan diaspora.
Maryam’s play, The Good Woman, explores the oppression of Afghan women, and questions their traditional roles. In 2019, Maryam was named Blacktown City Woman of the Year.
Hani Abdile is an award-winning writer and spoken word poet. Hani was forced to leave her home country of Somalia and came to Australia by boat seeking protection in 2014. During her 11 months in immigration detention on Christmas Island, Abdile found healing in poetry and developed a love of writing. She will share excerpts of her book, I Will Rise, as well as her latest poetry work.

Emmanuel Asante is a young visual artist who uses mixed media drawn from a range of cultural settings. His practice critically examines and reflects on his own identity as a young Ghanaian immigrant, incorporating traditional African motifs, metaphors and symbols to evoke a unique visual aesthetic to tell a story.
Teivao Pupu Tamariki is of Cook Islander Māori heritage, who works in wood carving, textile design, mural and street art. His work reflects his cultural identity and tells his ancestral stories from Tahiti to Aotearoa to Blacktown. Integral to Teivao’s practice is his interactions with visitors as he explains the deep significance of his ancestral stories and the meanings of the symbols he uses in his artwork and in the tattoos on his own body.




Aurora Choralis are a Sydney-based chamber choir, comprised of members from diverse backgrounds and professions, all with a shared passion for musical excellence. With diamond-like clarity and rich tones, Aurora Choralis present the best of choral music from the Renaissance to the present day.

Cook Islands Reo Manea are elders from Blacktown and the Western Sydney community who gather to share culture and stories through music. Be lifted by the sounds of this vocal and ukulele ensemble as they share songs from their island homelands to Australian shores.

Ehab Hadi, Sinan Bayood and Dany Sequeira are an unmistakable trio that take audiences through the rich sounds of Arabic music. Their wide repertoire includes folkloric and traditional Iraqi songs, as well as some with a contemporary tinge.

Gii means heart from the Gamillaroi people of the New England area. Sharing stories of life, love and connection to history and land through an audio feast of guitar, banjo, ukulele, violin and harmonies, Gii will get people swaying, dancing and singing.

Karifi showcase the diverse cultures of Ghana through drumming, chant, dance and ritual. This intergenerational ensemble is led by community elder Yaw Derkyi, who has been performing and promoting music and dance for over 40 years. Karifi will make you smile, tap your feet and warm your heart.



Daisy Montalvo is a writer, director and filmmaker, who will produce and direct the artists and musicians. A Mount Druitt local, Daisy's parents immigrated to Australia from El Salvador in the late 1980s. Their experiences gave her personal insight into the reality of leaving behind family, friends, familiar language and culture to seek safety and new opportunities.



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