First Nations


Step into the heart of BIGSOUND and discover Goolwal Goolwal, our First Nations curated and led program dedicated to empowering and amplifying Indigenous voices. Nestled within the bustling epicenter of Fortitude Valley, home of the southern hemisphere's premier music gathering. Goolwal Goolwal beckons you to immerse yourself in its powerful currents. This deadly program is overflowing with sessions embedded across all of BIGSOUND. 

Make sure you drop into The Goolwal Garden (The Sound Garden), our First Nations House. Here, amidst thought-provoking panels, electrifying showcase performances, and exclusive events, you'll find more than just music — you'll find a community. Downstairs resonates with beats and rhythms, whilst upstairs offers a sanctuary of calm, where you can unwind with a cuppa, engage in workshops, and explore captivating art displays. Entry is free until 5:30 pm daily, with ticketed showcases and events extending into the night.

Our dedicated First Nations team is a constant presence throughout BIGSOUND, providing unwavering support to Indigenous artists and allies. Whether you're forging connections, seeking resources, or simply sharing stories, our team ensures that every voice is not just heard but celebrated.

Join us at BIGSOUND and experience Goolwal Goolwal, where the essence of culture and creativity intertwine to inspire and uplift.

Meet The Team

Step behind the scenes and get to know the faces driving Goolwal Goolwal. Our dedicated First Nations team—always present throughout the whole of BIGSOUND—ensures that every First Nations voice is not just heard, but celebrated.

Elders In Residence

We acknowledge the tremendous work of our Elders in Residence Uncle Kevin Starkey (XXXX) & Toni Janke (Wuthathi, Yadighana and Meriam).

Uncle Kev

Elder In Residence

“It has been firstly an Honour to be able to stand in representation of all First Peoples of this country. It has been equally a privilege as well as exciting to watch the growth and interaction between ATSI First Nations Creatives and Artists and the broader Music Industry. Thank you to all the First Nations Team and BIGSOUND staff for your support”

Toni Janke

Wuthathi, Yadighana and Meriam

“It’s so exciting to be part of Goolwal Goolwal program. The strong presence of First Nations artists and artsworkers from not only Queensland, but right across the country is testimony to the fact that First Nations culture is loud and proud. Music is part of our DNA and we want to showcase First Nations music to the broader community and to the world at large as the oldest surviving culture on the planet."

First Nations Advisory Group

We also acknowledge the invaluable support and contributions of the First Nations Advisory Group, bringing diverse expertise and knowledge from a range of mediums.

Karina Hogan

Bundjalung Country

Larissa Hume

Wamba Wamba and Dhudhuroa

Will Pawa-Oui

First Nations Consultancy Group

Catherine Satour

Pertame and Mirning

Boe Spearim

Kooma, Murawarii and Gamilaraay

Emily Wells


First Nations Working Group

Weaving the magic behind the scenes is our Goolwal Goolwal producer and First Nations QMusic team. They are committed to delivering an impactful diverse program, that will amplify and celebrate First Nations artists, industry workers and community.

Sue Ray

(Gamilaroi/Gomeroi) – First Nations Music Officer

Kearna Kemister

(Wiradjuri) – Producer


(Birri/Kungarri/Byelee/Kabi Kabi/South Sea) – First Nations Support Officer