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Miranda Tapsell: Top End Girl


‘The Territory has never left me. It’s the place I go to when I want to feel whole again.’

Actor, writer and producer Miranda Tapsell is a beloved figure of Australian screen culture. She’s a familiar face on television – with credits on Love Child, Get Krack!n, Play School, Newton’s Law, Cleverman and Wolf Creek, among others – and she starred in the globally successful film The Sapphires.

With her close friend, comedian and playwright Nakkiah Lui, she helmed the BuzzFeed podcast Pretty for an Aboriginal. Last year, she starred in the box office hit Top End Wedding – which she also wrote and produced. The film draws together comedy, romance and Country, and challenges perceptions and on-screen representations of First Nations people, especially women. She made the film while planning her own wedding.

Tapsell’s latest project is Top End Girl, a thoughtful memoir chronicling the process of making Top End Wedding, and the stories and ideas that animate it. In conversation with Lui, she joins us to talk about her lifelong passion for storytelling, community and culture.

This live-stream comes to you from the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. The Wheeler Centre acknowledges their elders past, present and emerging. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to the elders of all lands this broadcast reaches.

It’s an uncertain moment for the arts, for writers and for everybody. If you’re in a position to support our efforts to bring you books, writing and ideas from a safe distance, you can make a contribution here. Thank you for your generosity.


Miranda Tapsell

Miranda Tapsell was born in Darwin and her people are the Larrakia. She grew up in Kakadu National Park and began performing at the age of seven. At 16, she won the Bell Shakespeare Company regional performance scholarship. After finishing school, she was accepted to study at NIDA full-time, and sin... Read more

Nakkiah Lui

Nakkiah Lui is a writer/actor/director and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. She began her playwriting career at Sydney Theatre Company under the artistic directorship of Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett, since then she has worked with every major theatre company in Australia. Nakkiah was acto... Read more

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.