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Tiddas, Mothers, Aunties: First Nations Matriarchies


Event Status

In partnership with Blak & Bright, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Jackie Huggins and Amy Thunig explore the central role of women, mothers and matriarchs in First Nations cultures.


In this panel event, voices from different generations and First Nations backgrounds come together to explore First Nations community and family networks, and how they relate to conceptions of motherhood, parenting and the transmission of First Nations knowledge systems.

Ali Cobby Eckermann is the Windham Campbell Prize-winning author of memoir, poetry and verse novels, including Inside My Mother, and a survivor of the Stolen Generations. Dr Jackie Huggins’ decades of work as an author, historian and academic have focused on First Nations identity, activism and the question of feminism’s relevance for Indigenous women. An education academic and frequent media commentator, Dr Amy Thunig’s forthcoming memoir Tell Me Again explores the shaping of identity amidst intergenerational trauma and poverty – and deep familial love.

For this wide-ranging conversation in partnership with Blak and Bright, they join host Bridget Caldwell-Bright for an insightful conversation about the women they have known, loved and learned from, and the women they are. This event will open with a Yarn Bomb from emerging Kamilaroi artist Emily Wells.

This event will be photographed and recorded for use by the Wheeler Centre. The bookseller for this event is Readings.

Presented in partnership with Blak and Bright.



Wheelchair accessible

Accessible toilets available

You can learn more about the Wheeler Centre’s accessibility policies here. Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or

About Spring Fling

Celebrating our return to the stage and the rejuvenation of the arts and culture communities, Spring Fling is a short series of big ideas offering a delectable picnic spread of events with leading thinkers, writers and creators from Australia and abroad.

Spring Fling is supported by the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund, a Victorian Government and City of Melbourne partnership.

Spring Fling 2022


Ali Cobby Eckermann

Ali Cobby Eckermann’s first collections of poetry little bit long time and Kami (2010) both quickly sold out their first print runs. Her verse novel His Father’s Eyes was published by OUP in 2011. Her second verse novel Ruby Moonlight won the inaugural kuril dhagun National Manuscript Ed... Read more

Jackie Huggins

Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA, a member of the Bidjara and Birri Gubba Juru peoples, is currently leading the work for Treaty/Treaties in Queensland. In popular demand as a speaker on Aboriginal issues, she is a well-known historian and author, with articles published widely in Australia and internation... Read more

Amy Thunig

Dr Amy Thunig (B.Arts, M.Teach, PhD) is a Gomeroi/Gamilaroi/Kamilaroi yinarr (woman) and mother who resides on the unceded lands of the Awabakal peoples. An academic in the field of education, Amy is also a Director at Story Factory in Redfern, and in 2019 gave their TEDx talk: ‘Disruption is Not... Read more

Emily Wells

Emily Wells is a proud Kamilaroi producer and playwright currently working with YIRRAMBOI Festival. As a Playwright, Emily’s debut play Face to Face premiered at Metro Arts (Brisbane) as part of Playlab Theatre’s 2022 Season. Emily was selected for Playlab Theatre’s year-long script de... Read more

Bridget Caldwell-Bright

Bridget Caldwell-Bright is a Jingili and Mudburra editor based in Melbourne. She is currently working as an editorial policies advisor at the ABC. She was previously co-editor for weekly news digest SUBTEXT(E), co-editor for Archer Magazine’s First Nations Edition and managing editor for Blak Brow... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.