Balit Bagurrk: Strong Aboriginal Women of the Yarra Ranges

A close up of Bunjil earrings in a participant's hands

Balit Bagurrk: Strong Aboriginal Women of the Yarra Ranges is a project to gather stories, photos, writing, poetry or artwork about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have been important to this region.


We have received over sixty submissions of astounding work from strong women across the Yarra Ranges. From visceral poetry to stunning Indigenous earring designs, we can’t wait to share the results of this project. In May, we’ll be launching a book full of the incredible results of this project. From designers to writers, the Balit Bagurrk publication will explore the incredible submissions that we’ve received, and the brilliant artists who made them. Stay tuned for more details!


Who can submit?

  • Anyone (Indigenous & non-Indigenous, any gender) who knows or has a connection to a strong Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander woman

  • School aged children (12 yrs & up) and anyone 18 years & over

  • People who have never painted, written a story or poem before

  • Multiple entries from the same artist will be accepted provided each submission is of a different subject

  • The entry must be the original work of the artist/s

  • Employees of Yarra Ranges Council and their direct family members are permitted to enter

Submission guidelines

  • Submissions can be a story, poem, song, photo, drawing, painting, or any other 2D visual art or creative work

  • All submissions must be accompanied by an attached submission form

  • Submissions must be about a female-identifying Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who has lived, worked or been strongly associated with the Yarra Ranges region

  • We are accepting contributions from all in the community, but will be prioritising submissions from First Nations community members in the final make-up of the publication

  • Digital submissions of visual artforms must be at least 300dpi

  • Submissions must be suitable to fit comfortably on one A4 page of the final printed publication

  • Artworks must be between A4 (21.0 x 29.7 cm) and A3 (29.7 x 42.0cm) in size and in portrait layout, not landscape

  • Written submissions should be 500 words maximum.

  • Wet artwork will not be accepted

  • We cannot accept sculptures or USBs
  • All efforts will be made to return original artworks but the project cannot be held responsible for loss or damage. All unclaimed artworks will be discarded three months after the closing date

  • Balit Bagurrk is an inclusive project and we will do everything we can to include all submissions that fit within the guidelines. However the Project Committee reserves the right to exclude submissions that do not fit within the Guidelines or that is deemed inappropriate for inclusion in the publication

  • Submissions must be the original work of the contributor, unless you are including a photo of your subject

  • All rights (including Intellectual Property rights) remain with the Contributor, however by submitting their work the contributor grants the Balit Bagurrk Project Committee/Yarra Ranges Council a perpetual, non-exclusive, non-transferrable licence to use and reproduce the work for the purposes of conducting the project within the project period, and to the extent such materials are comprised in or necessary for the use of the project material (in other words, your work will be used for this specific project only unless we seek additional permission from you)

It is the responsibility of the contributor to seek permission from their subject where appropriate

Submission award

  • We will pay each person $150 for their submission regardless of the number of submissions made. You will be contacted once your submission has been processed to arrange payment.


  • Anyone under the age of 12 years

Privacy Collection Notice

Yarra Ranges Council is collecting limited personal information from you, for the purpose of administering your entry into the ‘Balit Bagurrk: Strong Aboriginal women of the Yarra Ranges community project.

Your information will only be disclosed to relevant Yarra Ranges Council, and HICSA staff coordinating the project.

Your name, name of subject and your short artist statement to be included on your creative work (story, image, visual artwork, poem) submission will be published during associated ‘Balit Bagurrk: Strong Aboriginal Women of the Yarra Ranges’ promotional events around the Yarra Ranges.

Your de-identified information may also be used by the Cultural Development team for project evaluation and reporting purposes.

You may access your information by contacting the Cultural Development Officer at Yarra Ranges Council 1300 368 333 during business hours.

For more information, see Council’s Privacy Policy.

Project Committee Members

The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) consists of:

  • Brooke Wandin -  Wurundjeri women, Aboriginal Cultural Consultant
  • Mandy Nicholson – Wurundjeri women, Owner at Tharangalk Art, Founder singer songwriter of Djirri Djirri
  • Samantha Piper – Wurundjeri women, Balit Bagurrk Project Manager

The main task of the Balit Bagurrk Project Advisory Committee (PAC) is to provide guidance and support to the project manager and the project team to ensure that the results meet the project objectives.

The responsibilities and duties of the PAC members include:

  • Provide strategic guidance & support to the project manager

  • Provide expertise or advise in specific areas such as indigenous health, indigenous laws & protocols, indigenous community engagement, arts & writing
  • Reviewing & validating project outcomes to ensure they meet project objectives

  • Reviewing publication submissions

  • Attending Project Advisory Committee meetings where feedback or advice is needed

  • Be available to the project manager (Samantha Piper) for advice

  • Ad-hoc feedback when required

  • Advocate for the project

  • Promote the project to gain exposure and interest


This project is a partnership between Yarra Ranges Council and Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association, funded by VicHealth’s Gender Equality for the Arts Program. It is governed and guided by a majority Indigenous, female project committee.