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Cultural Icons - Our First Nations Cadets

Troy and Amy 1

Troy Schrieber and Amy Weatherall

Photo Tara Hodge

We talk to 2022 First Nations Cadets Amy Weatherall and Troy Schrieber about bringing The Story of Pomi and Gobba back to Wiradjuri Country.

In 2022, The Australian Ballet’s First Nations Cadets Amy Weatherall and Troy Schrieber along with the Education and Outreach team travelled to Wagga Wagga on Wiradjuri Country as part of a commitment to return The Story of Pomi and Gobba to Country.

In addition to the performers, Wiradjuri choreographer Ella Havelka, Walbunga composer Tristan Field and Maiawali designer Lillian Hull taught and performed at local schools learning from the Wiradjuri Elders and assisting Ella.

Wrapping up the year, Amy and Troy performed Pomi and Gobba for an audience of Elders and community members at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery exhibition mayinyguwalgu ngunggirridyu meaning “I will share with other people”. Created by the Hands on Weavers and other artists, the exhibition tells three local stories through weaving, animation, sculpture and modern furniture design.

Pomi & Gobba is a contemporary adaptation inspired by the original Wiradjuri Dreamtime story Pomingalarna and Gobbagumbalun. Here Amy and Troy discuss their experiences as First Nations Cadets with The Australian Ballet.


Troy Schrieber

Photo Tara Hodge

Tell us a little about what led you to apply for the cadetship program

AW: I really liked the idea of getting to travel to new places, meet new people and exchange stories and skills. I love sharing my knowledge of dance and teaching young people how to express themselves through movement and getting the opportunity to perform on top of that was incredibly rewarding.

TS: The Australian Ballet Education & Outreach team came to Cairns and did some workshops when I was only a young boy at the time. In 2022, after I graduated school and turned 18, I joined The Australian Ballet team First Nations cadets because I wanted to pursue dance and travel.

Amy Weatheral photo by Tara Hodge

Amy Weatherall

Photo Tara Hodge

What were some of the most valuable learnings or experiences you had during the cadetship? Have you gained any skills you can see yourself using in the future? What are your plans now?

AW: One of the most valuable experiences during my cadetship was having the opportunity to perform Pomi & Gobba in Wagga Wagga, presenting it back to the Elders and community on Wiradjuri land where the story originates. It was an honour to share how the work had progressed and learn more about the origins of the story and the land it’s from. I also learnt so much about teaching from everyone on the team. Everyone brought so much knowledge and experience to the team and I will be calling on this in my new position as a dance tutor for Bangarra’s Rekindling Youth Program.

TS: A valuable learning experience that I will hold onto and use in the future is teaching. The teaching side really opened my eyes and helped me then use these teaching skills in a project with Phunktional Arts. I’d like to thank Jasmin and the rest of the education team for teaching me to teach.

Troy and Amy 1

Troy Schrieber and Amy Weatherall

Photo Tara Hodge

Were there any unexpected challenges that you faced? If so, what were they?

AW: One of the challenges I faced with the cadetship was the time constraints in learning both the teaching syllabus in addition to the performance of Pomi & Gobba. It was very fast paced and a lot of information to remember, but in the end, I found it very beneficial to focus on learning as much in the studio as we could before heading off on tour to pick up what was left to learn along the way. The team were very patient when it came to remembering sections of the class and were always there to help us whenever we needed.

TS: I’ve done a lot of freestyle and traditional dance in the past, so learning a 20 min contemporary/ballet duet was a new experience, and performing it was a proud and fun moment.

Can you describe your experience in three words?

“Inspiring. Educational. Rewarding.” — Amy Weather­all
“Adventure. Educational. Deadly.” — Troy Schrieber

The Australian Ballet is thrilled to announce that Troy has joined the company as a Dance Educator, teaching and performing in school and community projects and Amy has taken on a role with Bangarra’s Rekindling Youth Program.

For more information on the Education and Outreach program or to book a performance click the button below.

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