Ben Graetz

Iwaidja, Malak Malak and Badu Island

Ben Graetz was born and raised in Darwin, Northern Territory, and is a descendant of the Iwaidja and Malak Malak Clans in the Northern Territory and of Badu Island on the Torres Strait Islands of Australia. Ben has been working in the performing arts sector for close to 24 years and has established himself as one of this country’s most dynamic and influential arts makers, working as a performer, director, producer, writer, MC and artistic director. He is the co-director of Party Passport – a company that creates, runs and produces events that celebrate diversity and inclusion, with a particular focus on First Nations LGBTQIA+ Brotherboy and Sistergirl communities. A testament to his creativity, community activism and leadership, Ben was awarded LGBTI Person of the Year in 2018. Ben is the current creative director for the National Indigenous Music Awards and co-festival creative director for Sydney WorldPride 2023.

Ben was also a fellow of ISPA from 2017-2020 and has led and participated in numerous First Nations cultural conversations and forums globally. Ben is also the founder of BRG Production. A 100% owned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business offering creative directing, MCing and producing services.

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Communications Lead
Wiradjuri, Ngemba & Paakantji

Rona is a proud Kaytetye woman from Central Australia who works with high impact organisations to create systems that centre First Nations people, knowledge and solutions.

Rona is the founder of Common Ground and brings 7 years 
of professional experience working across First Nations organisations and not for profits. Rona was previously the Director of First Nations at YLab, a social enterprise that puts young people with diverse lived experiences at the centre of designing and developing innovative and impactful solutions 
to complex social issues. Over her career, Rona has worked in policy at the Central Land Council, the Research Unit for Indigenous Languages at the University of Melbourne, Reconciliation Victoria, and the Foundation for Young Australians.In 2020, Rona was a finalist for the Victorian Young Achiever awards, was awarded a Westpac Social Change Fellowship. In 2019 Rona won a Diana Award and was named a 'Woman of the Future'  by Women's Weekly.Through her work with First Nations communities across Australia, Rona aims to create future systems that centre First Nations people, knowledge and cultures.Rona currently resides in Mpartnwe on Arrernte Country.