WOW bits

Inspiring speakers 

Catherine Marriott – a force of nature inspiring rural Australian women

From a very young age growing up in Yarallah country Victoria, marking lambs, moving sheep and fixing fences Catherine Marriott took delight in being able to contribute to ethical food production for Australian families.

In 2012 Catherine’s passion and damned hard work led to her winning the Western Australia, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s, Rural Women’s Award, 2012. 

Shortly after receiving the award Catherine established her life long dream and created Influential Women, an organization that supports rural women by arming them with skills and confidence to sell the benefits of their food. 

This means consumers feel good about buying Australian produce and farming women feel proud of and are given the opportunity to celebrate their work.

‘There is nothing more powerful than women from different cultures coming together, to share knowledge and experience, and to take it back to their own communities. It is one of the most important things we can do for the future of the planet.’ Catherine Marriott

Artists of renown 

Marie Munkara

Marie Munkara of Rembarranga, is of Tiwi and Chinese descent and was delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River in Arnhemland by her two grandmothers Nellie Camfoo and Clare.

Marie is thrilled her grandmother Nellie Camfoo is also speaking at WOW.

Marie’s first novel Every Secret Thing (University of Queensland Press) won the David Unaipon Award in 2008 and the NT Book of the Year in 2010.

She has written children’s book, a script for a TV mini series Every Secret Thing and Penguin Random House has just commissioned her memoir.

Marie lives in Darwin with her teenage daughter and a menagerie of cats, dogs, frogs and the occasional visiting python.

WOW is a meeting of the minds! ……We open our hearts, which leads to tolerance, and respect for difference. …..festivals like WOW make us (women) even more powerful.’

Artistic workshops

There were loads of artistic workshops happening in the week before WOW including Aly de Groot’s weaving workshops. Participants learnt contemporary basketry and wove creatures from marine debris and recycled materials that contributed to a site-specific installation for WOW.

‘Aly de Groot is a visual artist from Northern Australia who takes the traditions of basket-making and weaving, then drags them kicking and screaming into strange new places’ As seen on Art Nation, ABC TV, March, 2011


We were entertained by some extraordinary performers including Kav and Co.

Kavisha Mazzella OAM leads Kav and Co. Kavisha is renowned for her stories and songs ringing with echoes of Celtic, Fado and Gypsy influences that will strike a resounding chord within.

A highlight of Kavisha’s career, and there are many, was her song Love and Justice being performed with her at the helm by over 450 women in Melbourne’s prestigious BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square.

Kavisha had WOW delegates up and singing her song Love and Justice - Women's Anthem. Love and Justice was commissioned by the Victorian Women's Trust 2008 to celebrate the anniversary of 100 years of women's suffrage in Victoria.

WOW launch - Mad Hatters Party and Funky Fashion Parade

There was a sea of wacky hats at the Mad Hatters Party created by the extraordinary milliner Waltraud Reiner. 

Milliner extraordinaire Waltraud Reiner held a series of millinery workshops at Godinymayin the week before the launch.

Extraordinary as they were they did not outdo the amazing young women who modelled the fashion creations and hats in our Funky Fashion Parade. They modelled clothes and fabrics from Merrepen Arts; Nauiyu; Daly River; the Katherine YMCA Young Women’s Group with fashions from Injalak Arts, Oenpelli and 50s inspired fashions by Babbarra Designs from Viva La Body Darwin.

Local, national and international women converged on Katherine

This is just a taster of some of the amazing women who presented at the festival:

Katherine - Clare Pearce - Community Education Officer, Parks and Wildlife, mother and active member of the community. What Clare doesn't know about Katherine's flora is not worth knowing.

NSW - Aunty Bea Ballangarry AM - Gumbaynggirr Elder from the Coffs Harbour region in the Mid North Coast NSW. Aunty Bea helped establish a Story Circle a model of healing that combines story telling and ceremony. WOW delegates have the opportunity of participating in a Story Circle as part of the festival’s workshop program.

New York - Isisara Bey - former Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Sony Music Entertainment and Director, Corporate Affairs, Sony Pictures, Los Angeles. Now Journey Agent and Co-ordinator, WOW Harlem, New York.