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Indigenous Public Diplomacy

2018 NAIDOC Speaker Series - New Caledonia

Ella performing a ballet move on a bridge with the island in the background.
Ella celebrates her visit with a perfect ballet move. Credit: Dana Moran

Ella Havelka is the first Indigenous Australian ballerina to join the Australian Ballet Company.

As part of DFAT's NAIDOC Week Speaker Series 'Because of Her, We Can' and as special guest of the Australian Consulate-General in Noumea, Ella, her mother Janna Havelka and Dana Moran, Australian Ballet's External Relations, Government and Strategic Communications Manager celebrated NAIDOC 2018, and the International Day of the World's Indigenous People with a tour of New Caledonia.

Kanaak leaders welcoming ella and her mother with a ceremony.
Kanaak leaders welcome Ella and her mother with a 'Welcome' ceremony. Credit: Australian Consulate General in Noumea
Ella and her mother posing for a photo with female anaak leaders.
Ella and her mother (centre) met with female Kanaak leaders from across New Caledonia. Credit: Australian Consulate General in Noumea

Ella's weeklong visit was celebration of her accomplishments and an opportunity to share her story with New Caledonians.

One of the many engagements that the Australia High Commission arranged for Ella to participate in were visits to schools in less developed and rural parts of New Caledonia, where the population is majority Kanak.

As dance has a strong place in both Australian Indigenous and Kanak cultural heritage it was a perfect medium for Ella to interact and engage with the youth. Ella also visited 400 schoolchildren of diverse backgrounds in the capital of Noumea. Her visit highlighted the importance of persistence and hard work which inspired many of the New Caledonians that she met.

Ella posing for a photo with seveal Kanaak youth
Dance was an effective tool to inspire and engage with Kanak youth. Credit: Australian Consulate General in Noumea
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