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and Belvoir

Originally developed and produced with the support of the Balnaves Foundation



Photo Credit: Ponch Hawkes 

A theatrical documentary about the irrepressible life
and times of Palm Island

Co-presented by Artistic Merit with the support of ViCHealth. 

Palm Island, 2004. An Aboriginal man dies in police custody. Members of the Palm Island community make a direct challenge to police power and the police station is torched. Eight years later, the people of Palm Island continue to demand real justice, and all the while life continues.

ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Belvoir came together in 2011 over a shared sense of outrage at the injustices surrounding the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee. But, prompted by the Palm Island community, they have looked for a way to turn anger into real understanding and new possibilities. The result is Beautiful One Day – a theatrical documentary about the irrepressible life and times of Palm Island.

As raw as it is confronting, the show stars three Islanders in their first theatrical appearances. It combines documentary-style footage with conversation, reportage, stories and images, told in their own words. Beautiful One Day captures the horrible reality of an unnecessary death and yet the remarkable humanity, wisdom and determination to forgive of Palm Islanders.

An antidote to the relentlessly negative media coverage, this work interweaves the stories of Palm Island, the diktats of white Australia and the voices of the community to create a work that is honest,  joyful and poignant. 

ILBIJERRI is Australia’s leading and longest running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company.  

We create challenging and inspiring theatre creatively controlled by Indigenous artists. Our stories are provocative and affecting and gives voice to our unique and diverse cultures.

ILBIJERRI tours its work to national, regional and remote locations across Australia, and the world.  We have commissioned 36 new Indigenous works and performed for more than 250,000 people.

We deliver a broad program of artist development for new and emerging Indigenous writers, actors, directors and creatives.

Born from community, ILBIJERRI remain a spearhead for the Australian Indigenous community in telling our stories of what it means to be Indigenous in Australia today. Our work possesses the power to reach out and remind audiences of every person’s need for family, history and heritage.

Our collaborative relationships with communities and artists are at the heart of our creative process and all our work empowers and enlightens our audiences.

BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY is on the VCE 2015 Playlist for Drama Unit 3&4 

Performers: Rachael Maza, Paul Dwyer, Harry Reuben, Jane Phegan, Kylie Doomadgee and Magdalena Blackley. 

Artistic Director RACHAEL MAZA
Executive Producer
Associate Director ISAAC DRANDIC
Associate Producer LISA PARRIS
Associate Producer JULIA VALENTINI
Education Manager KAMARRA BELL-WYKES
Company Manager LAUREN BOK
Development & Marketing Manager IAIN FINLAYSON
Finance Manager JON HAWKES

 “…this is vivid, terrifying, funny and rewarding theatre. It's hard to argue with its politics, and even harder to ignore its poignant message. 4 stars ”

Byron Bache, Herald Sun, 2013

“Beautiful One Day is powerful stuff… it is essential viewing for everyone... Do not miss it.”

Kara Beavis, Critical Mass, 2012


“Anger, humour and hope are finely balanced in this warm

and illuminating evening of theatre. Of the many and varied stage experiences seen this year, this stands out as one of the essential.”

Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald, 2012


“Led by seasoned performers… the cast weaves reportage, interviews, transcripts ad documents with sound and video to create a vivid, poignant, political and often unexpectedly funny work of theatre that demands our full attention, deserves it and rewards it.”

Sun-Herald Sydney, 2012



Venue: Forge Theatre - Auditorium

Performance Times: Wednesday 15 April, 7:30 pm

Duration:  1 hour 15 minutes - NO INTERVAL

Ticket Prices: Adults: $25.00
                        Concession: $20.00 (Seniors/Pensioners)
                        Group 8+: $20.00
                        Student: $18.00
                        Forge Friend: $20 Adults, $15 Concession 

*Coarse language, adult themes, suggestions of violence.