NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.


NIDA welcomes Richard Frankland MA

NIDA is thrilled to welcome renowned creative leader, author, poet and musician Richard Frankland MA as the inaugural Elder in Residence.

Richard Frankland AM

NIDA CEO Liz Hughes said, “As part of The Balnaves Foundation First Nations Program, Richard joins us for an initial six-month period toshareknowledge and offer guidance, wellbeing supportand mentorship to all First Nations students as well as providestrategic cultural advice and direction to staff.

“I am hugely grateful for the support of The Balnaves Foundation to enable this important appointment to NIDA and amlooking forward toRichard’s contribution and impact.”

Richard is one of Australia’s most experienced Aboriginal singer/songwriters, authors and film makers. Born inMelbourne, but raised mostly on the coast in south-west Victoria, Richard is a proud Gunditjmara man who hasworked as a Soldier, Fisherman and Field Officer during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

His work with the Royal Commission led to his appearance as presenter in the award-winning Australian documentaryWho Killed Malcolm Smith?

Richard has written, directed and produced over fifty video, documentary and film projects including the award-winningNo Way to Forget, After Mabo, Harry’s War andThe Convincing Grounddocumentaries.Richard is also an acclaimed musician whose music features on the soundtracks to many of his films. He has alsowritten for and performed on stage. In 2002 he wrote and directed the award-winning play Conversations with theDead. In 2005 he adapted the Australian cinema classicWalkabout to the stage for Chamber Made Opera.He has also directed episodes of the highly acclaimed award winning SBS Indigenous drama seriesThe Circuit inBroome and episodes of the Channel Nine/Disney children’s series,Double Trouble, in Sydney.In 2007 Richard completed his Master of Arts at RMIT University on The Art, Freedom and Responsibility of Voice.And that year saw the release of Richard’s first book titledDigger J. Jones.In 2009 Richard wrote and directed his debut feature film, titledStone Bros starring Luke Carroll and Leon Burchill.Over the last twelve years Richard has focused on his work with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, co-writingForever Business, a publication about restoring cultural safety. Through his consultancy Koorreen Enterprises, he hasfacilitated over 100 Workshops to Community, Government and Business Groups on Lateral Violence and CulturalAwareness.