Parrtjima 2024 talks program filled with leading Indigenous voices

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light returns to illuminate the Red Centre in April in more ways than one, with some of Australia’s most prominent First Nations identities ready to discuss a range of topics as part of the talks program during the free 10-night festival.

From 12-21 April 2024, large-scale light installations will light up the night sky above Alice Springs Desert Park (ASDP) while on the ground a series of talks will allow visitors to hear from the likes of actor, screenwriter and producer Aaron Fa’aoso, health researcher Roxanne Ngarulya Highfold, TV presenter Marcellus Enalanga, art historian Professor Gregory Lehman and the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group. Musicians Troy Cassar-Daley, Shellie Morris and Miiesha will also appear on the talks program, as well as perform as part of the music program.

Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts AO this year’s program had something for everyone.
“We’ve got an incredible program of speakers for Parrtjima this year, with a fascinating range of topics to be covered,” she said.

“This is a real opportunity to listen to and learn from some of Australia’s top First Nations voices, and that’s what the spirit of Parrtjima is all about. Listening, learning and interconnecting to better understand each other.”

One of this year’s new initiatives, in collaboration with Alice Springs Town Council and kicking off the action on Thursday, 11 April 2024, is Late Night feat. Parrtjima. Taking place from 5.30pm-8.30pm, the Alice Springs CBD will come alive with a fun program for all the family. The evening will include a mini projection of crowd favourite Grounded, food stalls, music, late-night shopping and discounts, a pop-up cinema with free popcorn for movie attendees and a bouncy castle for the kids.

Also new is a legendary large-scale puppet by visual theatre wizards Erth. Named Arelhe Urrperle by the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group, she will delight people of all ages as she shares language and stories. Expert puppeteers will train local Indigenous performers how to operate her. For the first time there will also be a Buy Blak Market in collaboration with Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network and Desart. The three-night marketplace is for the whole family, and will showcase food and products from Aboriginal businesses.

Parrtjima favourites will return with a new twist, with the MacDonnell Ranges Light Show to illuminate the 300-million-year-old landmark as a natural canvas, and Grounded, which animates the red dirt at ASDP, returning bigger and more interactive.

Parrtjima is delivered by Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) in partnership with creative directors Grumpy Sailor and events destination company We Are Gather. To find out more about the 2024 program and to register for the event for free, visit