Cultures of the World – Heartdancers

Cultures of the World: Arts Incursion Programs


Increasing Cultural Awareness


Let's Celebrate the Cultures of the World!

Heartdancers is on a mission to increase Cultural Awareness and celebrate the diversity of our community by making Culturally Diverse Arts Education accessible for all ages.

We work with Schools, Community Centres, Local Councils, Organisations, Childcare Centres and Corporations across Sydney to create tailored programs.

Our Cultures of the World program aims to:

  • + Increase Cultural Awareness from a young age
  • + Decrease Cultural Barriers
  • + Foster Respect and Celebration of Cultural Diversity Through the Arts
  • + Provide a Fun and Engaging Educational Experience
  • + Cultivate Meaningful Connections
  • + Develop Understanding and Appreciation for Cultural Differences
  • + Discover Dances, Music, Songs and Stories from around Australia and the World
  • + Create Shared Positive Experiences
  • + Build Community and Combat Anti-social behaviour

Shaping Our Future Through Cultural & Artistic Storytelling


Arts, Music, Dance and Storytelling are powerful tools for education and creating social change. By opening cross-cultural artistic dialogue, our programs aim to cultivate respect, understanding and a greater sense of belonging for all members in the communities we serve.

Our programs are run by a team of talented and experienced artists, dancers and musicians from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds. Throughout our interactive School programs and workshops, the role of our Cultural Educators is to share traditional songs, dances, visual arts and stories.

Participants are encouraged to listen, learn and participate in activities that have been designed especially for meaningful engagement. Our sessions cover a broad range of topics such as Sustainability and Connection to the Land, Interpersonal Communication and Emotional Awareness, Drumming and Dance, Working Together, Partnerships and Everyone Belongs.
Australia is a vibrant, multicultural country. We are home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures, as well as Australians who identify with more than 270 ancestries. Our rich cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths.

Australian Human Rights Commission

Bring 'Cultures of the World' To Your School, Child Care Centre or Organisation!

  • Let's discuss your vision for bringing Culturally Diverse Arts Education to your School, Child Care Centre or Organisation. Our programs are tailored to the unique needs of your community. Get in touch with us today to learn more
  • [email protected]

Why Is Culturally Diverse Arts Education So Important?

Increasing our Cultural Awareness is important at every age. Here are some reasons why!

About Our Cultural Educators

Gambirra Illume

First Nations Cultural Educator


A Yolngu woman from the Gumatj Clan of North -East Arnhem. Arts are the tool that she uses to unite people in a myriad of different ways. She has twenty years of practice as a professional performer, as an inspiring and healing workshops facilitator, as an exhibiting visual artist and cultural-arts educator. She also works for First Nations elders as senior support worker.

Eve White

First Nations Cultural Educator


A proud Wiradjuri woman. Her mother is descendant -Dolly Gladis Parker of Parkes and her father-Edward Lee from Dubbo, both regional NSW Wiradjuri people. Connecting with culture on country with elders through ceremony, art, dance and bush medicine has helped her in so many ways. Eve has been lucky enough to pass on some of this knowledge to schools and companies around Australia through her four years as a Senior Educator with Wandana Aboriginal Events and Education.

Rachel Shields

First Nations Cultural Educator


Rachel Shields – Nainiouman Coya Coya, is the founder of KIN – Knowing In Nature, which is a provider of Indigenous informed Connection based Education, specialising in Leadership & Wellness Programs and nature based education for children and youth. Through her Ngambaa (Mother) she is a descendant of the First Peoples of the land known as Australia, more precisely a descendant of the Weilwan and Gamilaroi peoples (within the North Western region of New South Wales).

Ana Maria Parada

Colombian Cultural Educator


Ana is a Muisca descendent with 7 traceable generations past from the Boyacá region of Colombia, who migrated to Australia in 2004. Ana is a trained political scientist and community worker who combines her art practice through different mediums such as music, visual arts and craft-making to explore and elevate consciousness on issues of race & identity, Indigenous rights, migration and international development. Ana studies the traditional line of Cumbia music, and interprets the Gaita/Chuana/Kuisi, a flute from the First Nations people of her country.

Janina Murta

Mozambique Cultural Educator


Born and bred in Mozambique, of Portuguese background, Janina moved to Australia in 2007. A dance activist, Janina is passionate about demystifying dance and is dedicated to making its health and wellbeing benefits accessible to all. She is a trained therapeutic dance facilitator, and is the co-founder of Heartdancers’ Rhythm Is Life program, aimed at transforming lives through the power of dance, rhythm, music and creativity.

Lauren Majarres

Spanish Cultural Educator


Lauren Majarrés is Australia’s newly acclaimed, rising professional flamenco dancer, choreographer and teacher. Having been a part of the flamenco scene here in Sydney for over 15 years and surrounded by her Spanish heritage, Lauren brings ‘Duende’ (Soul) and ‘Arte’ (Art) to the performance scene. Known for her impressive footwork and deep connection to the music, conveyed throughout her performances.

Gumaroy Newman

First Nations Cultural Educator


Gumaroy is an indigenous performer, descending from the Gamilaroi and Wakka Wakka nations of Northern NSW, yidaki (didgeridu) player, traditional song man, poet, MC and cultural educator. He has performed around the world in ceremonies and concerts alike including at festivals such as Glastonbury, Vancouver Folk and Woodford Folk and has worked with His Holiness The Dalai Lama and artists such as Arrested Development, Ganga Giri, Shane Howard and Shannon Knowle.

Ena Illume

First Nations Cultural Educator


Ena is of Yolngu and Turkish heritage. Studied at Hunter School of Performing Arts and NAISDA dance college. Expose to the music industry at a young age, performing along side her mother with Gambirra Mob and The Illume Girls. Ena has performed throughout Australia for theatre, television and festival stages such us Splendour in the grass.

Lucky Larley

Ghanaian Cultural Educator


Lucky is a dancer and choreographer, originally from Ghana, West Africa. Lucky’s dance and choreographic works look for ways to negotiate what it means to draw on a rich history of traditional rhythm and dance whilst engaging with contemporary movement practices. Lucky is an dancer and choreographer at the forefront of exploring intercultural dance practices as part of the contemporary dance space as well as contributing to an ongoing dialogue regarding intercultural dance practice and its meaning in Australia.

Cesar Marin

Chilean Cultural Educator


Born in Chile, he began his professional music career in Australia in 1988. After many years performing as a teenager, he went on to study music at the Western Sydney University, graduating with Honours (BAMus). Cesar has toured the world as a multi-instrumentalist for the past 25 years and has been a member of many internationally acclaimed ensembles including: Sonido de los Andes, C Major, Los Pibes, The Marin Brothers, The Real Mexico, Rhythms of the City (UK), Osvaldo Chacon (Cuba) and Luiz Rico (Bolivia).

Lily Guerrero

Latin America Cultural Educator


Lily is Canadian born, has Chilean parents and was brought up in multicultural Sydney. At a young age she was exposed to music and dance. Chilean Folklore was a strong influence in the household. She was performing from the age of 5 to early 20’s as a Chilean folklore dancer. At the age of 7 Lily was chosen to play guitar and sing in the band for the children’s folk dance group “Sud America 11” and afterwards danced with “Los Chilenos” the adults dance group, both groups were directed by Andres Alarcon. In her late teens, Mexican Folklore was introduced to her, she performed for 10 years with the dance group “Xochipilli” directed by Rolando Cano. She also performed as a musician for Mariachi band “Fiesta Viva”.

Rachael Melky

Lebanese Cultural Educator


Rachael Melky (aka Gypsy Rose), Gypsy is a connoisseur of Bellydance. Her Lebanese heritage is reflected in her style and grace, which manifests effortlessly through the innate rhythm in her hips. Gypsy has been teaching and performing in Sydney for the past ten years and is a virtuoso in traditional Bellydance. She has trained with teachers from all over the world, and continues to train and transform as the style evolves.

Charleen Williams

First Nations Cultural Educator


Charleen Williams is a proud Brewarina and Yuin woman who began performing at the age of 4. She is a passionate First Nations Cultural Educator, Singer and Dancer.

Malin Sylla

Guinean Cultural Educator


Malin Sylla is a Guinean musician and dancer who plays traditional West African music to create an energetic and soulful performance that guarantees to get the dancefloor jumping with his hypnotic African Rhythms and haunting melodies. He sings and plays the Kora and the Djembe.

Marina Da Silva

Brazilian Cultural Educator


Marina Da Silva is a multi-instrumentalist performer and teacher born to Brazilian parents in a musical household in Sydney surrounded by a variety of classical, contemporary and traditional musicians and artists.

Deepa Kartik

Indian Cultural Educator


Deepa is a passionate Bharatanatyam dancer and Nrityanjali Title awardee hailing from Coimbatore, which is considered one of the traditional roots of India. She has always identified the art of dance as her companion, healer, and stress-buster. She has also explored the varied art forms including Odissi, Kathak, Salsa, Hip-hop, Zumba, Freestyle dance, Semi-classical Contemporary, body awareness Yoga and different folk dances of India.
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