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Richard Frankland is a performer, filmmaker, activist, novelist, counsellor, musician, community leader, educator, academic, songwriter, poet, playwright - and one of Australia’s most prominent Indigenous figures.   


Born on the coast in South-West Victoria, Richard is a Gunditjmara man of high degree and previously worked as a soldier, a fisherman and a field officer to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

His fifth album , “Discovering Leerpeen Mara” is a reimagining of Richard Frankland’s life map of songs. It will be released later this year .

It features new songs and new recordings/ arrangements of some of Richard’s older work set to the beats of NZ DJ Quix, the extraordinary guitar work of fellow Gunditjmara man Lee Sonnyboy Morgan and the brilliant didgeridoo, sound effects and beats of Larrakia man Ash Dargan and the exquisite vocals of Nilusha. 

Frankland is Koytpa Koy Koy Mara. A story man. An art-warrior. Songs are his weapons. His words, the beats. 

The first track "Who Will Sing My Songs”was released on Feb 4 2023 and keeps its groove on with Frankland answering the question with an affirmative uplifting resolution. The video is on Vevo at

The songs, stories and language depict humanistic issues relevant to the First Nation experience from past and present.

From 2015 -18 Richard was Head of the Wilin Centre at The Victorian College Of The Arts. He completed his DVPA at Melbourne University in 2018, and is a Professor at Deakin University, Melbourne and was Elder-in-Residence at NIDA. 

The first performance of "Discovering Leerpeen Mara" was at WOMADelaide 2023 and illustrated the finest qualities of ‘cultural strengthening, cultural agency and hope.' Richard also provided a workshop on cultural strengthening and cultural collaboration using the arts at WOMADelaide. He also gave an oration and performance at the Parrtjima Festival of Lights in Alice Springs.

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