Stan Dryden (Yarramunua)

Artist, Musician, Businessman, Philanthropist & Keynote Speaker

Stan Dryden (Yarramunua) is passionate about Aboriginal culture. Throughout his life, he has worked to raise awareness of his culture with painting, art and craft making, story-telling, didgeridoo performing, traditional dancing, acting, clothing design, public speaking and healing. An entrepreneur and humanitarian, he is the founder of the Yarramunua Foundation for disadvantaged children.

Yarramunua's keynote presentations are renowned for their high level of audience interaction and engagement. He will often prepare a painting prior to an event so that audience members can participate in its completion. He leaves the final piece with the event organiser to be auctioned or hung at the location of the event.

Yarramunua's indigenous art, didgeridoo playing and storytelling, captivate many people both within Australia and around the world, and have resulted in him playing with Stevie Wonder on his Australia Tour in Sydney (Oct 2008); Van Halen; Porno for Pyro's; WOMAD concert other and Gala/Award Openings. In 2018, he was engaged by the Chief Commissioner of Police to speak to 500 Victorian Police on leadership and team building. Yarramunua can also be engaged for Welcome to Country and musical performances that include the digeridoo.

More about Yarramanua:

Yarramanua is a charismatic Yorta Yorta man (Barmah Forest region NSW/Victorian border) who grew up in Melbourne with an alcoholic and abusive father. He experienced a rough and sometimes homeless childhood and was in and out of trouble constantly. Yarramanua became an alcoholic, before swearing off the drink and committing himself to making something of himself. Now an internationally successful artist, he is committed to improving the lives of Aboriginal kids in his hometown of Shepparton, particularly through better housing.

On a national and international level, Yarramanua's art reflects the growing awareness of so called 'primitive culture' where the land, its people and spirituality are one. His work is therefore typically derived from the cultural landscape of his people, their spirit and their beliefs and is based on a respect for nature, where the environment and all its inhabitants must live in harmony with each other. His ultimate message is one of ancestral wisdom, protection, worship and environmental obligation.

As the owner of Art Yarramunua, a prominent Indigenous art gallery in St Kilda, his aim has been to create opportunity for people to learn, understand, appreciate and respect the Aboriginal culture through his art and story-telling. An accomplished artist himself, he designed and painted the Miss World Australia Dress (2007).

A respected healer, Yarramunua has delivered healing sessions at the Royal Children's Hospital. He is an inspirational leader of self-help groups for substance abuse and rehabilitation, and regularly speaks at local Colleges, Universities and Schools.

Yarramunua believes that the more we learn of the Dreamtime stories, the more we will be able to understand the delicate balance of nature.

A versatile character actor of screen and stage, Yarramunua has taken part in some of the funniest and more controversial productions, notably the film Welcome to Woop Woop where Stan plays Stolen and The Dirty Mile, as well as television programs Corelli (with Hugh Jackman), Man from Snowy River (with Guy Pearce), Blue Heelers and Pee-Wee.

Yarramunua has also preformed privately and customised didgeridoos and paintings for Stevie Wonder, Prince, AC/DC, Eminem, Snoop Dog, 50cent, G-Unit, Bob Marley's Wailers and Engleburt Humperdinck.

Yarramanua speaks about:

Yarramunua tailors his presentations to meet the objectives of his client and his audiences. His speaking topics include:

  • Leadership & team building
  • Entrepreneurship: How to succeed in a White Fella's World
  • Entrepreneurs and culture
  • The future of work and entrepreneurs
  • Managing addictions
  • Growing up: From rags to riches