Yarramunua (Stan Dryden)

Musician, Artist, Performer & Keynote

Yarramunua (Stan Dryden) has dedicated his life to raising awareness of Aboriginal Culture through painting, art and craft making, didgeridoo performing, traditional dancing, acting, clothing design, public speaker and healing. In doing so, his aim is to create opportunity for people to learn, understand, appreciate and respect the Aboriginal culture.

An accomplished artist, Yarramunua designed and painted Miss World Australia Dress (2007).

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

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

Yarramunua's family originate from the Yorta Yorta (Barmah Forest region NSW/Vic border). His culture is based on a respect for nature where the environment and all it inhabitants must live in harmony with each other.

In essence, Yarramunua believes that an ecological balance must sustain the earth and this is the reason Australia was so beautifully preserved as a continent for over 40,000 years before colonial settlement in 1788. This appreciation of Aboriginal culture on a national and international level reflects the growing awareness of so called 'primitive culture' where the land, its people and animistic spirituality are one, in contrast to western philosophy where the earth is a source of exploitation. Yarramunua's Aboriginal art and culture encourages a nurturing of our plants flora and fauna and he believes that the more we learn of the Dreamtime stories, the more we will be able to understand the delicate balance of nature.

Yarramunua's unique paintings are sought after by both Australian and overseas visitors. Yarramunua's work is typically derived from the cultural landscape of his people, their spirit and their beliefs. He begins by visualising the composition, then lets the spirit of his ancestors guide him. His message is ultimately one of ancestral wisdom, protection, worship and environmental obligation.

Yarramunua is also an accomplished musician, with his own collection of CD/DVDs; Yarramunua Red, Dance and Yirdaki Dreaming, which includes the last recording with Alan Dargin. His didgeridoo playing talents have resulted in him playing with Stevie Wonder on his Australia Tour in Sydney (Oct 2008) and with Van Halen, Porno for Pyro's, WOMAD concert and Gala/Award Openings. He 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.

Yarramunua's indigenous art, didgeridoo playing and storytelling captivate many people both within Australia and around the world. His keynote presentations are equally engaging. Often interactive,Yarramunua is known for preparing a painting prior to an event so that audience members can participate in its completion. He leaves the final piece with the event organizer to be auctioned. Yarramunua can also be engaged for Welcome to Country and musical performances that include the digeridoo.