• Tasmania

Inspired by a young girl’s journey between two cultures, Mathinna traces the story of a young Aboriginal girl removed from her traditional home and adopted into western colonial society, only to be ultimately returned to the fragments of her original heritage.



Mathinna has become the archetype of the ‘stolen child’ and, in this outstanding work, Bangarra recreates her powerful story of vulnerability and searching in an era of confusion and intolerance.

"There's a harsh reality to Mathinna's story which is entrenched in the era in which she lived. The historical accounts of her life are generally derived from the white perspective and parts of the versions are fragmented and disjointed. It was very frustrating for me to filter through all this and at the same time very saddening to be faced with the horrific realities of what happened to Mathinna's generation of Aboriginal Tasmanians. In a way, I was being challenged to dig deeper to uncover her truth and to do that I needed to talk to the community to get the black perspective. That's really when the creative process started to evolve.

Mathinna is about a young girl innocently absorbing an unforgiving world around her, all the while reflecting on the truth of her own people's journey. I wanted to capture on stage her ancestral spirit that I believe guided her and her people throughout this journey."

Stephen Page, 2008

This production features the First Nations' language West Coast language (Tasmania) and Palawa Kani (Tasmania).

Sections of Mathinna

  • Father
  • Mutton Bird
  • People
  • First Contact
  • Capture
  • Exile 1
  • Adoption
  • Nursery
  • Dream
  • The Ball
  • Deserted
  • Orphan
  • Exile 2
  • Mutton Bird reprise
  • Convicts
  • Moonshine
  • Drowning

Duration: 70 Minutes





Premiere Season: MainStage Tour | 2008
Mathinna Program 2008

Regional Tour | 2010

Regional Tour | 2011