First Nations

Jo Clancy

2023 Critical Path First Nations Research Fellowship

I have been looking for space and support to sit with Country, to be guided by the songs that come when I do this, the movement and dance that resonates through me during this practice, the conversations that follow with the Matriarchs who surround me and the sharing of this practice with my communities of women and girls. The exploration of this practice will be guided by and documented with my Wiradjuri language. It will challenge me to listen, to understand more deeply and to speak my language with more confidence.  

-Jo Clancy


Jo Clancy is a Mother, Daughter, Sister and Aunty to many. She is a First Nations Choreographer, Dancer, Teacher and Mentor. A Wiradjuri woman born and living on Darug and Gundungurra Country. Jo commenced her full-time dance training at NAISDA Dance College in 1990 and went to Western Sydney University, where she became the first Aboriginal person to gain a BA in Dance in NSW. She founded her company Wagana in 2007 and is currently Head of Cultural Practice at NAISDA. Her works include Bangalang for the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival, Glasgow, Sum of our Ancestors for Dance and the Child, Copenhagen, Gaurii for the Commonwealth Games Art and Cultural Festival 2018 and Wirawi Bulbwul for Dance and the Child 2019. Wagana have been the Australian representative at the Honolulu Festival in Hawaii since 2016 and fosters an ongoing Sista collaboration with the Raven Spirit Dancers, Vancouver.

Read Jo Clancy’s reflection written mid way through her fellowship, in July 2023.

Image credits:
Hero Images: Image by Sue Healey
Profile – Jo Clancy, image by Sue Healey

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