First Lights – Boodja Dwordak Wirn

Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation

12 & 13 May 2023

Esperance Foreshore, Esperance

Date and time

12 & 13 May 2023

5.30 - 7.30pm




Date and time

12 & 13 May 2023
5.30 - 7.30pm




First Lights: Boodja Dwordak Wirn, meaning ‘Bringing Country’s Spirit back to Life’ was led by Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation and the six Wudjari families of Kepa Kurl (Esperance).

Across the white sand beaches and ancient granite domes of the Esperance foreshore, stories are revealed of deep connections and knowledge of sea Country. Of ancient rhythms between ancestors, wadarn (ocean) and the many creatures that call this place home.

Co-presented with Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation.

Artists: Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation with contributions from Kepa Kurl Wudjari six family groups, the Dabb, Boxer-Rogers, Reynolds, Yorkshire/Knapp, Bullen and Tucker families, and led by local Wudjari artist Jennell Reynolds (Nannapa).
Narrators: Wudjari Nyungar Elders Kevin Reynolds Snr and Annie Dabb.
Sound Design: Maatakitji (Clint Bracknell) and Envelope Audio
Animation: Jarrad Russell
Technical Partner: Stellar Lights
Livestream & Videography: Kitecast

About the artist

Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation

Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (ETNTAC) is the Native Title Body Corporate for the Kepa Kurl Wudjari people.

“Artworks have been inspired by a series of animations created by indigenous artists representing their family group. The images and the script will tell our stories about sea country values and the significance of looking after Country.

Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation has taken up this opportunity to partner with Fremantle Biennale and Stellar Lights to combine traditional song and dance with cutting-edge digital drone technology to create a spectacular and memorable community event.

We believe that this event will instil pride in our people whilst encouraging deeper relationships with our non-indigenous community through increased understanding about cultural heritage and connection to Country”.

Tjaltjraak’s involvement is supported by the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program and by the Mt Burdett Foundation.


6 James St, Esperance WA 6450, Australia

Duration: 120 minutes
Launch of Sea Country Animations: 5.30pm
Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony: 6.10pm
Dance Performance: 6.30pm
Drone Light Show: 7.00pm

Viewing Locations:

The best viewing locations to see First Lights: Boodja Dwordak Wirn at Esperance Foreshore is shown in the event map.


Event Information: This is an outdoor event, with limited shelter available. It takes place at night, and there may be some walking involved. We recommend wearing warm, comfortable clothing, and bringing along plenty of water. Food won’t be food available at the event, but we encourage you to bring along a picnic. 


Weather: This event is highly dependent on weather conditions and will not go ahead in the event of rain or strong winds. Follow @first_lights on Facebook and Instagram pages for live announcements.


Latecomers: We recommend arriving early to allow time for parking and to get a good viewing spot. The duration of the drone show is only 15 minutes, so arriving late means you might miss out!


Triggers: Viewers are warned that this performance will include flashing lights. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this work may contain references to deceased people.

Parking is available along The Esplanade Foreshore and Dempster Streets, at Bow Park Boat Ramp and the Esperance Boulevard Shopping Centre.

Food & Drink:
The event is held close to Esperance town, where there are many food vendors available, including Eljays Restaurant, Seasons Restaurant, or the Pier Hotel. Alternatively, we recommend bringing a picnic.

Event Area:
The main event viewing area is located along the Esperance Foreshore between James St and Kemp St. There are several paths to access this viewing area from The Esplanade. See event map.


Facilities: Public toilets including disabled access toilets are available at the event. See event map.


Accessible parking bays will be marked along The Esplanade, a short distance from the Event Area. See event map.

Accessible ACROD toilet facilities are available at the public toilets near the Esperance Foreshore Playground.

Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, First Lights: Boodja Dwordak Wirn (2023). Courtesy of the artists and the Fremantle Biennale. Image: Jarrad Russell.


Principal Partners

Presenting Partners

Industry Partners