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Small Strokes

 About the Performers 

Performing on Friday night and at other times throughout the Festival 


Ali Whitelock


Ali Whitelock is a Scottish poet and writer. Her second poetry collection, the lactic acid in the calves of your despair was long listed for the ALS Gold Medal for an outstanding literary work in 2020 and is published by Wakefield Press. Her debut collection, and my heart crumples like a coke can, was published in 2018, also by Wakefield Press, with a forthcoming UK edition by Polygon in 2022. Her memoir, Poking seaweed with a stick and running away from the smell, was launched to critical acclaim at Sydney Writers Festival (2008) and in the UK (2009).

Tug Redshirt.jpg

Tug Dumbly


Tug Dumbly is a Nowra-born poet and performer who has lived in Sydney for decades. He has worked extensively in radio, venues and schools, and founded a couple of seminal poetry nights in Sydney. He has performed his work as resident-poet on ABC radio (Triple J, ABC 702), and released two spoken-word CDs through the ABC. His awards include the Banjo Paterson Prize for Comic Verse (twice), and Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup (thrice). His poems have appeared in many publications and he has been shortlisted several times for major awards. In 2020 he won the Borranga Poetry Prize. His first poetry collection, Son Songs, came out in 2018. He likes photography and nature, especially cicadas. 




Lenka has spent much of her time on this earth making music to soothe her own heart and hopefully yours. Her love of nature began with a blissful early childhood in the Australian bush. Career highs saw her tour the world extensively and perform on live TV around the globe. Motherhood has brought her back to the Australian countryside, where she now resides and continues to make music.

After releasing six albums, through Epic Records and her own label Skipalong Records, Lenka is focusing on creating music and releasing song by song.

Lenka’s songs have been featured in many global film and TV placements. Her work on Decoder Ring’s Somersault soundtrack won the AFI for best song from a film. And Billy Crystal once sang her song at the Oscars


Megan Kovalik

Sax Player

Megan Kovalik completed a BMus in Performance on the Saxophone at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2002, then stayed a few more years to teach theory and history courses to undergrad students. After taking a break to focus on raising children, Megan then established Music is a Verb, in 2017, to teach music skills on a range of
instruments in her local community. As a performer, Megan has appeared on stage in the Shoalhaven many times over the
past few years – both as a soloist and in collaboration with her friend Juliana as wind duo Piu mosso – including the 2019 SeeChange Festival, Cabaret Funknuckle at Tomerong in September 2019, the Reflect and Heal event at Eurobodalla Botanical Gardens in May 2021,and the Viking Festival at Sussex Inlet in June 2021.


Greer Taylor

Greer is an artist and poet whose work is focused on land, wilderness and grief. In 2014 she published a collection of poetry curated with images of her ephemeral artworks in a book titled ephemeral. In 2019 at Shoalhaven Regional Galley she installed a solo exhibition ephemeral: lessons in grief featuring poetry and installation. Her recent, as yet unpublished poetry collection veiling, grief and delight which will be presented as a multimedia performance event in May 2022


Nicole Smede

Nicole Smede is a multi-disciplinary artist of Worimi and European heritage, exploring a reclamation and reconnection to ancestry through language, poetry and song. Her work has been broadcast on national and international radio, published in anthologies and journals and features on ferries, in visual art and sound art works. Nicole is grateful to live, learn and create on Wodi Wodi country.



Poet and sound artist Datson (Surfside 6, Samurai Trash, Konk) penned SS6’s Hit single Cool in the Tube. Hughes is a published author (Harper Collins 4th Estate) and event manager (Reality Bites Festival). They formed their songwriting partnership and folk duo in 2008, playing all original songs on Datson's handmade mountain dulcimers.They've 

performed  in conjunction with their book projects (Then & Then, Protest Singer and Art Life Chooks) and consequently were invited to perform at writers' festivals, including Byron Bay Writers' Festival 



 We are a community group of musicians who enjoy playing together fortnightly at Shoalhaven Heads. Our music is mainly traditional folk tunes from a variety of countries arranged with harmonies giving it a folk/classical feel. 


Flame Tree

Our band of 4 people with 10 instruments play a mix of traditional folk music. Sometimes described as verandah music, imagine the birds singing along as we play Americana, Celtic and our own original tunes with harmonies.


Lyre Birds

The bird that almost exclusively does covers, 

the amazing Lyre Bird, performance chronicler of the Australian bush. 

As a bird-artist Lyre reserves the right  to perform when and where he /she likes.



Bird song by various local talents such as the jazz musician of the bird world, the magpie, who not only learns riffs but improvises. 

As a bird-artist Maggie reserves the right  to perform when moved to.


Fairy Wrens

The twittering of the small birds such as the fairy wren, is also music to the ears.

As a bird-artist  gregarious Fairy Wren twitters often and quite a lot when with significant others. 

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