Musician / Artist / Actor / Broadcaster / Story Teller
A Proud Guguyelandji and Woppaburra Woman
Born in the southwest Queensland town of Cunnamulla, Marlene’s traditional people on her Father’s side are Guguyelandji, and Woppaburra on her Mother’s side. The family then moved to Winton where Marlene spent her formative years. Growing up under the cloud of the Aboriginal Protection Act of the 1950s and 60s, Marlene had a ‘grassroots’ upbringing in a very politically aware family.
Marlene’s life is the story of her people and she tells it through her art, her lyrics, her on-stage performance as both an actress and singer and more recently through documentary film making. Marlene refined her skills as a blues saxophonist and songwriter at the Berklee College of Music Boston in the mid-90s and has been performing live for as long as she can remember.
Marlene presents a biographical journey through her music; a myriad of political, social and personal experiences that content her lyrics and songs. With a mixture of original and traditional blues numbers, the centrepiece and original song is the stirring epic blues anthem, ‘Koori Woman’. Marlene dedicates this song to Aboriginal women everywhere as they were, in her words, ‘the backbone of the struggle’.