NRI signs partner agreement with Bangarra Dance Theatre

09 May 2023 2 min. read

The Australian arm of global player NRI has signed a three-year major partnership agreement with Bangarra Dance Theatre, with both parties seeking to promote First Nations' stories and culture.

Celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company Bangarra Dance Theatre has signed up IT services and consulting firm NRI as a major sponsor over the next three years.

The strategic partnership will both support Bangarra in staging upcoming regional and national tours, while also fostering cultural awareness among NRI employees as part of the consultancy’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

NRI signs partner agreement with Bangarra Dance Theatre

Extending to 2025, the two parties say the new partnership is founded on a shared vision and mission to ensure that First Nations voices are heard and Indigenous stories and history continue to be shared. As a major partner, NRI will also have access to Bangarra performances and bespoke experiences, providing the opportunity to deepen its understanding of “the country’s history and the oldest continuing culture in the world.”

“We are thrilled to have NRI join Bangarra as a strategic partner, who will support us in our purpose to create inspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences that promote awareness and understanding of our cultures,” said Bangarra interim executive director Louise Ingram, who is currently handing over to Mununjhali man and former Ernst & Young national Indigenous sector practice lead Ken Markwell.

The Australian arm of NRI – which recently rebranded to its Japanese parent’s name from ASG as part of a regional expansion drive – launched its ‘Innovate’ RAP in 2021 (Innovate being the second in a four-step program of deepening reconciliation commitments). A major component of NRI’s current RAP is to provide career development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wishing to enter the IT sector.

“Bangarra is a pioneering cultural institution, and we are proud to be partnering with a contemporary dance company that tells so many of Australia’s most important stories, and which through education, outreach, and career pathway programs helps to build the Indigenous leaders of tomorrow,” said NRI A/NZ chief executive Dean Langenbach. “NRI is committed to supporting Australia’s National Reconciliation movement.”

Formed in 1989, Bangarra (which means ‘to make fire’ in Wiradjuri language) has since received critical acclaim for its First Nations contemporary dance productions retelling 65,000-plus years of local Indigenous history and culture.

This year the company will tour Yuldea, the inaugural work of recently appointed artistic director Frances Rings, while in March it performed in New Zealand as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.