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Moonbird Festival | King Island, Tasmania
April 16-23, 2023. Presented by the Bowerbird Collective





April 16-23, 2023


The Moonbird Festival launched in April 2023 to great acclaim, celebrating one of the most spectacular places on Earth, King Island, with music, art, food & wine.

Founded and directed by the Bowerbird Collective, this event brings together some of Australia's finest musicians for a series of spellbinding concerts.

The moonbird, or the Short-tailed Shearwater, is an iconic species of great cultural and ecological significance to the islands of the Bass Strait. The birds depart their colonies on King Island at the end of April to begin an annual 30,000km migration.

The Moonbird Festival combines together art, science and conservation, and includes local culinary delights, a series of intimate, world-class performances and, for the first time on King Island, the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition.

During the festival, King Island Landcare fundraised to support their vital conservation work with a series of fantastic raffle prizes and auction items, including luxury accommodation and stunning artwork. In 2023, $20,000 was raised through these initiatives.


Simone Slattery

Simone Slattery

Co-Director, Violin/Vocals
Emily Sheppard

Emily Sheppard

Anthony Albrecht

Anthony Albrecht

Co-Director, Cello
Andrew Blanch

Andrew Blanch

Katie Yap

Katie Yap

Yyan Solo square (Medium)

Yyan Ng



The Bowerbird Collective is gaining an international reputation as multimedia storytellers and performers crossing the arts/science divide. They won a 2020 Ruby Award for their work ‘Where Song Began’, and the 2022 Independent Arts Foundation Award for Innovation for their work 'Life on Land's Edge'. They have close relationships with major conservation organisations including BirdLife International and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership to communicate conservation objectives through performance, both live and digital. They have produced more than 200 concerts on tours throughout regional Australia in the last five years. Their albums of threatened birdsong and frog calls, ‘Songs of Disappearance’, released with BirdLife Australia and the Australian Museum FrogID project respectively, reached the Top 5 on the ARIA Albums chart in 2022, ahead of Adele and Ed Sheeran. The Bowerbird Collective created the musical soundtrack to 'Our Country', a 2022 production by Australian Geographic, Northern Pictures and Tourism Australia.

Violinist and composer Simone Slattery is one of Australia’s most versatile young musicians and creators, with a passion for music from a wide range of eras. She performs across Australia and internationally as both soloist and ensemble member, holds a PhD from the University of Adelaide, and was a 2019 Churchill Fellow. Simone has collaborated with artists and ensembles in Japan, Korea, the UK, Canada, the USA and throughout Europe, and has toured extensively across regional Australia. Her performances have been reviewed as “virtuosic” and “infinitely expressive”. She has appeared with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Haydn Ensemble, Ironwood, Pinchgut Opera, Van Diemen’s Band and New Vintage Baroque.

A co-founder of the award-winning Bowerbird Collective, Simone’s compositions have been performed across the world, and her artistic creations described as “stunning”. Recent productions include Where Song Began, Invisible Connections, and the World Migratory Bird Day Virtual Choir. Simone was commissioned by the Art Gallery of South Australia to create the soundscape for ‘Clarice Beckett – The Present Moment’, an acclaimed retrospective of one of Australia’s greatest artists, in early 2021.

With an international performance and production career, Anthony Albrecht has developed a reputation as an impresario of world-class events characterised by generosity, outreach and connection to issues of social justice, conservation and sustainability. He is co-founder and CEO of the Bowerbird Collective, an organisation devoted to forging stronger connections to the natural world. With a passion for making classical music accessible and relevant in the 21st century, cellist Anthony Albrecht began producing concerts shortly after graduating from The Juilliard School in 2014. Committed to musical outreach, Anthony has undertaken a self-managed solo tour of over 80 concerts in regional Australia called ‘Bach to the Bush’. He is founder and director of the Lapwing Music Festival in the UK

A musician known for his “dramatic flair” and “fluent and virtuosic” performances (Seen and Heard International, Sydney Morning Herald), he has appeared with Pinchgut Opera, Van Diemen's Band, the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, the Australian Haydn Ensemble, New Vintage Baroque (NYC) and Il Pomo d’Oro. Recent solo engagements include an appearance in the woods of East Sussex as a guest of Sam Lee’s ‘Singing with Nightingales’ project, a recital at the Handel and Hendrix House in London, a performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D at the Newcastle Music Festival and as concerto soloist with the Adelaide Baroque Orchestra.

Brisbane-born violist Katie Yap started out her musical life playing the violin, but after being converted by her high school teacher Loreta Fin, has officially joined the dark side and hasn’t looked back since!

Now based in Melbourne, she performs at the highest level in modern and historically-informed ensembles including the Australian World Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Van Diemen’s Band, and Academy of Ancient Music (UK). Her greatest love is chamber music, and she’s a founding member of Wattleseed Ensemble, the Chrysalis Harp Trio, and prog-baroque quartet Croissants & Whiskey.

She is artistic director of Wattleseed Ensemble, and 3MBS’s women-in-music festival Music, She Wrote. Winner of the 2022 Freedman Classical Fellowship, her project explores the nexus of folk, baroque, and new music styles, and a life-long fascination with improvisation.

Emily Sheppard is a Tasmanian violinist, violist, improviser and composer who is inspired by unconventional and resonant places and spaces, as well as science and the environment. Trained at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, she is in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Van Diemen’s Band and has collaborated with Paul Kelly, Katie Noonan, DJ Spooky and Michael Kieran Harvey.

Emily spent four weeks in residency in Tasmanian caves in 2017, supported by Arts Tasmania funding. Throughout this period she composed several new works for solo viola/violin, incorporating extended techniques such as alternative tunings, prepared violin and singing while playing. She has curated performances in Hastings Cave, Marakoopa Cave and Mt Wellington/kunanyi observation shelter, supported by Arts Tasmania and Hobart City Council grants.

Emily has toured Europe with the Australian Youth Orchestra, and has played at festivals all over Australia, including Mona Foma, Dark Mofo, Ten Days on the Island, Darwin Festival, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, Cygnet Folk Festival, Fractangular and A Festival Called Panama.

Amongst the exciting emergence of a new generation of classical musicians, guitarist Andrew Blanch stands out. Armed with formidable talent, passion, and conviction, Andrew has carved out his own path to much acclaim. His independently-released album ‘Spanish Guitar Music’ (2015) and accompanying self-managed tour marked the auspicious beginnings to an active and multifaceted musical career today.

As a performer Andrew’s musical vision is broad and ambitious: an acclaimed soloist of traditional and contemporary repertoire, a key collaborator in eclectic ensembles small and large, an active commissioner of new works and an arranger himself, and noted both for his personal connection with the general public and his appeal to critics alike with a multitude of competition prizes and critical accolades, including winning the Adelaide International Guitar Competition in 2019.

Yyan Ng is a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer, collaborator. Yyan sings and plays acoustic guitar, wadaiko (taiko drums), Shakuhachi, and various stringed, percussion and woodwind instruments. He leads a few contemporary bands and the Launceston Taiko group Taiko Oni Jima, and has been involved in various projects as a guitarist and percussionists.

He is core member of chamber folk trio Where Water Meets, and plays with as a Wadaiko and shakuhachi duo with Brian Ritchie, with contemporary folk trio with Skyglass (Anne Norman and Emily Sheppard), and with five piece experimental jazz band Late Hall.  He has led and directed, and played in projects for MONA FOMA, Ten days on the island, Dark MOFO, Cygnet Folk Festival, Junction Arts Festival. He has also played all over Australia in festivals such as Woodford folk festival, National folk festival, Falls Festival, Australian Wooden Boat Festival, Taste of Tasmania, Festivale etc. 


  • Sunday, April 16

    3:00pm - Festival & Exhibition Opening - King Island Cultural Centre
    Australian Geographic - Nature Photographer of the Year

  • Thursday, April 20

    5:00pm - Guest Speaker - Currie Town Hall
    Mara Bún - A sustainable future for King Island

    6:00pm - Food & drinks - Currie Town Hall

    7:00pm - Opening Concert - Currie Town Hall
    Cinematic concert with live music, Life on Land's Edge

  • Friday, April 21

    7:30pm - Evening Recital - King Island Brewhouse
    'Nocturne' for solo guitar - Andrew Blanch

  • Saturday, April 22

    11:00am - Morning Soirée at Red Hut
    Australian classical & folk music
    5:30pm - Waterwings Concert | SOLD OUT
    String quartets with canapés

  • Sunday, April 23

    9:30am - Free beach performance at the Cultural Centre
    Kelp violins & eel instruments
    11:00am - Morning Soirée at Yellow Rock
    Solo guitar & cello
    5:30pm - Closing Concert - Currie Town Hall
    Guitar quintet & cinematic concert with strings



3:00pm - King Island Cultural Centre
Festival & Exhibition Opening
Australian Geographic '2021 Nature Photographer of the Year' 

Free entry.

In partnership with Australian Geographic, the Moonbird Festival is thrilled to present a highlights exhibition of the 2021 Nature Photographer of the Year.

The annual Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition calls on photographers from around the world to celebrate the fauna, flora and natural formations of the ANZANG bioregion comprising Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the New Guinea region. Submitted entries capture incredible moments in time, bearing witness to the unique beauty of the world around us.

The competition, owned and produced by the South Australian Museum, results in a stunning collection of images that provoke us to explore and understand the changing nature of our environment and appreciate the wonder that surrounds us while enriching our knowledge of this extraordinary region.

The opening, hosted by the King Island Cultural Centre, will feature a performance by the Bowerbird Collective.

5:00pm - Guest Speaker - Currie Town Hall
Hear Mara Bún, an expert on green economies, discuss options for a profitable and sustainable King Island in response to a rapidly changing world.

6:00pm - Food & drinks - Currie Town Hall
Food and drinks will be available prior to the concert, with proceeds supporting the King Island Landcare Group.

7:00pm - Opening Concert - Currie Town Hall

A concert featuring 'Life on Land's Edge', a cinematic celebration of migratory birds, performed by the Bowerbird Collective.

Adults $15
Under 18 $5

7:30pm - Evening Recital - King Island Brewhouse

A concert featuring the premiere of Andrew Blanch's 'Nocturne', a solo guitar recital dedicated to the night.


Food and drinks available at the Brewhouse.

Live auction: An auction of exciting and varied items will be held immediately after the concert in the Brewhouse in support of King Island Landcare Group. Bid online via

11:00am - Morning Soirée at Red Hut
Experience one of King Island's most spectacular homes with a morning concert, views of Colliers Beach and a glass of champagne.

$50 including cheese plates and a glass of your choice.

A program of Australian classical and folk music.

5:30pm - Evening Soirée at Waterwings Studio | SOLD OUT
Enjoy a stunning concert in Currie with exceptional local produce by Salt & Thyme in association with King Island Seafoods.

$80 including delicious and plentiful canapés

A program of exquisite string quartets, including works by Australian composers Alice Chance and Emily Sheppard.

Silent auction: A silent auction will be held of beautiful artworks from local and other artists at the Waterwings Gallery, Netherby Rd. The Gallery will be open for viewing works from 10-4 on Sunday 9th, 16th and 22nd or by appointment ph: 0427593233. The auction will end following the concert on the evening of 22.04.23. Bid online via

9:30am - Beach performance at the Cultural Centre
Music played by the sea in Currie, featuring the kelp violins of Emily Sheppard.


11:00am - Morning Soirée at Yellow Rock
The incredible 'Whale Tail House' at Yellow Rock plays host to the festival's second morning recital, with beautiful views, wine and cheese.

$50 including cheese plates and a glass of your choice.

A program of guitar and cello repertoire performed by Andrew Blanch and Anthony Albrecht, including the music of J.S. Bach.

5:30pm - Closing Concert - Currie Town Hall
The grand finale in Currie, featuring performances by all festival artists and the Bowerbird Collective's award-winning 'Where Song Began', with food and wine available.

Adults $15
Under 18 $5

*The Bowerbird Collective reserves the right to change event details, including the performers and program, without notice.


Very limited tickets available

Cash payments can be arranged using the contact form below.



April 16 - May 7
King Island Cultural Centre

Melissa Smith _ Desire of returning II 2021 detail

Melissa Smith, Desire of returning II, 2021 (detail)

April 9, 16, 22 or by appointment
Waterwings Studio

The annual Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition calls on photographers from around the world to celebrate the fauna, flora and natural formations of the ANZANG bioregion comprising Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the New Guinea region. Submitted entries capture incredible moments in time, bearing witness to the unique beauty of the world around us.

The competition, owned and produced by the South Australian Museum, results in a stunning collection of images that provoke us to explore and understand the changing nature of our environment and appreciate the wonder that surrounds us while enriching our knowledge of this extraordinary region.

Marilyn and Ken Chapman will welcome guests into their Currie home, Waterwings Studio, for this beautiful exhibition featuring local & visiting artists. Themed around the natural environment of King Island, the exhibition will draw on works from a range of media.

For many years, Marilyn and Ken ran the Portside Links Gallery at Grassy, which became a major tourism drawcard and played host to the Bowerbird Collective’s 2019 performance of Where Song Began. Their new home and gallery just outside of Currie is a spectacular space with views of the Southern Ocean. Open 10-4pm, April 9, 16, 22 or by appointment. Ph: 0427593233


The Moonbird Festival seeks to promote strong connections to nature on King Island. In addition to being a vital stopover for threatened migratory species such as the moonbird, Orange-Bellied Parrot and Swift Parrot, King Island is home to three endemic, critically-endangered bird species: the King Island Scrubtit, the King Island Brown Thornbill and the King Island Black Currawong.

Fundraising activities will be held during the festival to support recovery work for these threatened bird species by the King Island Landcare Group.


‘The Hemisphere Travellers’
Katherine Cooper

Short-tailed Shearwaters, or moonbirds, at Cape Raoul, Tasmania.

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©The Bowerbird Collective, 2022. Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts