Marliya is a group of young Indigenous singers based in Cairns whose music goes straight to the heart. Led by Lyn Williams, Marliya have performed Spinifex Gum all across Australia, from the outback in Roebourne to the Sydney Opera House. Composed and arranged by Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill, the music is part political and part aspirational, exploring a mix of hard-hitting issues, with choreography by Deborah Brown.  

Marliya was first formed from members of the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, based in Cairns, to perform Spinifex Gum by Felix Riebl. Marliya has appeared at the Adelaide and Sydney Festivals, at Dreamtime at the G, and the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games. In 2019 Spinifex Gum was nominated for Best New Australian Work in the Helpmann Awards and toured in August and September with performances at the Garma Festival and in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Recent performances of Spinifex Gum include Live the Bowl in Melbourne in 2021 and BluesFest Byron Bay in 2022.  

Marliya has recorded two albums – Spinifex Gum (2017) and Sisters (2019). 


“This performance was so much more than a “gig”. It was young, Aboriginal women stepping front of stage and standing up. They told their stories with strength, and even with raised fists they left with a feeling of grace. This act is a must see musically, culturally, politically and spiritually. It is the best live act I’ve ever seen.” Xpress Magazine]


“As the crowd claps their hands raw, it’s hard to think of a more important, or compelling act, at this festival or any of the others around the city right now” Adelaide Review]

How incredibly proud we are of our Marliya choristers from Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and their performance of Spinifex Gum at the Adelaide Festival:

“Fresh, hopeful, strong and proud, these young women have taken their place in the spotlight; their voices not only fill the theatre in which they perform, but also embed into the hearts of the audience.”
In Daily

Audience were amazed at their stagecraft, vocal power and connection to contemporary issues as they began rehearsals for Spinifex Gum, a 75 minute tour-de-force stage work of contemporary life in the Pilbara by Felix Riebl.

Co-starring Peter Garret, Emma Donovan and Indigenous rapper Briggs, the première of this extended work took place at Monash University in February, closely followed by a sold-out performance at the Adelaide Festival.

“The sweetness of the singing, the power of the words and the movement make this a magical experience. The audience rose to its feet cheering at the end.”
The Adelaide Advertiser

Brimming with confidence and an appetite for performing, Marliya featured in one of the highlights of the AFL calendar, Dreamtime at the G, on 2 June at the Melbourne Cricket Ground performing two songs from Spinifex Gum.

Stay tuned for news of further performances by Marliya.

Marliya is a collaboration between Gondwana Choirs and Felix Riebl. To enquire about booking the choir for future performances, please contact Alice Neldner, Producer, Spinifex Gum & Marliya Choir on 0479 177 494 or