Aretha Brown
made headlines following her speeches at both the 2017 and 2018 Invasion Day Protests in Melbourne.

The then Year 11 student, addressed an estimated 50,000 protesters in Melbourne on Invasion Day, calling for the date of the national holiday to be changed and fighting to make Indigenous Australian history education mainstream.
Her delivery and ideas led her to be elected as Prime Minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament, the youngest ever person — and the first woman — to hold this position. 

Now a practicing artist and screenwriter, Aretha takes heavy influence from her time growing up in Melbourne's Western Suburbs. As well as her own identity as a queer, Blak, young person living in the confinements of an urban colony.  

Aretha is a confident and experienced public speaker, appearing at many festivals including the All About Women Festival at the Sydney Opera House (2019), the Broadside Festival (2019), and The Melbourne Writers Festival (2019), and appearing on several national TV and radio programs in Australia.

She is also a regular MC at the iconic Australian Music Festival Meredith and has since spoken at the Tate Modern, London (2023) and the University of the Arts, London (2023) about her own youth activism. She was named by Vogue Australia (twice) in two additions as a rising voice for change in 2021 and 2023

An accomplished visual artist, she has exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria twice, with one of her artworks chosen as the billboard image promoting a 40-artist exhibition. Aretha has also exhibited at West Space Gallery, the Australian National University, and Melbourne University and has worked with clients such as Bad Apples, Strawberry Festival, Pitch Festival, Greenpeace, Converse, Puma and Apple.

In 2021 Aretha wrote her first subversive comedy short titled "HOW TO BE COOL IN MELBOURNE". Parodying the ideas, inner workings and social politics of Melbourne's underground art and cultural spaces. Aretha has also been a regular appearance at comedy clubs, performing her signature political and satirical stand-up throughout Melbourne since 2020. 

In 2019 Aretha founded the **Kiss My Art Collective

Since its inception **Kiss My Art has made over 65 murals and public artworks in Australia, The United States (NYC), Canada, Great Britain, India, East Timor, and Indonesia since 2019.

This painting crew (made up of a close-knit group of friends), was made to champion young women and non-binary artists by providing jobs, work experience and a safe creative space on large-scale public murals throughout Australia and internationally. 
**KISS MY ART COLLECTIVE’S goal is to allow young women and femme folk to reclaim public spaces using street art, painting, drawing and mixed media, in an otherwise male-dominated area. The collective acknowledges that making public art is a powerful weapon to actively decolonise and reclaim environments within our settler-colonial and police state.

Artists within **KISS MY ART come from diverse backgrounds, however, the collective is overwhelmingly made up of young female Indigenous artists. Non-Indigenous members of the collective work alongside First Nations women as an active cultural exchange of traditions, histories and storytelling, in order to practice what intersectional feminism is and should be.

photo: @s1mkaur