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  • Summary

  • This series contains mature themes and strong language and listener discretion is advised.

    They're wearing ball gowns, they're debutantes... and they're black. The debs' ball is a controversial colonial export but can it be empowering too? Australia's most celebrated young playwright Nakkiah Lui and actress Miranda Tapsell put on their hats and gloves to find out.

    Nakkiah and Miranda are angry, young, vocal, Aboriginal and very, very funny. Join them on their journey, starting with a lesson on teatime etiquette in London where it all began, as they follow the debutante trail and discover that First Nations women across the globe have made this tradition their own. Nakkiah and Miranda ask: can beauty, poise and politeness actually empower them? Or is it better to get angry and start shouting?

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all9 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2020 Pipi Films Ltd (P)2020 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Jun 15 2020

    A London etiquette supremo offers Nakkiah instruction in correct debutante behaviour while Miranda learns from family and friends how it felt to be celebrated as a young woman at the National Aboriginal Ball in 1968.

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    26 mins
  • Jun 15 2020

    Nakkiah and Miranda learn how this symbol of elitist colonialism was appropriated by an Indigenous community fighting for their civil rights.

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    29 mins
  • Jun 15 2020

    Nakkiah and Miranda head to Mt Druitt in Western Sydney where they find that Aboriginal debutante balls are still going strong in the 21st century.

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    20 mins

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What listeners say about Debutante: Race, Resistance and Girl Power

Average Customer Ratings
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A history lesson with a twist

This podcast was so easy to get hooked on. The girls are so easy to listen to and they weave so many history lessons, complex social issues and thoughtful questions on empowerment throughout the whole thing. Although the podcast centers around the debutante ball, it couldn't be more relevant to so many of today's issues on Australian Aboriginal rights. Intersectionality at its finest.

7 people found this helpful

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Storytelling at its finest

The stories of invasion, dispossession, genocide, stolen generations and racism as told from the voices and experiences of truly amazing and awe inspiring women were so moving and insightful. The way they were all crafted together through the exploration of the history of the debutante ball was brilliant! So much to learn. Congratulations to all involved in producing this! I could listen to Nakkiah and Miranda talk all day!

7 people found this helpful

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Unexpected but delightful company.

Nakkiah and Miranda kept me company for three hours and fifty delicious minutes while I went about my day. The podcast took me on a most unexpected, but particularly engaging journey through their experience exploring the history and life of debutantes past and present. Not just your run-of-the-mill debutante, mind you. Indigenous debutantes.

You don't know, what you don't know until you know it, and I'm so glad that a friend pointed me to this treasure, because as the subtitle hints, the contents are much richer than just a superficial dip into manners and frocks (although that subject area is covered too.)

Fabulous. Instructive. Informative. Humorous. Warm. Delightful.

I loved this. Listened to it all in one go. Do yourself a favour.

6 people found this helpful

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Great listen!

An absolutely must listen for non indigenous people. Funny, heartbreaking and full of strong women.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!

Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell's podcast was a delight to listen to. Eye opening, heart-breaking but much joy and laughter too.

5 people found this helpful

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Every Australian should listen to this

Such a incredible history of Indigenous debutante balls in Australia - one that I was definitely ignorant of! Liu and Tapsell are great storytellers in this podcast series, a heartbreaking yet empowering story of resistance.

4 people found this helpful

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Say it loud and say it proud

A beautiful celebration of incredible Aboriginal women past and present. Wonderfully presented & produced.

4 people found this helpful

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Fabulous/Educate yourself

This podcast is amazing. Listening to it I have laughed, cried, and learnt. I have always seen Deb balls as a way of using women as a commodity, this series opened my eyes. Miranda Tapsell and Nakkiah Lui do not hold back, and I am so glad. They showed me things that made me uncomfortable, but I needed that. ♥️💛🖤

4 people found this helpful

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A must listen for any white Australian

Debutante feels like a chat with your girlfriends, yet it manages to delve into the serious issues of racism, colonisation and feminism. I learnt so much from listening to this podcast, whilst still having some good laughs. Highly, highly recommend!

4 people found this helpful

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The Best!

Loved it so much. Beautiful, funny, moving, informative, generous and clever. Thank so much

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jacques
  • 09-07-2020

Point of view.

This was extremely hard to finish. I was constantly hoping that these two women would see the Light. Unfortunately they are trapped in a cruel world of hatred. There is only one point of view here. People with less pigment in there skin than own, are the cause of all problems.
If you want to destroy the culture of a people who ancestors destroyed your culture, does that make you any better than there ancestors?
The way, most of the people in this series views the world it truly disturbing!

9 people found this helpful

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  • isobelle
  • 19-06-2020

Interesting and informative

The podcast delivers excellent storytelling with the historical context and the current repercussions of colonialism.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 04-09-2020

thought provoking

We hear alot about slavery and its effects but I hadn't heard about the Aboriginals and their struggle with their abuse.....an education

2 people found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.