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28 Feb 2024


“Let Love Lead”: The incredible Mel Ree shares her Truth, and how to heal with a fearless heart

The incredible producer, actor, dancer and poet, Mel Ree, shares her truth, and how to heal with a fearless heart.

Producer and MC Mel Ree is an actor, dancer, poet and fierce woman. Born in Papua New Guinea to the daughter of a chief, her ancestors sit at the base of her spine spurring her on to tell her story. Having dedicated her life and art practice to healing, she hopes to spark wildfires within listeners that burn down differences, uniting us in our pain and understanding of this human condition.

“My early years were tumultuous and catastrophic at times. I grew up violently poor and entrenched in my parent’s unhealed wounds. Police sirens, black eyes, dislocated from the motherland Papua New Guinea, I am driftwood, and my performances are earth, solid grounding. I exist and create because of healing.”

When Mel Ree responded to our request to be profiled as part of International Women’s Day, she spoke with her truth.  Her words were powerful and revealing, as she began her story with the heartbreak of her childhood.

Out of the chaos and trauma, Mel was clearly a woman who was destined to evolve, share herself and her talents and help heal others through art and performance.

The first to do many things in her family lineage, like attend university, live in a big city, and pursue a career in the arts – Mel has forged ahead with pride and courage, but it hasn’t been without sorrow and grief.

“I am the first to speak our families’ truths with pride. I have lifetimes of intergenerational trauma and negative programming I have to work through in all areas of my life … My art is my therapy and I have accepted the whole truth of my ugly and it is powerful and beautiful in its own way, and I am thriving because of it,” Mel said.

Upon graduating from acting school, she found herself embodying other people’s stories – but not her own. It was through her friend and creator, Ayeesha Ash, who opened the door to poetry, and another world opened for Mel. One that allowed her to start her own journey of healing.

Through Ayeesha, and her dearly departed mentor, butch Queen activist and storyteller, Candy Royalle, Mel began her journey in leading through her words and art.

“I wrote, I spoke fearlessly, I opened my heart and emptied its contents into the bodies who came to witness and hold space at our poetry events, and my heart always returned more full,” she said.

“Poetry is one of the last revolutionary spaces where the voice of the people in the trenches, the marginalised, the outcast and the ‘different’ – we gather here to speak truth.”

Mel’s poetry and performances speak to, and represent, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women and Queer communities – something that was historically missing in mainstream media for far too long.

“Imagine never seeing your reflection. You wouldn’t know yourself. Wouldn’t recognise the intricacies of the shape of you, wouldn’t know that when the sun hits your iris at a certain angle you can see all your ancestors gathered like petals in bathwater, gentle, overwhelming beauty.

We NEED to see ourselves to know ourselves! I have become the woman I needed when I was a child. My friends, all of them, I would DIE and be reborn to have seen them on my screens and magazines as a child. I would have been saved from years of self-loathing. I would have known then I was beautiful too.”

Mel’s stories are not only raw and heartfelt reflections of marginalised communities, but also the truth of her life as a Black woman.

“My story is the story of healing. Of black rise and revolution. When I perform my own work I offer this story, with every cell in my body, with the intention that I might inspire someone’s healing or at the very least, give them permission to stand in their truth.

When I am a part of someone else’s work, I wear my afro full volume, I speak eloquently, my chest is high and I let every woman know, there is no shame, stand proud my sister, I will open this door and build its foundations strong for when you are ready to come through.”

With so much to say, and with the prospect of touching so many lives, Mel’s words on International Women’s Day are a call to action for women of all communities.

“Let love lead.

We, the world, our leaders, are so broken, our most sacred spaces infiltrated by greed, power hungry toxic patriarchal systems. Women possess all the qualities to heal the world, but they do not know or feel they have a right to because they haven’t seen themselves reflected, represented, in all the spaces they are not, women should know, feel, SEE that they are entitled to, deserve to be there and take up space.

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Let’s try something new then hey?

Let women lead.”

Mel Ree will be performing her show, Revolution Renegade, as part of the BEMAC program for 2024.

Mel also hopes to one day take her one-woman show ‘Mother May We’ nation-wide, which premiered at Sydney’s Griffin Theatre in 2022.

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