Maroochy Barambah is an Aboriginal Elder from Brisbane, Australia. She is of Turrbal and Gubbi Gubbi ancestry with additional bloodline connections to Wakka Wakka, Kamilaroi and Birri Gubba Country. Maroochy was born on Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve in South East Queensland. She is the Songwoman and Law-woman of the Turrbal Tribe.
Maroochy attended the Melba Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts where she graduated in Dramatic Arts. Maroochy has had extensive involvement in the Aboriginal community over the last 5 decades. She has delivered several lectures on Aboriginal culture at various institutions and was a keynote speaker at the Australian Reconciliation Convention in Melbourne.
In 1989, Maroochy made her operatic debut playing the lead role in Black River where she became the first Aboriginal person to perform on the Australian operatic stage. Black River, which focuses on black deaths in custody, won the 1993 Grand Prix Opera Screen Award in Paris.
Later in 1993, Maroochy became the first Australian to perform at the United Nations in New York in honour of the International Year for the World’s Indigenous Peoples. In 2014, she performed the traditional Welcome to Country Ceremony at the Brisbane G20 Summit with world leaders such as Barack Obama and David Cameron in attendance.
Maroochy appeared in the Indigenous musical Bran Nue Dae, the television series Women of the Sun, and in the opera Beach Dreaming (written for and about her by Mark Isaacs). Maroochy also released two singles, one of which, Mongungi, reached the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Dance chart.
Maroochy has received many awards, both in Australia and overseas. She hopes to continue working in the area of the performing arts, while at the same time engendering a better understanding of Aboriginal culture.