Sista Sounds Story

Sista Sounds is MusicNT’s music program for Indigenous women and girls in Central Australia and the Northern Territory. The program has been running since 2011, and responds to a gap in opportunity for remote Aboriginal women to learn, practice and perform music, as well as pathway into the music industry. The long-term vision of Sista Sounds is to create a strong Indigenous women's music culture in Central Australia and the Northern Territory.

Sista Sounds 2015

In 2015 we ran 71 workshops for Indigenous girls and women across 18 remote communities and towns. Those programs have engaged over 220 individual Indigenous girls and women in learning and performing music, and co-written 38 songs within the workshops. And MusicNT has employed 28 artists to mentor, 16 of whom are Indigenous, and have given mentor training and PD to four young Aboriginal women. 

The Sista Sounds workshops visited Imanpa, Mimili, Fregon, Mutitjulu, Santa Teresa, Kiwirrkurra, Papunya and Elliot.

Sista Sounds 2014

In 2014 MusicNT ran Sista Sounds workshops in communities throughout Central Australia.

Block 1 included workshops in: Ali – Curung, Amoongoona, Alice Springs, Gap Youth Centre, Alice Springs, Amata, Mimili, Mutitjulu, Wingellina, Yuendumu and Ti-Tree. And Block 2 included workshops in: Ernabella, Wingellina, Utopia, Kintore, Mimili, Warakurna, Ntaria and Titjikala.

Sista Sounds 2013

In 2013 the Sista Sounds and Desert Divas programs ran a total of 134 workshops in 14 remote communities and towns across Central Australia, reaching 861 girls & women and producing 64 independent songs. Here's a look at some of those programs.

2013 Sista Sounds workshops were held in: Warakurna (WA), Mimili (SA), Titjikala (NT), Ntaria (NT), Utopia (NT), Papunya (NT), Mt Liebig (NT), Kiwikurra (WA), Kintore (NT) and at Katherine Music Week - Sista Sounds ran workshops in Katherine as part of Katherine Music Week.

Sista Sounds 2012

In 2012 Sista Sounds:

  • Ran six weeks of remote workshops, working with 115 girls across Central Australia, writing and recording lots of songs, including the 2012 MessageSong
  • Ran our third and biggest Desert Divas yet, with 19 participants aged 11-37 who wrote and performed 11 new songs at the Alice Desert Festival
  • Launched the first contemporary Indigenous women’s music compilation in Australia: Desert Divas Vol. 1. Available online here, or through the CAAMA Shop.
  • Desert Divas participated in “I Will Survive” reality TV show on Channel 7
  • Presented at the Australasian World Music Expo in Melbourne.
  • Performed at numerous gigs around Alice Springs
  • Check out the Tennant Creek Times story about the workshops here.

More information:

For more information or to link with this project, please contact MusicNT’s Alice Springs office. Phone: 08 89520322 or Email:


Thanks to the generous support of our program partners and sponsors for enabling MusicNT to deliver Sista Sounds workshops to new remote community locations.