Cooee Cabaret! The NFSA's Sounds of Australia are here!

What are the National Film and Sound Archive’s Sounds of Australia? They are iconic Australian sounds – from the radio cricket commentator shouting ‘Howzat!?’, to the catchy Aeroplane Jelly and Vegemite jingles, from unofficial national anthems like Waltzing Matilda, to Gough Whitlam’s infamous ‘Kerr’s Curr’ speech. These sounds captured and preserved at the NFSA are our shared Australian history, moments of triumph, despair and celebration.

The NFSA’s Sounds of Australia register is now the inspiration for a brand new family cabaret show, the Cooee Cabaret. The show will be performed in Mount Gambier (South Australia) on Wednesday 10 November and in Warrnambool (Victoria) on Friday 12 November. The fun-filled Cooee tour continues onto Colac (Victoria) on Tuesday 16 November concluding in Drysdale (Victoria) on Friday 19 November.

Bring all your friends and family to the Cooee Cabaret. Share your memories and delight in the sounds and songs that Australians know and love as three mischievous characters take us on a fun and chaotic journey through the Sounds of Australia.

From the earliest beginnings of sound recording in the 1890s, through to well loved advertising jingles, radio broadcasts and popular contemporary songs, Cooee Cabaret explores what sounds are unique, meaningful and iconic in Australia.

Created by contemporary musical director and cabaret performer Nigel Ubrihien, Cooee Cabaret sees Nigel performing with Indigenous singer, actor and comedienne Lisa Maza and versatile character actor Stephen Anderson. Local performers will join the team on stage presenting their interpretations of songs and sounds from the Sounds of Australia registry – choirs, acapella groups, local actors and musicians. Not to be left out, audiences will also be encouraged to sing along to their favourite Aussie tunes and jingles.

“The Sounds of Australia registry has been open for nearly four years now so it’s great to see the sounds coming to life and Australians across the country getting involved in their cultural heritage” said NFSA CEO, Dr Darryl McIntyre. “We’re also very excited to have clips of these sounds available for the first time on our australianscreen online website making it easier to listen to and comment on them.”

With funding support from the Australian Government through the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program (NCITO), the NFSA has created this new show and online portal to celebrate and explore the recorded sounds in our audiovisual collection. Visit to find out what sounds are already on the Sounds of Australia registry, listen to them and learn about them. You can also nominate what sounds you think should be added ! Nominations are open all year – go to the Nomination Form to nominate your favourite Australian recordings.

In Mount Gambier, the show is on Wednesday 10 November at 11am (matinee) and 7.30pm for the public at Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre. Tickets can be reserved by calling 08 8723 8741. In Warrnambool the show is on Friday 12 November at 7.30pm at the Warrnambool Entertainment Centre. Tickets can be reserved by calling 03 5559 4999. In Colac, Cooee Cabaret is on Tuesday 16 November at 11am for school children and 7.30pm for the public. Tickets can be reserved by calling (03) 5232 9418. The tour finishes in Drysdale on Friday 19 November at 1.30pm for school children and 7.30pm for the public. Tickets can be reserved by calling (03) 5251 1998. All performances are free to the public.

The Performers
Nigel Ubrihien is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium and studied at the Academy of Music in Prague, Czech Republic. He has worked in many areas of music theatre as performer, teacher, actor, writer, arranger, composer and conductor and in genres as varied as opera, cabaret, drama and musical theatre. He is regularly heard as pianist in capital city productions of Wicked, Mamma Mia and The Lion King. Recently, Nigel’s work was seen on TVs and computer screens across the country as ABC TV’s Hungry Beast presented their own version of a Canberra Tourism jingle.(

Lisa Maza is a proud Mer/Yidindji/Dutch woman who is an accomplished actor, singer and director. Performing on stage, TV and at the Dreaming Festival with her sister Rachael as The Maza Sisters, Lisa has also appeared in Black Sheep: Glorious Baastards this year at the Melbourne Comedy Festival ( and in a new production written and created by she and Rachel, Sisters of Gelam, weaving together a heady mix of live music, theatre & puppetry.

Stephen Anderson graduated from NIDA in 2006 and has since built a career as a talented and versatile dramatic and musical performer. His credits include the sadomachistic dentist in Little Shop of Horrors and the Emcee in Cabaret (for the New Theatre). He has performed Swan Lake with the Paris Opera Ballet and appeared in the Sydney premiere of the contemporary opera Dead Man Walking. Most recently, Stephen has toured Australia, New Zealand and the UK as ‘The Predators’ with the highly successful production of The Gruffalo.

Notes for Editors/Journalists
Interviews are available with the performers and project manager, Brendan Smith (NFSA Manager of Education and Touring Programs).
A Fact Sheet about Cooee Cabaret and more information about the Sounds of Australia can be found online at or is available from Brendan Smith.


Brendan Smith
P. 02 8202 0119