Taribelang woman Evie Ferris has become the second blue Wiggle as the line-up for the popular children’s entertainment group expands for a new, more diverse show.
The announcement of four new Wiggles was made for the group’s latest venture Fruit Salad TV, premiering on YouTube on September 4.
Evie will feature as a second blue Wiggle alongside founding member Anthony Field AM on the new YouTube exclusive program with a focus on diversity.
A talented ballet dancer, Evie is the second First Nations woman to join the Australian Ballet Company.
“Our culture is an integral part of Australia’s past, present and future,” Evie said.
“As a First Nation’s artist, it is deeply important to me that we honour and share our stories through the Arts.”
She loves yoga and reading and will be wearing blue ballet shoes to coordinate with her Wiggles shirt.
Speaking to Artistic and Holistic, Evie said “my Aboriginal Indigenous heritage comes from my father’s side”.
“Taribelang hails from Bundaberg and that is where my paternal grandmother is from, so it is part of my bloodline,” she told Artistic and Holistic.
“Djabugay comes from where I grew up in Cairns.
“These connections mean I identify with both cultures.”
Fruit Salad TV will feature eight Wiggles including the four newcomers Evie, Tsehay Hawkins, Kelly Hamilton and John Pearce.
Fruit Salad TV was written by the original blue Wiggle Anthony, who is also an accredited expert in Early Childhood Education.
Since Anthony began The Wiggles 30 years ago, the group has strived to entertain, educate and engage all children in Australia to promote a sense of understanding of the world around them and Fruit Salad TV is an important evolution for The Wiggles’ brand to reflect today's pluralistic society.
“The Wiggles were created during a time when early childhood educational concepts were the focus,” Anthony said.
“As society has evolved, we have embraced the need for diversity and inclusiveness and want children all over the world to see themselves reflected on the screen.
“It’s so important that The Wiggles continue to evolve along with our society.
“This is the first step towards shaping The Wiggles for the next 30 years, taking us in a direction that truly represents and serves our community more inclusively.
“We are excited for the next chapter in The Wiggles’ history which will start with Fruit Salad TV and continue on with our other content and our live shows.
“We can’t wait to introduce our amazing new lineup of incredibly talented performers to children in Australia and around the world.”
Fruit Salad TV will feature singing, dancing, storytelling and, of course, the catchiest music that immediately engages children to sing and play along.
But Fruit Salad TV will also seamlessly integrate the concept of embracing diversity in multiple forms, including culture, race, age and gender.
The introduction of the new Wiggles’ cast aims to better represent today's Australia, while enabling children worldwide to see themselves reflected on the screen.
Fruit Salad TV, featuring new blue Wiggle Evie Ferris, will premiere on September 4 on YouTube.