Ali Mills

Ali Mills  Biography

They gave me the best gifts my spirit could ever need.
The best things I could ever have in my time capsule. They gave me songs I could use to tell others of my wonderful heritage, my identity and my past that is my future.
I could not find a better way for me to archive, relay and transfer what is important to me.
Now my stories and my heirlooms will be preserved to travel through time eternally.
These stories and songs are their legacy, my legacy, my dreaming, my childrens and the next in line. Ali mills – Song Custodian

Listen to Ali Mills’ interview on ABC National’s Late Night Live with Phillip Adams here.

Ali Arjibuk Mills is a self confessed obsessive multi-tribal, multicultural and multifaceted entertainer who loves to use the stage to send humanity, peace and “say hello to yourself” messages using any kind of sound and movement that attracts the spirit.

 Ali first appeared on stage at the age of 8 at the Gardens Amphitheatre, Hoadleys Battle of the Sounds talent quest in Darwin, singing her idol Elvis Presley’s song, Wooden Heart. Ali won her section.

Ali Arjibuk is one of 8 artistic children born from two local and famous artists in their own right, David and Kathy mills. Her mother Kathy Mills is the 1986 NAIDOC national and Northern Territory Aborigine of the Year winner – an icon famous for her lyrics and community and cultural development work around Australia. This lady is also famously and fondly known as “Aunty Kathy” to many, including high profile politicians. Her father David Mills is famous for his entertainment in his younger days throughout the Northern Territory and still today is referred to as a legend. 

Ali has performed for roughly 30 years now and says she gets better with age, just like a very special and precious moment in time. Her performances number in the thousands and include presentations for government bodies, diverse organisations, festivals, Telstra events, schools, charities, churches, sports tournaments, government house events, parliamentarians and many diverse arts organisations and special events. Ali has also starred in the film Yolngu Boy as a grieving grandmother.

The songs that most people associate Ali with are Arafura Pearl, a song by her mother Kathy Mills, voted as one of the 2005 NT Social and Cultural Heritage Icons –Another song, the Kriol version of Waltzing Matilda which she learned from her great uncle Valentine McGinness and sings in her Gurindji/Kungarakan language has also received many accolades. These two songs that are on her soon to be released first music CD.

As a member of Darwin’s own The Mills Sisters, Ali has been the support act for Tina Turner, Charlie Pride, Bullamakanka, The Bushwhackers, Sir Harry Sercombe, and Sweet Honey in the Rock over the years. The group were also especially requested to perform at the 1986 papal visit in Alice Springs. Among many awards and accolades, The Mills Sisters also won the 1989 “Tamworth Buskers Championship – Golden Swaggie Award”. The Darwin Mills Sisters were also smash hits at the 2002 National Folk Festival in Canberra, performing main stage at the Budawang (twice) and several other festival and other venues around Canberra, as well as their main gig as part of the String Bands and Shake Hands – Days of Old Darwin Town themed presentation hosted by Jeff Corfield. This widely acclaimed presentation became the central theme for the 2002 Festival of Darwin in August 2002 in a comprehensive community based inter-cultural program largely organised by Ali.

Ex NT Administrator Mr. Ted Egan, refers to Ali as the “earth goddess” after seeing her perform at one of the Arafura Games Opening Ceremonies. Ali is also a favourite for the Invitational and Aboriginal All Stars Matches held in Darwin. Her last main event was as the “Larrakia Country – Darwin City Tribal Welcome Host/Entertainer” for the Sir Elton John Concert in Darwin in 2008. In 2008 and again in 2009, Ali Mills is the choice of Master of Ceremonies for the Northern Territory Indigenous Music Awards.

At long last, Ali Mills has released her debut, solo and self-titled CD which features a range of songs from her family musical heritage and other sources. The highlight of the album has to be her version of Waltzing Matilda… Waltjim Bat Matilda which she sings in Kriol. Ali launched her album at the 2010 National Folk Festival in Canberra, alongside the launch of Jeff Corfield’s book on the life and music of Valentine McGinness, Ali’s uncle and Kriol Mentor.

More albums from: Ali Mills