Who Are We?

Mother Tongue is an organisation passionate about supporting the voices of women, and gender diverse people who identify as women.

The organisation centres around our live events and has become Melbourne’s biggest Woman’s Spoken Word event and one of the most established Spoken Word events in the city. It is hosted and run by Fleassy Malay and Brigid Morgan. A place for Passionate, Powerful, Vulnerable and Honest performance; it stands aside from, most Spoken Word events in its depth and authenticity.

The organisation has been running since the end of 2012 and has evolved from a monthly event to the NFP organisation it is today. Mother Tongue supports these marginalised voices through its own live events, online events, and youtube channel as well as aligning with other events and organisations to get more women and gender diverse voices onto their platforms. In the past, we have worked with the Melbourne Writers Festival, Seven Sisters Festival, Rainbow Serpent Festival, Melbourne Spoken Word, Australian Poetry Slam, and more.

We showcase all forms of the Spoken Word, including poetry, comedy, rap, song and storytelling. The key factor is that it is a platform for honest stories. Some of these stories are hard to hear, others are filled with joy and sensuality. All of these stories are welcome in our space. Mother Tongue is proud to have been a catalytic force in the emergence of many incredibly talented writers and performers. 

Our Core Team

Fleassy Malay


Position: Founder/CEO

Founder and CEO of Mother Tongue Poetry, Fleassy Malay is a Two times TEDx speaker and viral poet. Internationally renowned, they are an evocative and powerful spoken word artist, speaker and coach. A global advocate for Women’s and LGBTQI+ rights and a fierce voice for the power of authenticity and courage as a social change tool.
As a self-identified queer, erotic, spiritual, mother she has a theatrical and yet deeply authentic performance and writing style, renowned for captivating her audiences with depth, honesty, and humour.

Katie Lohner


Position: Co-host and event coordinator

Rowan White


Position: Door Puppy

Rowan is one of our longest running volunteers, and has been the smiling face on our door greeting you as you arrive since our inception in 2012. Rowan is a talented poet himself. 

Our Board Members

Tathra Street


Position: Chairperson

Tathra is a leadership futurist who believes in the power of stories for collective healing. Her work is about changing the face of leadership, working with marginalised groups and corporate changemakers. She is an Australian born and Canadian raised facilitator and leadership coach with a global perspective. She also co-chairs the Community Reference Group of the Victorian Pride Centre. Tathra has been an active part of the Mother Tongue community from the early days.

Prehrana Singh


Position: Treasurer

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Brigid Morgan


Position: Board Member

Brigid has been co-managing Mother Tongue since 2017. She has been performing and teaching in the arts sector ever since she can remember, and is always pursuing new learning opportunities. Brigid’s passions include theatre, dance, performance art, creative writing and spoken word poetry. She has been involved in several Arts and Community Festivals over the years, more recently Hillscene Live Arts, La Mama Explorations, Melbourne Fringe, and Melbourne Spoken Word & Poetry Festival. Brigid is mid-candidature for a Masters in Theatre (Dramaturgy) at VCA.

Hal Simons


Position: Board Member

Hal Simons is a polyamorous, nerdy, queer, kinky, caffeine-fuelled poet, feminist, gamer, and bibliophile. He is often found frequenting Melbourne’s open mic nights or curled up in a cafe with a good book and drinking his weight in coffee. He likes short walks on long piers, impractical-length hugs that last hours, receiving presents, and objects that exist in either less than, or more than, three dimensions. He lives in the inner north with a lovely housemate, mountains of books, mediocre internet, a pet rock, and a dead plant that he stubbornly refuses to get rid of.