Spotlight on Michael Birk

Michael Birk sits at a microphone holding an acoustic guitar, smiling at the camera

Yaegl man Michael Birk grew up in the Clarence River region of Northern NSW, and now lives and performs on the Northern Beaches. As a musician he performs with his band The Recognisers, and as an event producer he founded Singing Up Country in 2014 as part of the Gai-mariagal Festival.

Celebrating its 10th festival in 2024 with the theme 'Keep the flame alive', Singing Up Country is a festival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island music and Culture. Alongside Birk's The Recognisers, will be folk band The Stiff Gins, reggae group Green Hand Band, as well as Magpie, GiiMusic, and Spilt Coffee.

Read our interview with Michael Birk

Our creative community

The Northern Beaches is home to a higher than average percentage of artists, creatives and cultural workers. 

Our local creative community generated $1,16m in economic output and $790 million in value added for the Northern Beaches Council area in 2018/19 (4.2% of Greater Sydney's total Cultural and Creative Sector value). Our artists and creatives are the drivers of a vibrant local economy.

The Northern Beaches creative sector has the 2nd highest number of jobs in NSW for specialised design and photographic services, book and magazine publishing and arts education and the 3rd highest number of jobs in NSW for architects, artists, musicians, writers and performers. Our creative economy supported 7,050 local jobs (6.5% of total jobs in the LGA) and provided employment for 13,207 residents (8.5% of all employed residents) in 2018/19.

Find out more about our local Northern Beaches cultural and creative sector

Our Local Creatives

Each month we showcase some of the talented people who live and work in our community, exploring the diversity of artistic and creative practices on the Northern Beaches.

Find more of our creative community on Instagram through the hashtag #creativenorthernbeaches. With 5000+ posts, join in and use the hashtag to share your own local creative practice.

If you would like to apply to be or nominate a Local Creative, please email us at

Are we friends yet?

Keep in touch with arts and creativity on the Northern Beaches with Creative News.

Previous Local Creatives

Kate Butcher

Spotlight on local creative, Kate Butcher.

portrait of Kate Butcher, a blond woman wearing a black top with angular zips, looking to the left with high contrast lighting

Kristina Wilson

Spotlight on local singer-songwriter Kristina Wilson.

Photo of Kristina Wilson, a young woman with long brown hair, sitting at a table and resting her chin on her hand. A bunch of flowers, possibly billy-buttons, sit in the foreground.

Maxwell Marsters

Spotlight on Maxwell Marsters, featured in Out Front 2024.

Screenshot from the video artwork Pakoko, showing a female Polynesian dancer performing on the cliffs next to the ocean at sunrise.

Michael Birk

Spotlight on Yaegl man, singer, songwriter, and festival producer Michael Birk.

Michael Birk sits at a microphone holding an acoustic guitar, smiling at the camera