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January 29, 2022

Archie Roach and Music for the Mob

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From left: Kerrianne Cox, Archie Roach, Lewis Walker

This weekend sees the staging of an ambitious and inspiring musical collaboration focusing on bringing communities together through music. OneMob and CPX Music approached Elen Butler of Melon Events and musician Laura Target to create Buninj Boothrum, or Echidna Dreaming.

Can you tell me what was your inspiration for Buninj Boothrum?

ELEN: Lewis Walker (Wahrlabal Bygal man) and Kobya Panguana (Mozambique, Africa) team up for the love and needs of the children and elders in their communities… in Kobya’s words: ‘This Durrumbul event is a mutual vision of Lewis and me, to help the children in our communities. We first shared this vision back in Lewis’s homeland during a corroboree at Rocky River Jabulum. This project is the fruit of this dreaming.

Can you tell me what Buninj Boothrum means and why you chose to call the event that?

ELEN: Buninj Boothrum is Wahrlabal language meaning Echidna Dreaming. The event is being held at Durrumbul Hall and the totem animal for that country is the echidna. This name was chosen for the event in respect for the original languages of this caldera and to call all people to gather together and honour our land of milk and honey. With this event may we celebrate a common dream of respect and love for all country and all culture.

Why do you think music is so powerful in bringing people together?
LAURA: Music is a language that everybody understands. It grabs the heartstrings, transcends all sense of separation and nurtures a sense of unity.

How did you manage to get Archie Roach to come and headline? That’s a very big name for a country hall!

ELEN: We were wanting an artist who would bring local elders from far and wide to the hall and when we thought of Archie we knew he’s the one! Archie Roach has family ties in this region with Lewis and others and is very supportive of this event. Uncle Archie would like us all to know that he is really looking forward to this gathering!
LAURA: It’s a blessing for us to have Archie Roach visit our shire and share his timeless music – yes in our country hall – a rare honour!

What is it about Archie and his music that seems to reach people of all tribes, all ages?

ELEN: Some musicians are timeless; they speak and sing directly from the spirit realms to the hearts and minds of all people. Archie sings from the salt of his flesh-and-blood true-life story and his voice lifts us beyond the bounds of pain and suffering and into the power of love and forgiveness. Uncle Archie’s music reaches the spirit and soul within each of us.

Tell me a little more about the other artists on the bill.

LAURA: We’re excited to have a huge lineup of local and national artists including national treasure Kerrianne Cox, beloved elder from Uluru, Uncle Bob Randall, rising star Jennifer Williams, Bologaman – featuring Lewis Walker and Anthony Gordon, much-loved Murray Kyle, gypsy-vibed Shakshuka, Amir Pais, Whaledreamers, Elen Evolove, Steve Andrews & Bentley Boyz, Rose Rath, Adam Pippen, Elliot Orr and our local youth sensation Earth Guardians Australia.

What should we be expecting on the night?
LAURA: This will be an amazing, fun-filled, family-friendly day and night with fire, art, music, dance, a didge healing space, elders and corroboree. Delicious organic vegetarian food and chai will be catered by Food For Life.

Buninj Boothrum starts at 3pm at Durrumbul Hall, on Saturday with children’s activities – weaving and painting, a cultural sharing from elders and corroboree at 5pm. Kids are invited to be painted up and learn a cultural dance with Uncle Lewis to share during corroboree! After sunset the music program begins with Archie Roach.

Tickets available at the gate of the event – $20 / children under 15 free.

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