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Byron Shire
May 16, 2022

Indigenous musicians mixing it up at SAE

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OneVision CEO Mark King with the 2016 crew and mentors Ella King and Tom Avery. Photo contributed
OneVision CEO Mark King with the 2016 crew and mentors Ella King and Tom Avery. Photo contributed

Ten north coast indigenous students with big musical ambitions are getting a chance to sharpen their skills at one of Australia’s most prestigious sound production schools thanks to a new program called OneVision Productions.

The class of 2017, all aged between 17 and 24 walked through the doors of SAE in Byron Bay yesterday for the first time.

When they graduate at the end of the year they will have a Certificate III in music production, together with real-life experience in the industry and the opportunity to undertake further tertiary education.

But’s that not all OneVision is up to this year.

Founder and CEO Mark Robertson (aka MC Dingo) will also be conducting hip-hop and multi-media workshops as part of his Music for Change program at six north coast high schools.

The program, which is funded through the federal government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy, offers a 10-week hip-hop workshop where students write, perform and film their own hip-hop song and accompanying film clip, which will be distributed through local radio, NITV and social media outlets.

Mark, who has run hip-hop workshops in more than 30 remote communities over the years, says he has seen a ‘dramatic improvement in young lives from finding passion inside themselves.’

‘Our hip-hop programs encourage participants to “name their world” – express how they see society and how they are impacted by the life in which they live,’ says Mark.

‘By working together, they also gain valuable life and vocational skills, confidence and the ability to overcome personal barriers to achieving goals.’

Mark says that hip-hop has the ‘unique ability to speak to the marginalised voices in society, it is a chance for poetry to be heard, the oppressed to be recognised and inspiration to become the forefront of positive change.’

The Ngulingah Aboriginal Land Council CEO, Cedrick Hinton says, ‘programs such as these are really needed as they explore culture, provide opportunity and create passion through the arts.’

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