Our experience has shown that music and culture brings people together and has a powerful healing effect.

This project supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, engaged men, and built their confidence, culture creativity and skills. Many men in Lockhart River are unemployed, with an unemployment rate of 19-6% and face many health and life challenges.

This project created a music CD:

KINCHYA NGUMPULUNGU – SONGS FROM THE EAST COAST – all original songs from Lockhart males – 5 songs each from 3 local bands (adult men, older youth, younger youth)

  • Provided “on the job” training in working in a real recording studio, album planning and design, leadership, project management, refining technical and writing abilities – improving skills and knowledge
  • Created a music clip, mentoring in use of camera etc
  • Built confidence and resilience in male youth and adults (15 musicians and role models for all males in the community)
  • Strengthened male connection with each other and the community (which  impacts on domestic violence, suicide, drug & alcohol abuse)
  • Provided potential employment opportunities and increased understanding of the wider world and the music industry
  • Provided opportunities to keep youth off drugs and alcohol, help them to express their inner dreams and honour their identity
  • Strengthened culture – through use of traditional language words in songs, writing songs about homelands and traditional ways, current issues
  • Launched the CD at community bbq – building pride, connections and just having fun!  This involved men, women, elders, youth and kids and from all clans – having a ripple impact on the whole community (700).

Leftfield Productions, Cairns provided the Project Manager and Music Mentor (Brett Charles). Local Lockhart River Co-ordinator and Music Mentor (Norman Bally) provided much support to the project. The three bands were East Coast Band, Ba’il Boys and Wulungun, with band members coming from different clan groups in Lockhart River. Local businesses – Lockhart River Car Hire and Lockhart River Art Centre supported the project through transport and art. All musicians learnt about the level of discipline it takes to sing, record and play, making the best possible recording of their music.

All musicians said they enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot.Many people in the community helped with the launch of the CD including – Dottie Hobson and a team of women from Women’s Shelter, HACC, Puuya Foundation and Indigenous Community Volunteers prepared a feast of hot and cold food, damper and fruit for 250 people.  The men hunted and cooked dugong – showing the significance of the event. Family members from other communities also travelled long distances to be there.

Another group of parents and children from the School decorated the hall with fresh palm fronds, flowers and balloons. People said that they had never seen the hall look so beautuful – ever! Over 20 people performed – all three bands, as well as others.  The old people sang the old songs, parents proudly listened to their youth and the children danced and danced – it was a great community celebration!  Music continues to be a strategy in the community and brings people together.

Please contact us directly to support the Puuya Foundation’s work by purchasing the CD.