This production was written, recorded and filmed over 5 days in April 2016 in the remote community of Bourke in far Western NSW. An out come of a Desert Pea Media community project with a group of young Indigenous people enrolled at Bourke High School.
The project came about through a partnership between Desert Pea Media, Bourke High School and Outback Division of General Practice.
Desert Pea Media projects involve a dialogue-based storytelling process that encouraged participants to analyze ‘the real’, ‘the ideal’ and ‘the bridge’. In simple terms this means critically thinking about how to create positive change for individuals, for each other and for our communities.
This information was then disseminated into a narrative structure by local young people and Desert Pea Media staff – Toby Finlayson and Michael Graham (aka MC Boomalli), then the lyrics were co-written and recorded. We then shot a music video over two days all over Bourke and surrounding areas.
This project featured the expert musical direction and production of acclaimed musician and and songwriter Carlo Santone (Blue King Brown, Nattali Rize) who has since worked with us on a number of projects. Also featuring session Yidaki from Indigenous musician Fred Leone.
Further mentoring support came from previous DPM project participant Michael Graham (MC Boomalli), Kamileroi man who is now one of the head project facilitators for DPM.
The song is a celebration of survival, resilience, culture and pride and is one of our proudest achievements of 2016.
Special thanks to DPM resident psychologist Don Finlayson for his input and project support and to Bourke High School and NSW Outback Division of General Practice who co-funded the production.
“One of the greatest gifts we can bestow upon our community is to invest in, and believe in our children – the results speak for themselves”
NSW Outback Division of General Practice
Young people in Bourke, NSW – Co-Directors/ Co-Writers
Toby Finlayson – Producer/ Director/ Writer/ DOP/ Editor
Carlo Santone – Music Producer/ Music Director
Roy Weiland – Colour Grading/Motion Graphics
David Nicholas – Audio Mixing & Mastering
Straight out of Bourke where the Darling River’s deep
Where the Wonkamurra, Paakantji, Nyaampa, Murrawarri meet
Connected to my country, red dirt through my black feet
Can’t track me – no guns but the sun packin heat.
I tell you it’s hard/ that violence leaving scars
Leavin’ bruises, broken families, broken homes and broken hearts
Smoking dope and getting drunk, skippin school and stealin cars
That type of yarn will get you nowhere but behind bars
I’m sick of this misery, my culture like a mystery
Massacre, stolen generation up in my history
Listen to this, with boomerang and clapsticks
You can hear it rockin from up Northy down to the Rizz
Kids pickin up bumpers lah! Drinkin, killin’ your liver brah
Better switch this up, better go to school,
Ya foolish think this cool or wha?
Better raise them voices up. Better make better choices ya
Better respect, better keep in check, myself, my song, my culture HAH
We from a place where the warm wind blows,
my place, my home, my spirit
We the people of the red sunset
we connect like the flows in the river.
Better learn about myself – help my family’s mental health
Better check if you alright, better make sure that you sleep at night
Better keep that dream alive, exercise and eatin’ right
Now’s the time to show our pride and take this yarn Australia wide.
Change it back to what it meant to be I’ll take back my identity
I’ll maintain my integrity. I’m black in the 21st Century
Yep there’s still room for improvement, work with us to start a movement
Bourke about to change the game and break the chain through this here music.
If you fair dinkum prove it bred, you better shake your leg
If you for real sis, hands up if you feel this.
If you on track, you better learn your lingo, bringin it back.
Learn the facts, learn your language, yep be proud be black
We livin’ black and white – get rid of that stereotype
Never give up, don’t quit, the truth is you can be anything you like
Yep you gotta grab that mic, gotta keep that fire alight
Gotta keep on dreaming keep your chin up, keep on shining bright.