Especially if you were one of my musical peers or involved in the music industry that somehow took the time to connect with my latest album – There In The Ochre – & in particular – with a song called Happy Australia Day.
The album – which took over 3 years to make – utilised the skills and good vibes of some the most remarkable people and musicians this country has to offer. It was a serious cognitive and creative challenge to produce – that was somehow understood, collated and mixed perfectly by Mr Sean Rudd of the Vault Studios in East Balmain.
There is a lot of love and care that goes into each and every track. The album is meant to be listened to in its entirety – in order to fully appreciate the ebb and flow, the light and dark, the humour and the heartbreak. No more so than the challenging song, Happy Australia Day.
The song and its accompanying video – were created to be used as a teacher resource within the classroom. As a school teacher with over 30years experience – I am fully aware of how little we teach of Pre-European Australian History – and our shared Australian History. It is hoped that by learning about 9 significant Indigenous Australians – we might be exposed to a new and very valuable perspective of our shared past, that in turn might help us understand the current division on certain issues, that may then help us make more informed decisions that help unify us in the future. No mean feat – squeezed into a 4 minute song!
To be understood – is the greatest feeling in the world!
The fact that Kevin Bennett – a proud Kamilaroi man, and the ‘walking bench-mark’ of cool – who also co-wrote and features on the song – and I – were able to perform Happy Australia Day – at the 2021 CMAA Golden Guitars – with the powerful and heartbreaking video playing behind us – on what is the Australia Day long weekend – is a true testament to the growth of the Australian consciousness. For me it marked a huge step forward in the right direction with our shared responsibility of reconciliation. There is so much to be learned and admired from the worlds oldest living culture – and the older I get – the more I want to take on and share the custodian role of looking after this country – it’s people, our culture, and our environment. To pass this country on to our children and grand children in a much better state than how we received it. It is within us all – and to be awarded the Heritage Song of the Year – & the Traditional Country Album of the Year – for songs and projects deliberately designed to hit hard on many many levels – is deeply humbly – but HUGELY satisfying!!