This past few months has been a continuation of one event or talk after another with Nannup Music Festival thrown in for good measure. I am little behind with my update but I do have a very good excuse with so many events booked. I started with St Luke’s Anglican Church late January then mid February things started to get much more hectic with radio interviews, school talks and “Music Talks” events until now. Thanks to Stacey Harding at Fremantle Radio 107.9 fm for giving me a whole hour of your show to talk about Refugees and for playing my tracks “Can’t let Go” and “Crossing New Borders”. “Crossing New Borders” is a song that I wrote in response to my desire to see an end to the disgusting narrative that has been created around people seeking asylum and refugees in Australia. For me it’s about highlighting the tragic story of people seeking asylum and my observations of the many people across Australia who are doing all that they can to stand up and speak out against the disgusting policy that keeps 1000’s of refugees in limbo. At the heart of this song is my own inability to rest until everyone is free because while they suffer we suffer too. We are not free until they are free, spiritually, emotionally and mentally because as Moz says “we are all the same”.
In the photos you can see the lovely women of Fremantle Soroptimists Club and their friends. They put on a real feast and were an incredibly receptive audience. What I find the most exciting about doing these events is the response that I get. The people attending always tell me how inspired they are to take action and that’s brilliant and in my opinion “mission accomplished”.
I also did a talk at Southern River College for Helen Rozendaal who is my very good friend. I haven’t done many school talks but they are always very rewarding and extremely important. St Cuthbert’s Anglican Fr Chris Bedding also hosted an event which was so well received. The audience were very moved to hear from one of the refugees from Manus himself. After 6 yrs on Manus, 12 months in a hotel in Melbourne and 6 mths in Melbourne Immigration Transfer Accommodation he was given freedom last month. There was a lot of emotion in the room and a huge amount of support for my friend who spent 8 yrs in detention.
Amnesty also hosted a joint meeting between the Perth and Fremantle group and once again I talked and shared the stories and horrors of offshore and onshore detention. That same week I did a “Music Talks” event at St John’s Anglican Church in Fremantle. We had a small intimate audience on the eve of the election but every person there was deeply moved by what they saw and heard. I was able to also show some bits of the documentary and my friend from Manus also joined us and spoke to those present. It was very moving and the overriding reaction is shock and disbelief. People want to know “how did this happen”, “why didn’t we know” etc. I know many of you will say well they should know there is enough information. However, I actually believe that there has been a very clever cover up by the government (both parties) to make sure the people of Australia don’t get to know the full truth of what we have done to people in detention. So my journey continues to raise awareness to the best of my ability because………”I can’t close my eyes to the pain”……
Each time I do a church event I can’t help but wonder where they have been on this issue. I know that churches don’t want to get involved in politics but they have a level of responsibility to hold those in charge accountable and this is about human rights and it’s about doing “what is right”. What would Jesus have done? I am not even religious but I am pretty sure he would have stormed the buildings with much anger and demand to know why were they not choosing the way of the lord. There are many verses in the bible that talk about welcoming the stranger, yet we have gotten caught up thinking we will loose something if we welcome “too many” to the beautiful place we call home which is not even ours to give. This is just my observation and I am not just talking about churches when I make that comment. I could go on and on but I am pretty sure that all those who read this will be thinking along the same lines which gives me a level of hope. We have to all speak out more though and do more for those who don’t have a voice especially if we come from the privileged group (white Anglo Saxon) because we have benefited from all those who don’t hold the same privilege that we have enjoyed for so long now.
Nannup was a beautiful weekend and unfortunately I didn’t get any photos but I do have the screen shots from the program just to as evidence that I was there lol…. Although I went on my own I did bump into a few friends when I was there and Bill who lives in Nannup took this little snippet of me at playing. https://www.facebook.com/100017903255822/videos/783414752265293. As always it was amazing to be involved in such an incredible hub of music and incredible artists.
I did 2 gigs and a workshop. The workshop was based on one of my “Music Talks” events and it was great to do one in the Festival environment.
Thanks to Phaedra Watts and her incredible team who always do an amazing job of bringing the whole festival together every year. This year had extra complications with all the COVID safe requirements but they did it again in their usual professional manner.
I have a few weeks off now and I am off to Sydney for a week on 4th April…just for fun. Adios folks !!