I am so enjoying winter up here in the big smoke……I hear Perth folks complaining about the cold weather and after 10 years in Denmark WA I am grateful for the very mild conditions and the extended hours of sunlight shinning into my little unit in Hamilton Hill.
It’s been incredibly busy the past few months and I can’t believe that almost 2 months has passed since my last update. I am not sure who has set the time on “fast” but it sure is getting difficult with keep up with everything. My main focus has been doing my “Music Talks” events although I have done a couple of regular gigs too. COVID has put all touring plans on hold for the moment but that’s OK I am quite enjoying hanging out here in the West.
The Victoria Park Farmers Markets was almost a normal gig in that it was a 3 hr gig. I parked myself right next to the stall “manned” by Betty McGeever. Betty has been a very active campaigner for refugee rights for a long time now and she had a table filled with all things “refugee”. It was a surprisingly mild Perth day and it was great to such a receptive audience.
Another standout event was the “Music Talks” gig that I did at St Pauls Beaconsfield. Celia asked me to come back and do one of my music events to her church group. We had a fantastic turn out and lots of very engaged people. Jalal Mahamede (Poet & Artist – Ahwaz Refugee) spoke to the people via audio on facebook messenger, he gave an incredibly moving speech which I will add at the end of this post. At time of writing this, Jalal still remains locked up in a detention centre in Brisbane.….I am not religious but I pray everyday that he and the others will be released soon. I can’t stand what what is happening to these guys it’s and unbelievable form of modern day torture by the Australian Government.
Aida Hatam also joined us to tell her story of how she and her family were sent to Nauru processing centre and then brought to Australia for her husband’s medical treatment and now have been left in indefinite limbo to this day.
Another really lovely evening was spent at the Leederville Songwriters club. I did a set of original songs to the most attentive of audiences and it was another opportunity to talk about refugees with it being “Refugee Week”. I took full advantage to make my whole set all about the issue.
“Crossing New Borders” was released at Nannup Music Festival March of this year and a few weeks ago I managed to get a video together for it. I got some great photos from a photo stock company online and Danny Reardon (Photographer) gave me permission to use a few of his photos from a recent protest in Perth. It was a bit of a problem to upload it to Facebook because they claimed that there was unacceptable material in it, after some investigation it seems that my words in the middle of the video upset them.
I would like to finish this post with Jalal’s speech, it was very moving and it’s really important that I give you the opportunity to read it. I also want to make sure that it stays on the record of time because one day he will be free and this will be an important piece of historical context of the harsh conditions experienced by all those that arrived on our shores seeking safety in 2013.