Shane Howard lead singer and songwriter of the 1980's hit band "Goanna", shares the story of his personal journey through the "Tjukurpa" or the dreaming.
"Once you wake up to the truth about what really happened to the aboriginal people, you can't un-know once you know", says Shane. He was recalling his early years, when he picked fruit in Mildura and recalls his first glimpse into racism in Australia. It was in the form of a sign on a public bench that read "Whites only". This was an awakening for Shane, who believed segregation like this, only existed in the deep southern states of America.
Shane described this experience as an "awakening"; it was the beginning of Shane's journey to learn more about the true Aboriginal story. He soon became friends with many Aboriginal people and fellow musicians, who shared stories of massacres and atrocities, stories that were very different to what he had been taught at school. "We are living in a grouse injustice" and "I was powerless, I was a young kid, I didn't know what to do.” Shane decided to write a song and the song “Solid Rock” was written. Shane recalls his memory of writing that song, “I tried my very hardest to try and communicate to other people just like me, what I was feeling" "We [The Goanna Band] gave it our best shot, at getting it out there in the mainstream and it was hugely successful, beyond our wildest dreams.
Shane’s returned to Mildura was to support the Yapara Cultural Trade Gathering, an event designed to bring Aboriginal trade routes and stories back to life. The event was a great opportunity for the local Barkindji and Latji Latji people and the visiting, Anangu Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara Pipalhtjara, Kalka and Fregon people from the APY lands, to reinvigorate trade routes and share Aboriginal knowledge and songs with each other and the local Sunraysia community.
This video was produced as part of the ABC Open "Me & Mine" Project.
Stories celebrating unique family ties among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Anyone can get involved, its as simple as contacting your local ABC Open Producer.
1. Pick an active ABC Open storytelling project,
2. Contact me to book a time and place.
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