Last year some time, Pip, the Community Development Manager at East Pilbara Shire, and his side-kick chased me down as I was driving the Desert Feet Troopy through Nullagine, on the way home from a Desert Feet Tour.

They saw the Troopy, busted a U-ey and flagged me down. It’s a small world, and Pip had heard of the things we do. He wanted to talk about possible projects. We had a quick yarn and promised to catch up later. Well, we did, and here we are! 

Desert Feet are working towards financial self-sustainability, reducing our reliance on grants and sponsorship, in favour of delivering contracted services. This Tour is wholly funded by East Pilbara Shire, and Ngurra Kujungka who’ve brought us up here to do some specific things. We’ve been working in the region for many years and have a great relationship with Martu people and organisations here. Pip was looking for someone to deliver some engaging community programs for Newman’s NAIDOC celebration, so we were a good fit. It always feels great to roll back into town and swap friendly waves with folks who recognise the truck!

Yep, it’s big! Image from www.marblebar.org.au

Our missions:

Week 1 (26th – 30th June), Newman. Working with East Pilbara Shire.

  • Celebrate Martu culture, using music as the medium, through NAIDOC week in Newman Primary and South Newman Primary Schools.
  • Engage the folks who gather at the East Pilbara Youth Centre each afternoon in music, create a band and record a song.

Week 2 (2nd – 7th July), Parnngurr. Working with Ngurra Kujungka.

  • Concerts, recording sessions and workshops throughout the Western Desert Sports Festival. Focus on the adult and youth bands to develop their songs, rehearsal and performance skills. Hopefully record some new tracks.
  • Scoop up kids who want to add a bit of music to their week of sports, workshop singing, rhythms and creating with music.

Week 3 (10th – 13th July), Parnngurr. With Ngurra Kujungka.

  • Participate in the Ngurra Kujungka School Holiday program.
  • Work with kids in the community to develop their musical appreciation, comprehension, skills.
  • Work towards a performance by the kids for the community.
  • Have fun with music!

15th July

  • THE BIG ONE – NAIDOC Concert in Newman.
  • The Desert Feet Truck Stage will be the focus of the final NAIDOC celebration in Newman, with Wild Dingo Band and Central Desert Band (all the way from Wiluna) to rock Aboriginal culture though music!
L-R: Ewan, Keeley, Clifton, Richard, Angus. The end of Week 1 in Newman!

Our Crew:

Richard Watson (Tour Coordinator)

Angus Dawson (also Tour Coordinator)

Ewan Buckley

Keeley Connolly (Week 1 & 3)

Sandie McArdell (Week 2)

Freya Peterson (Week 2)

Clifton Girgiba

Garry Earl-Spurr (from Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa)

 

It’s hard to find the time to write Blogs while we are on Tour…so busy. But we’re trying our best. Stay tuned!