Songs for Freedom is an uplifting concert of original songs created by Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi artists in the Pilbara town of Roebourne WA. Alongside the concert is a campaign to highlight the high incarceration rates of Aboriginal children in Australian prisons. The concert and campaign will tour nationally in 2023.
Since 2010, supported by Elders, the project has delivered workshops in the community, the school and the prison, creating digital content, music, theatre and performance to change the negative stories told about Roebourne. Songs for Freedom has its foundations in workshops involving the family of John Pat, who died in custody in 1983 and triggered the Royal Commission into deaths in custody.
• Aboriginal children are 24 times more likely than non-Aboriginal children to end up in jail.
• Of the six hundred 10-13 year olds in jail in 2018-19, 65% were Aboriginal.
• Aboriginal children spend on average 71 days in prison compared to 50 days for non-Aboriginal children.
• Evidence doesn’t support the idea that Aboriginal children commit more crimes, rather it highlights systemic issues such as over-policing.
Songs for Freedom is a moving and optimistic, family friendly, free concert, raising awareness of this urgent issue. Alongside the concert, Big hART is working with State and Federal Attorney Generals to change the systemic issues which lead to the damaging incarceration of young people like John Pat.
Songs for Freedom will work hand-in-hand with the community of Roebourne, to deliver a positive message to the country as a legacy to John Pat’s family by the 40th anniversary of his passing on September 28th 2023.
“ROEBOURNE ARTISTS BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER AT SONGS FOR FREEDOM CONCERT”
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
Hobart – MONA FOMA – Thursday 23 February, 2023
Perth – Dyoondalup Point Walter – Sunday 5 March. 2023
Darwin – Darwin Entertainment centre – Friday 23 June, 2023
Sydney – Barangaroo Reserve – Saturday 2 September, 2023
Canberra – Llewellyn Hall (ANU) – Saturday 9 September
Melbourne – Melbourne Recital centre – Friday 15 September, 2023
Roebourne – Ngurin Cultural Centre – Saturday 23 September, 2023
Keep up to date by joining the Facebook events – HERE
PLEDGE YOUR SUPPORT – HERE
Big hART has partnered with the Justice Reform Initiative to call for urgent change to halve the number of young Aboriginal people in jail.
LISTEN TO THE ALBUM – HERE
BUY THE ALBUM – HERE
Turning Art Practice into Academic Evidence
DISCUSSION PAPERS – INYAART BINKA & CREATIVE PATHWAYS FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE: THE POWER OF MUSIC IN YOUTH JUSTICE SETTINGS WERE RELEASED ON THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF JOHN PAT’S PASSING
On the 40th Anniversary of John Pat’s passing in custody in 1983, which triggered the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody we are so proud to present these papers to the people of Roebourne and the wider community as evidence of the important work being done in Roebourne.
Big hART has worked with the Pat family in Ieramugadu (Roebourne) for ten years. To fulfil a promise Big hART made to Mrs Pat (John’s mother), we have released two discussion papers that describe a better way forward.
The two papers sit side-by-side and highlight the thought leadership stemming from this collaboration in Roebourne:
INYAART! BINKA!* A position paper on effective diversion and prevention approaches – protecting Aboriginal young people from Australia’s youth justice system
*‘Inyaart’ and ‘Binka’ mean gift, trade or exchange. Inyaart is Yindjibarndi and Binka is Ngarluma. John was Yindjibarndi, and lived on Ngarluma country.
With thanks to the Pat family
Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Elders – Allery Sandy and Jeanie Churnside
The Freedom Collective:
With Special guest appearances by:
Dewayne Everett Smith
Scott Rankin – Creative Director
Lucky Oceans – Musical Director
David Hyams – Associate Musical Director
Jordan East – Video Design
Stephen Hawker – Lighting Design