‘Walk in 3 Worlds’ idea started its life as a poem. Written by Greg Dodge, sixth generation convict descendant in 2019, about the life journey observation and stories of Kitch Wesche. He was initiated into his Samoan village Matai as a Talking High Chief in 2019. Kitch became Taitu’uga named after his grandfather.
Kitch and Greg met in 2006, through music, and then together (and separately) developed and ran many diverse community and creative projects.
Working together on an innovative two year project (2017-2019), “Empowering Youth To Thrive”, Greg and Kitch then met Yarraka Bayles and her family. Yarraka is an Aboriginal woman with a strong education focus.
We wanted to “Come Together” as culturally diverse human beings (Homo Sapiens) to explore Australian true histories, stories, cultures and more through conversations with a range of “Australians” and ask – “What does it mean to be Australian?” Who are we? Where are we all going? Where have we all journeyed to be part of the jigsaw puzzle that is now Australia in the 21st Century.
Coming Together Project is proud to host these exciting ‘Walk in 3 Worlds Podcast’ series, featuring 3 diverse ‘world’ backgrounds sharing true Australian Stories about our past, present and future, and to bring us together as one Australia.
Wi3W – Ep. 22 – Uncle Alan Parsons and Andrew Schulz speak about Goondeen, a new Outback Museum in Charleville and lots more
About Uncle Alan Parsons (Hear Uncle Alan on our very first Podcast here)Alan C. Parsons was born in Charleville and has traditional links to the Bidjira/Yiman people in Central Queensland. Alan is a recognised visual artist who was encouraged to explore his talents and discovered a strong cultural affinity to his artistic expression.
Alan was unaware of his Aboriginal heritage until he was in his thirties, and in 1987 he was able to find his family and country. He said it was so important to make “the connection” to be able to begin to understand his cultural identity and belonging. He also advocates for those with a “unique ability” and shares his First Nations wisdom to four year olds (Kindy) and recently an artist in residence at Woodfordia. Alan sees his involvement in disability services, reconnecting to his community, his culture and family as an opportunity to ‘push boundaries’, ‘encourage inclusion’, and to seek opportunities to promote integration around ‘cultural awareness’.
About Andrew SchulzBorn on Yirandhali (Hughendon, Qld) country, as a farming family. Andrew always had First Nations as friends, moved to Charleville in 1963, where his father operated as a Stock and Station agent.
Andrew graduated as an architect (1980) and has had a long career in his own architecture business in Brisbane with associates also in NSW.
He has always had a strong connection to nature, the bush and the First Peoples of this continent.He has developed a strong community online (4,000 + members) with a Facebook group – Understanding Australia – GOONDEEN WAY FINDING. This has also developed into a powerful education resource across Australia.
Andrew Schulz and Bill Synott (his associate and friend) conceived and developed the idea to publish a series of books, focussing on acknowledgement of this continents long history and rich culture 3200 generations in the making.
The first book published is “Goondeen – Understanding Australia”.
Goondeen (the book) – written by Sophie Church
WHAT IS AUSTRALIA?WHO ARE AUSTRALIANS?WHAT IS THE MEANING OF GOONDEEN?
In Aboriginal terminology, a ‘Goondeen’ is a person respected for their wisdom, gleaned from long experience; an elder who is listened to and their opinions shared and acted upon. In this book, you will meet three Goondeens: Uncle Albert Holt, a Murri man and champion of equality; Henry Palaszczuk, a migrant, former MP and community advocate; and Everald Compton, a successful businessman and social activist.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous, these three men have joined together to reflect on the impact of key historical moments during their lifetimes, and to ask probing, sometimes uncomfortable questions about what type of country Australia is, and who Australians are as a people.
For Everald Compton, Australia is a land of possibility but unfulfilled potential.
For Henry Palaszcuzk, it is a place of opportunity and refuge, but also prejudice.
For Albert Holt, it is a country of discrimination and bigotry — and of hope.
Wi3W - Ep. 21 - Dr. Ray Kerkhove, Australian historian, author and philosopher speaks with Greg Dodge
Dr Ray Kerkhove is a professional historian and ethno-historian (accredited through PHAQ), specializing in 19th Century Aboriginal history and culture. He works with several Australian universities, and many heritage and art organisations, Councils and Aboriginal groups. Ray’s key interest is reconstructing historic Aboriginal landscapes, lifestyles and technologies. His work in this area has informed thematic Indigenous histories for Councils, Master Plans for towns, public art, exhibitions, public signage and cultural revitalisation projects, mostly across southern Queensland.
Between 2007 and 2011, Ray was Project Manager and co-founder of Interactive Community Planning Australia Inc (ICP Aust Inc) – a non-for-profit organisation that developed Indigenous cultural and historical initiatives across Queensland and national events (e.g. Bringing Kitchener Home, Bunya Dreaming), monuments, language revival, books (e.g. Bury Me at Tartulla Hill), educational DVDs and art exhibitions (e.g. Heart of Earth, Quilpie). Working closely with Aboriginal communities, ICP completed over 30 projects including regional events, book publishing, youth events, exhibitions, film documentaries, oral histories, cultural and language revival projects.
As visiting Fellow at Griffith University (2017-2018), he designed the first website on SE Queensland Aboriginal resistance.
Since 2013, Ray has provided key research towards education kits (Sunshine Coast DETE and Toowoomba high schools); cultural revitalisation projects (Maroochy Gunyah; Women’s Hands basketry; Julara fishnet reconstruction; the nationally touring Gubbi Gubbi canoe); Master Plans (e.g. Nambour, South Bank Community Space), historic signage (e.g. Beerburrum walking trail, One Tree Hill – Duggan Park; Redcliffe Museum; Judy Watson’s ‘Women’s Walk’ – Kingsford Smith Drive artworks), maps (Museum of Brisbane’s interactive Indigenous map of Brisbane CBD) and development projects including Toowoomba Bypass, Queen’s Wharf, Sunshine Coast Plaza, Sunshine Coast Airport and Victoria Park. He regularly contributes research towards the nation-wide digital mapping projects conducted by the Indigenous-owned ‘Virtual Songlines’.
Publications and Experience:Publications2019, The Battle of One Tree Hill: the Aboriginal resistance that stunned Queensland, Tingalpa: Boolarong Press.2019, & Catherine Keys, ‘Lighthouse Communities and Indigenous-settler cultural entanglements: the early history of southern Queensland’s lighthouses and pilot stations,’ Royal Historical Society of Queensland Journal, Vol.24, No.2, pp. 213-229.2019, Indigenous Historical Context of Sunshine Coast Airport Extension: A Report for Kabi Kabi Corp (May).2019, ‘Reconstructing the Battle of Narawai’, Queensland Review, Vol. 26, Issue 1, pp.3-31.2019, & Serena Love & T Robins, Desktop study of aboriginal cultural heritage Dutton park, Brisbane, Queensland, Brisbane: Everick Heritage Pty Ltd (April).2018, ‘Aboriginal camps as urban foundations? The evidence from southern Queensland,’ Aboriginal History Vol. 42, pp.144-172.2018, ‘Brisbane’s Forgotten Standoff,’ in Meilssa Fagan, Caitlin Morgan & Matthew Wengert, eds., Within/ Without these Walls, Brisbane: andalsobooks publishers, pp. 98-103.2018, & Simon Gall, The Kabi Kabi People since the 1790s: a draft Thematic History Pialba: Sunshine Coast Regional Council & Converge.2018, Kabi Kabi sites and history of the legendary Mount Coolum (Sunshine Coast, Queensland)– for National Reconciliation Week, Coolum: Bunya Bunya Country Corp/ Coolum North Shore Coast Car...
Wi3W - Ep. 20 - Uncle Shane Charles speaks with Greg D
Born and bred in Shepparton, Victoria, Uncle Shane Charles, a proud Yorta Yorta, Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung man, has worked in the education, justice and cultural heritage sectors, an academic, government advisor and most recently with the City of Melbourne. He also Co-Chairs the Aboriginal Studies and Indigenous Strategies Committee at La Trobe University and is the Co-Chair of Victoria Reconciliation.He is the first incumbent of a new Cultural Residency at Armagh (Toorak, Melbourne) within the Initiatives of Change (IofC) Australia-Pacific Centre, his home for a while.
His presence at Armagh supports the work that IofC is doing to build relationships and bridges for reconciliation and healing with First Nations communities. IofC is about Peace and Trust building. Building trust amongst the world’s divides.He is known for his work in cultural intelligence, teaching about the traditional wisdom and diversity of Australia’s First Peoples.
This knowledge came from his own upbringing, in a family that valued both traditional and Western learning. ‘My mum was 47 years in education, and she made sure I went off and got an education—learned white ways but more importantly, learned my own cultural knowledge. I had that responsibility to learn it and share it,’ he said.
Top of mind while he is at Armagh, he said, is offering training and awareness raising in cultural intelligence. ‘We’re all very different. In the Victorian context, there are 38 different tribes, then under that sit layers of clans and language,’ he explained. ‘We need to be connected, and we need to continue learning: to be part of Country, because Country is a part of me. Uncle Shane’s own life experience includes surviving not one, not two, but three heart attacks. Moving on, he learned ‘to shed the worries that attach themselves to my spirit. By connecting to Country, there can be so much healing for anybody… To learn through sitting around the fire, because fire is so healing. There are so many different ways. I’ve seen the light come on in people’s eyes when they’re out on Country and they see it and feel it.
‘The more places and spaces we can create with the narrative of healing and learning, the better. For the generations to come—peel back the colonial layers, the rich culture is there, the footprint is there.
‘By connecting to Country, we look at what we’re doing to Country. Not seeing it as just a commodity. Our thinking wasn’t for tomorrow, it was for all generations that come. We need our culture and Country to survive.’ – Delia Paul
All artwork by Shane Charles
More about the events/activities he is involved with at IofC here
Wi3W – Ep. 19 – Jungaji Troy Brady speaks with Greg Dodge
Western GuGuYelanji and Birri Gubba songman, Jungaji Troy Brady, has been performing in various bands around the world for the past three decades.
Greg Dodge first met Troy (now called Jungaji) in 1995, when he was a vocalist with the hit group ‘Aim for More’, as a teenager. Greg was one of his early mentors and their lives have been intertwined ever since.
In 2013, ‘Aim for More’ reformed for a special performance at Stylin’ Up, Australia’s largest First Nations Hip Hop festival in his suburb of Inala, Brisbane, to great acclaim and excitement.
In between, he has been part of the incredible Banawurun (Running Water) Band, the Black Arm Band and the family group ‘Troy n Trevelyn and the Tribe’.
Jungaji has forged a reputation based on integrity and alongside this solo career has been delving deep into the language and culture of his ancestral lands.; talking to elders, learning language and creating art both visually and aurally. Hence the name change from Troy to Jungaji, to be aligned with his cultural ways and knowledge.
He is the chair of The Dhadjowi Foundation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. He is also involved in mainstream services such as correctional services, providing mentoring, songwriting and story telling opportunities across the country.
Jungaji is being booked across Australia, is regularly played on NITV and is sought out for his gifts as a workshop facilitator, actor (on the stage with the award-winning Barbara and the Campdogs at Belvoir Theatre Company) and arts practitioner mentoring youth and adults around healing and cultural ways.
He has performed in Los Angeles at the Muse Expo World Music Conference, Bryon Bay Blues and Roots Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, QMusic Awards, and the National NAIDOC Awards.
Wi3W - Ep. 18 - Getano Bann speaks with Greg Dodge
Getano Bann – Singer, Song Writer, Story Teller, Music Therapist GETANO was raised on the banks of the Pioneer River in his home town of Mackay, North Queensland, Australia. Music, dance, storytelling and humour were an influential and integral part of his childhood, growing up in an extended Torres Strait Islander Family.
“My Father was a ‘Ten Pound’ Scot’s man who travelled to Australia from Aberdeen and my Mother a descendent from KEBISU a Head Hunting Chieftain from Iama (Yam) Island in the Torres Strait”.
GETANO began his musical apprenticeship amongst the mangroves and the creek beds, daydreaming; creating poems, melodies and songs which were to form his first compositions. As a Singer, Songwriter, Storyteller and Entertainer for well over 25 Years, GETANO has been described as highly passionate, poignant, and often humorous. His songs are a rich blend and mixture of musical styles, from Smooth Latin, Kick ass Blues, Tender Soul, to Slick Funk, and emotional Ballads, cruisey Reggae and full throttle Rock. In amongst this musical feast GETANO intertwines family stories, cultural perspectives, life lessons, self reflective moments and gollops of humour, which makes a performance of irresistible listening and entertaining moments. GETANO works as a Registered Music Therapist specialising in Children and Adolescents issues including addictions, self esteem, anger, grief loss and bereavement and mental health.
Some of the many talented acts and artists GETANO has supported and shared the stage with, include: Soweto String Quartet, Shane Howard and the Goanna Band, Kavisha Mazzella, Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, Christine Anu, The Mills Sisters, Chris Wilson, Kevin Carmody, Epzo Bangora, Dya Singh, Global Roots Network, Lindsey Pollack, Mel Webb, Greg Sheehan, Humphrey ‘B’ Bear, The Wurrupi Band, Coloured Stones, Bart Willoughby (No Fixed Address) and Mary G. “One of my greatest passions is meeting interesting people, from fascinating and diverse places, listening to their ‘Life Stories’, as these stories help to enrich my life and inspire me to see what the world is truly about, and hopefully through my music I can inspire and enrich the lives of others along way”.At the end of the interview, Getano sings his new song, “Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land”.
Wi3W – Ep. 17 – Aunty Betty McGrady speaks with Greg Dodge about her life.
Aunty Betty McGrady is a Gungarri Traditional Custodian. The traditional tribal lands of the Gunggari stretched over some 8,200 square miles (21,000 km2), taking in the Upper Nebine and Mungallala creeks from Bonna Vonna and Ballon north to Morven and Mungallala (near Mitchell, Queensland).
Being raised on the river banks and then moving to Brisbane in 1966, Aunty Betty raised seven children and worked in various roles within government. Many years later she ended up with her University Degree in Community Services and is passionate about Aboriginal culture, the land and social justice for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
She is currently the Secretary of the Queensland Multicultural Council and many more organisations. Aunty Betty is an active member of the Logan City and Brisbane communities with a depth of wisdom that she loves to share.
This interview with Greg Dodge touches on her growing up and the journey she has gone through over her lifetime.