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John Oxley Library

Australian South Sea Islander Groove Nation - ASSIGN Music Project

By JOL Admin | 8 July 2013

Guest blogger:  Namarca Corowa - Coordinator ASSIGN Music Project

Music, singing and storytelling are the life blood of many Australian South Sea Island families.  Unfortunately many traditional songs, stories and even dances have long since been removed from the South Sea Islander people by the Australian government 150 years ago.  Many Australian South Sea Islander’s family songs, stories and dances were spoken and sung in their mother tongues.  So along with a forced disconnection with their mother tongue came a very real disconnection with their true island cultures and traditions.   As a response to this is sad and very real history of the South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland during Australia’s Slave Trade, there is a local community project helping to cradle the smouldering ember of the culture of the Australian South Sea Islander people; by capturing their memories through music, song, poetry and storytelling.

Namarca Corowa playing at the Mackay Australia Day Awards Ceremony 2013

The Australian South Sea Islander Groove Nation (ASSIGN) Music Project is a small, yet passionate music project operated by Australian South Sea Islanders for Australian South Sea Islanders.   Studio recording time is being made available in 2013 for the Australian South Sea Islander 150th Anniversary.  Supported by the Mackay Regional Council, Link-Pro Qld and Kaurua Records, the project aims to promote and encourage all Australian South Sea Islanders and their descendants, to hold onto their love of music, song, dance and stories.  Not only will this project serve to educate local Qld communities about the significance of who the Australian South Sea Islander people are, but also to encourage future Australian South Sea Islander generations to identify their culture and islands of origin and their families great significance in Australian History.

For more information please contact Namarca Corowa -


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