John Pat trib­ute wows Roe­bourne

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Years of tire­less work to cre­ate a spe­cial event came to­gether last Fri­day night as a trib­ute con­cert lit up Roe­bourne across the road from where the tragic theme of the evening played out more than 30 years ago.

The Murru Con­cert, a trib­ute to John Pat who died in po­lice cus­tody af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion out­side the Vic­to­ria Ho­tel in 1983, fi­nally had its night at the Ngurin Cul­tural Cen­tre af­ter three years of prepa­ra­tion and travel from Big hART, the Yi­jila Yala Project and Ngar­luma Yind­jibarndi Foun­da­tion. Yind­jibarndi El­der Ellery Sandy said it was “beau­ti­ful” hav­ing ev­ery­one singing to­gether in har­mony.

Ms Sandy said the women from Roe­bourne Re­gional Prison who helped write the songs could all re­late in some way to what hap­pened to John Pat.

“When you get locked away and got no free­dom, the only way to have free­dom is to sing and be cul­tural in your own spe­cial way,” she said.

Ms Sandy said she hoped this ex­pe­ri­ence would give the women in­spi­ra­tion to do ex­cit­ing things for their fam­i­lies when they are re­leased.

Big hART pro­ducer Laura Har­ris said it had been an achieve­ment to pro­duce the Murru al­bum and con­certs.

“Roe­bourne is an in­cred­i­ble place with a lot of tal­ented peo­ple and a lot of heart. That’s what we saw tonight,” she said.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Lucky Oceans on stage with the Murru band.

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