John Pat tribute wows Roebourne
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.
Lucky Oceans on stage with the Murru band.