Jeremy Donovan Shares First Nations Music, Culture and Stori

Spread the love

THE Australian High Commission was proud to bring Kuku-Yalanji man Mr Jeremy Donovan, an Australian First Nations musician, artist, poet, public speaker, and educator to Solomon Islands from 18 February – 26 February 2024.

Over 9-days, he visited 8 schools, 3 marketplaces, and 1 church group across Western, Malaita and Guadalcanal Provinces.

An internationally famous Aboriginal musician and artist, Jeremy Donovan has performed all around the world, including at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, at Buckingham Palace for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and at the White House for President Bill Clinton.

With him, Mr Donovan brought his didgeridoo, a famous native Australian instrument called “yiki-yiki” in the langus of Jeremy’s people. To the delight of children and adults alike, Mr Donovan showed how he can imitate the sound of iconic Australian animals like the kangaroo, dingo, kookaburra, and saltwater crocodile.

Mr Donovan also spoke about his life, and about the transformative power of education. He said, “education can be hard work, but it should also be fun and it’s a privilege. Reading and writing are powerful keys to unlock your potential.”

Mr Moffat Kutai, Deputy Principal of Alota’a Community High School in Auki, Malaita Province said, “Jeremy’s presentation really inspired our hearts. He challenged the students, and us teachers, to dream so that we can go further, and continue our education journey. I believe the pikinini really enjoyed his visit because he shared a great message with them.”

In Western Province, Mr Jeremy Donovan was welcomed at St. Luke’s Early Childhood Education, Gizo Community High School, St. Peter’s Rural Training Centre, and St. John Bosco Nusabaruku Primary School, as well as performing at Gizo Market.

In Malaita Province, Mr Donovan visited Alota’a Community High School, Auki Community High School, Aligegeo Provincial Secondary School, and Auki Market.

In recognition of Australia and Solomon Islands’ shared Christian heritage, Mr Donovan also visited Holy Cross Cathedral in Honiara on Sunday 25 February 2024, attending mass and meeting with the youth group afterwards to perform and share his stori.

He also performed with local music legend Natty Dolaiasi, Cultural Director at Dreamcast Theater, before the final PacificAus Sports futsal match between the Futsalroos and the Kurukuru.

Of his visit, Mr Jeremy Donovan said “it’s been a wonderful trip that has created memories which I’ll carry with me forever. Visiting schools in Gizo, Auki and Honiara was a great privilege. There are many similarities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Solomon Islander culture: music, dance, stori, song, artwork, and carving”.

Australian High Commissioner Rod Hilton said, “Jeremy’s visit is an extension of our education partnership. Australia celebrates the excellence of its First Nations people, who have 65,000 years of history and continuous culture, and share deep and ongoing connections with the Pacific. Jeremy has come to Solomon Islands to share that culture with pikinini and to continue the cultural exchange between our nations”.

 “Australia is Solomon Islands’ numbawan education partner. In 2023 alone, Australia invested SBD 154 million into the education sector. This went to supporting school infrastructure so more kids can go to school in safe and strong facilities, strengthening the curriculum, and training teachers.”

Rich and continuing cultures, traditions, and knowledge, like those in Solomon Islands and in Australia, have a key role to play in resolving shared global challenges. 

Mr Jeremy Donovan’s visit is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to strengthen First Nations partnerships and connections across the Pacific and Southeast Asia, and his visit to Western and Malaita Provinces demonstrates Australia’s commitment to ensure all provinces are sharing in the Solomon Islands – Australia Partnership for education.

SOURCE: Australian High Commission Solomon Islands

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.