Cheeky Emus

A brand new show available 2020.

Ngaya Naba means 'my family' or 'our family'.

I wrote this song in collaboration with Mathew Doyle, a well known Aboriginal performer.

It's not what your Aboriginal heritage can do for you... but what you can do for your Aboriginal heritage.

It was never my intention to go down the Aboriginal culture path. I never felt qualified enough.

I grew up knowing that my Grandmother was Aboriginal and that I was therefore Aboriginal too. But I never learnt any more than that.

Whenever I told people about my indigenous heritage I felt the need to explain my family tree in detail so that I wouldn't be accused of lying  because... well I didn't think I was 'black' enough.

I wrote my first song in language with Matty Doyle, intending for it to be a one off addition to Cheeky Tunes. Little did I know this was just the beginning.

'Ngaya Naba' was so well received it surprised me. The more I began to research the more clear it became that there are not a lot of Aboriginal Children's songs out there. All of the songs I found were Torres Straight Islander songs which I absolutely love but what happened to all the main land songs?

I decided to take a trip to discover my Grandmother's birth place with the intention of learning more deeply about  my culture. I was looking for stories, songs and a connection to the land.

Before my trip I had asked my good friend Monty Boori Pryor how I should go about connecting with my roots. He told me to go back to the land. To touch the land, the walk on the earth barefoot... and then I would know.

So I took my friends advice; I took my five year old daughter and drove 10 hours from Sydney to Brewarrina. I stayed and connected with my beautiful Auntie Noeleen who took us out to Weilamoringle, the heart of Murrawari Country.

It was in this incredible place that I found the inspiration for Cheeky Emus.

I had dragged all my Cheeky Tunes equipment along and called up every preschool and primary school in the area offering my services at no cost. This was the best thing I've ever done. My show was so well received by teacher and kids alike.

I came to realise that my fellow Murrawari Mob, who were still living on country, did not know any Murrawari songs and hardly knew any Murrawari language. It was there and then at Weilamoringle Public school, in front of the entire school of 8 students that I promised to come back, but when I returned I would have songs in Murrawari language to teach them.

Cheeky Emus Show

Just like Cheeky Tunes, Cheeky Emus will be an activity based show; interactive and multi sensory.

Some other the activities involved will be:

  • Instrument Use

    Some of the instruments included will my clicking sticks and Emu Callers

  • Dance

    Children will be introduced to traditional dance, including the Emu Dance.

  • Stories

    Children will be traditional stories from Murrawari tradition. These stories include the story of Baime, the dark Emu found the sky and the legend of the Munduhgada, the rainbow serpent who dwells in the nearby spring.

  • Songs in Language

    2019 is the international year of indigenous languages. I have always believed that the best way to connect with a culture is through language and the best way to experience language is through song.

  • Sustainabilty

    The strongest theme that will be carried through the show is that of sustainability. The old people deeply understood the value of sustainability and it's themes are woven into most of their stories.

The Emu

After seeing a Cheeky Tunes show one of my Aunties asked me 'Why don't you feature any Australian animals in your show?'

The Emu is an incredibly important animal to the Murrawari people. I was shocked to see them running around in the wild, everywhere. To me it was like seeing a Rhino running around.

The Dark Emu figure can be seen sitting up in between the milky way and when this figure is most clear the people know that the season for Emu eggs has arrived.

The feathers, eggs and meat of Emu was a great stable for the local people.

But more importantly than all of this, the Emu is an incredibly Cheeky Animal; curious by nature and if given the chance will cause all types of mischief.

The Emu couldn't be any more perfect fo my show.

I'm still deciding. But I think I may create an animated character, just like our dear Monkey from Cheeky Tunes to join me on my adventure discovering Murrawari songs and stories.