Indigenous music to be linked with tourism

Published 10 July 2012

Sam Cook and Professor Kerry Brown
Two Southern Cross University projects aimed at linking Indigenous music with tourism have been awarded $78,000 through a Strategic Tourism Investment Grant, announced by the Federal Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson yesterday.

The grant, awarded to the University’s Centre for Tourism, Leisure and Work, will study the investment potential in Indigenous experiences through two projects.

One project, called ‘Songlines: Indigenous Musical Journeys’, will link tourists with Indigenous groups who will teach their customs and stories through songs.

The second project will create a travelling performance space for Indigenous music and culture to tour regionally, nationally and internationally and is called ‘Nomads Palace’.

Minister Ferguson congratulated the Centre for Tourism, Leisure and Work for their successful application.

“This project will enable Australia to more effectively target the international market segment that is interested in world music and bring Indigenous music and culture to Australia’s cities and towns,” he said.

Director of the Centre for Tourism, Leisure and Work Professor Kerry Brown said with Southern Cross University matching the grant from STIG, $156,000 would be spent on the projects.

“It is important to help create sustainable economies for Indigenous people and we believe these two projects could help do that,” she said.

“We are happy that these projects are considered to be of national significance.”

The director of KISSmyBLAKartists, Sam Cook, is a partner with the University in the projects.

“Start up support for ‘Nomads Palace’ comes at a critical time for this project,” she said.

“As a world first, ‘Nomads Palace’ has already secured enquiries nationally within Australia and internationally as far afield as Uganda and Canada. ‘Nomads Palace’ seeks to enter the market place of the Spiegeltent, providing a carefully curated multi-artform programme of Indigenous arts and cultural expressions that can remain in residence at an array of major festivals, venues and events globally.

“Honouring living cultural practice, ‘Nomads Palace’ has been envisioned as a green-design innovation, harnessing solar technologies and recyclable innovations so that it moves forward with a commitment to a new approach for Indigenous arts and economic development.”

The Strategic Tourism Investment Grants were initiated to develop indigenous tourism, economic development and tourism employment. Four out of 26 applications were funded.

Other successful applicants included Dream World whose $1 million grant will help the theme park convert its Wildlife Experience into a new Australian Aboriginal Wildlife Experience; the Northern Territory’s Lirrwi Yolngu Aboriginal Tourism Corporation to develop a tourism masterplan for Arnhem Land; and Western Australia’s Goolari Media for its A Taste of Broome project which is a music, film and theatre production to be staged once a month for visitors to Broome.

Photo: Sam Cook and Professor Kerry Brown.

Media contact: Steve Spinks media officer, Southern Cross University Gold Coast and Tweed Heads, 07 5589 3024 or 0417 288 794.