About the Project
Curated by Jessie Lloyd, the Mission Songs Project is an initiative to revive and present a rare collection of early Australian Indigenous contemporary songs that were composed and performed between 1900 to 1999.
The Mission Songs Project faithfully explores the musical journey of Indigenous music, as Jessie Lloyd connects the traditional with contemporary and reveals the continuation of cultural practice and oral traditions into the twenty first century.
These songs, largely hidden from the outside world, offer a unique window of life on the Christian missions, native settlements and the fringes of townships where Aboriginal and Islander people were displaced.
The collection consists of rare and almost forgotten songs that now shed light on the history of our Indigenous communities, their stories and their resilience in a harsh changing world.
John Wayne Parsons
The Irex was the name of a boat that used to transport people from the mainland of Queensland over to Palm Island, many of those who travelled on this boat we displaced and removed as punishment under the Protection of Aborigines Act. This also included young children who are now considered part of the Stolen Read more about The story of the Irex[…]
Mission Songs Project advisors Professor Marcia Langton and songman Archie Roach share their thoughts and experiences in regards to songs they grew up with from the missions era. Other advisors and contributors to the project include: Archie Roach Marcia Langton Peena, Cedric, Lillian and Joe Geia Lynelda Tippo Delphine Writer Frank Anderson Paul Gorden Chris Sullivan Read more about Prof Marcia Langton and Archie Roach contribute[…]
Throughout the second semester of 2015 Jessie Lloyd has been teaching several of the northern Australian songs from the mission songs collection to third year music students at VCA. Arranging and transcribing the old songs for big band and vocal arrangements. The collaboration has resulted in several external gigs providing opportunity for the students to Read more about Tropical tunes with Victorian College of the Arts[…]
Thanks to the Archie Roach Foundation, the City of Boorandoora and Creative Victoria, we were able to launch the first performance of Mission Songs Project, to preview the current collection of songs from the April – June 2015 research field trips. The night attracted an sold out show concluding with a standing ovation full of tears Read more about Preview performance at Kew Court House[…]