July 2014 – Uncle Alfred Mentoring Group “Strength in my Soul”
Written, recorded and filmed in 5 days as part of an ongoing mentoring project with Desert Pea Media, The Smugglers of Light Foundation, APRA, UN Ltd, and most importantly – Uncle Alfred Smallwood’s Mentoring Group in Townsville QLD.
Uncle Alfred’s Mentoring Group is a volunteer service for young adults caught up in the justice system, and who are trying to re-engage with community, culture and country – breaking the cycle of sentencing.
There is a focus on cultural mentoring, taking responsibility for yourself, your country and your family. This song and music video is the second project in two years with Uncle Alfred’s Group, and was created as a collaboration with a local Indigenous Rangers Group.
The story is about the conservation and protection of country – specifically the sea turtle. These ancient creatures were traditionally a local food source. Due to unsustainable commercial fishing they are now endangered, and Uncle Alfred is teaching his group how to care for them and protect them for the future.
We would like to pay our respect to the people of the Bindal & Wulgurukaba, traditional owners of the country upon which this song was made.
Special thanks to Uncle Alfred Smallwood and Aunty Gail Mabo, Jan Westlake, Joel Westlake, Toby Finlayson, and of course all the young Warriors from Uncle Alfred’s Men’s Group.
Project participants – Co-Directors/ Co-Writers
Toby Finlayson – Project Producer/Film Director/Co-Writer/DOP
Joel Westlake – Music Producer/ Director/ Co-Writer/ Film Co-Director
Alfred Smallwood – Cultural Support/ Performer/ Co-Writer
Gail Mabo – Cultural consultant
Roy Weiland – Editor/Colour Grading/Motion Graphics
David Nicholas – Audio Mixing & Mastering
Researchin the word like a verse in the surf
Taggin up a turtle to protect the earth
Like an expert worker digging in the dirt
Watch em give birth TAG catch em in reverse
Boy become man when you earn respect
Culture, country, learn to protect
Make better choices, think with your head
Fist in the air, black yellow and red.
Times have changed like the rules of the game
There’s a level of respect that we try to maintain
For ya brothers and ya sisters and yaself mang
Ignite the flame, no shame, bringing change WOT
Choice, culture, control
Yep, that’s the way that the warriors roll
Got Strength, family, respect
Rise to the test, nothing more nothing less
In my soul
Makes me the warrior
We catch em and we tag em that’s how we go
Wait a minute then jump out the front of the boat
Tag em up but not with a niko pen
Collectin up the data – what, where and when
Rap about habitat, plastic, pollution
A brand new crew lookin for a solution
A bigger and a better and a clearer idea
We comin bare hands, no fear, no spear
We comin to protect that population
For the next generation – education
Respect, protect yep conservation
Better information can change a situation
The bottom line’s something that you can’t ignore
When boy become man through sacred law
Used to hunt with a spear in the time before
Now changed our ways those times are gone.