My work as a freelance creative takes me to wonderful places where I can gain insight into the worlds of my fellow artists and learn from their unique perspectives. I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with First Nations musician and composer Vonda Last as part of a culturally-diverse ensemble performing her original music titled Meeting Place / Home.
For three decades I’ve lived in Australia and I’m grateful for the opportunities that living here has afforded me, opportunities I would not have had growing up in the Philippines. Nevertheless, I’m but a visitor on sacred land, a land I’ve come to call my home. I know that my time here is borrowed and I’ve learned to cherish every day. Days like today, where I created music in solidarity with my fellow artists, are bittersweet for the date Australians typically celebrate our nation is a day of sorrow for our First Nations People.
I’m fortunate to live and work on Kaurna Land and to collaborate with musicians from a variety of cultures. As a token of my gratitude for today’s creative exchange, I sketched a First Nations woman inspired by Vonda Last. In the background are the colours of the Aboriginal flag. I acknowledge the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pay respect to Elders past and present. I recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. I acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. I also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.
May we continue to learn from one another in conversation, in peace, and in harmony.