• Queensland Music Festival

History reclaimed as 'Mission Songs' eternalizes indigenous experience in song



Award-winning Indigenous musician Jessie Lloyd will bring her ground-breaking project Mission Songs to rural Queensland this July, giving audiences in Longreach, Palm Island, Woorabinda, Gympie and Brisbane the opportunity to hear important stories of Australia’s rich history, previously kept in the shadows.


Praised as profoundly moving, the Mission Songs Project reveals what daily life was like for Indigenous Australians on Christian Missions and state-run settlements from 1900 to 1990 through their music, demonstrating the importance, evolution and continuation of song traditions across a tumultuous century of Australian history.


For years now, Jessie Lloyd has been collecting songs from the keepers of this tradition before their passing, to capture thousands of years of Australian tradition as well as document the changes and new art reflecting the 20th century Indigenous experience.


The stories feature contributions from members of Queensland Indigenous communities including Woorabinda, Palm Island, Cherbourg, located west of Gympie and Yarrabah, located east of Cairns.


Originally from the tropics of Northern Queensland, Jessie Lloyd has a unique connection to Aboriginal music of the State; her grandfather was the conductor of the Palm Island Brass Band and her father, Joe Geia, is considered a pioneer of contemporary Indigenous music, composing ‘Yil Lull’ which is considered an Aboriginal anthem.


“These songs are precious first-hand accounts from family members or community members from the past. The songs show their emotions, ideas and hopes during the mission days. It also provides an opportunity for our old people to have a voice when they couldn't have one.” – Jessie Lloyd

Queensland Music Festival Presents Mission Songs Project With Jessie Lloyd


Saturday 29 June | 6pm | Qantas Founders Museum | Longreach

Tuesday 2 July | 4pm | Fred Clay Park | Palm Island

Thursday 4 July | 7.30pm| Gympie Civic Centre| Gympie

For ticketing information click here.


Mission Songs Project is presented by Queensland Music Festival in association with Gympie Regional Council, Longreach Regional Council, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and supported by Brisbane Airport Corporation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, APRA AMCOS, Queensland University of Technology and RODE Microphones.


The Palm Island performance has received support from the Regional Arts Services Network, an initiative of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.


Queensland Music Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.


For more information, pics, interviews or story ideas, please contact:

Mitch Fresta mitch@sgcmedia.com // (07) 3123 5331 ext 1


To download media release:

Click here.

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Queensland Music Festival 2019
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