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In a unique partnership between Sisters Inside and QMusic, Hope, A Collection of Murrie Mixes was launched by the deputy Premier, Hon Jacki Trad MP in West End on June 19.
The grant funded project enabled indigenous young people, who had had some exposure to the criminal justice system, to work with professional musicians and producers in a series of workshops designed to support their efforts to express themselves musically.
The group celebrated the completion of their recorded CD which was professionally produced through the collaboration, at Sisters Inside alongside their mentors and support workers.
The workshops covered songwriting, poetry, beat and rhythm development, the use of literacy and numeracy skills, instrument and recording skills. All were conducted by professional mentors, musicians and songwriters, and backed up by youth workers.
The result is a 10-track hip-hop CD, professionally produced and presented.
QMusic Executive Officer Joel Edmondson said it had been a unique and exciting opportunity for the young people to tell their stories and to explore their own strengths and abilities. It had also allowed them to describe their experiences of racism and criminalization in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance.
Sisters Inside CEO Debbie Kilroy said the project was much more than an exercise in hip-hop appreciation. ‘You have to keep in mind what our statistics are for imprisoning young Indigenous people in this State,’ she said. ‘Up to 80 percent of those in youth detention here are Indigenous. And remember that in Queensland we send 17 year-olds to adult prisons.’
Ms Kilroy said the vast majority of non-indigenous Queenslanders would have to know the death and suicide rates of Indigenous people who had been incarcerated.
‘This project alone has seen young people who had fallen between the cracks skilled up and more confident. Some have returned to school. Others are looking at further training and seeing a good life ahead of them,’ she said.
Project participants with Hon Jacki Trad MP and Leeanne Enoch MP
The ‘Murri Mixes’ Hip-Hop Songwriting Project would not have been possible without the support of
Brisbane City Council & Earth Base Productions