Aria nominated singer Emily Wurramara recently performed at the launch of Milbi Festival and said her totem was a turtle, making it an event close to her heart.
Emily comes from Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory and has also released a song, Yimenda-Papaguneray about the turtle.
Emily said the opportunity to play in Bundaberg and reflect on her culture was important to her.
“This festival has so much more meaning considering this is turtle country and my totem is the turtle and I feel such an affiliation with that,” Emily said.
“After yarning with the mob, it is really special, and it is something we need to see with everyone coming together again.
“It is super important for First Nations people to have voices in these spaces and be part of events like these.
“I remember going to many events when I was younger and seeing a black woman on stage was very inspiring for me.”
She said her song Yimenda-Papaguneray (turtle song) was one which has a lot of meaning to her as she reflected on memories of her childhood.
“I sing a song called Yimenda-Papaguneray, Yimenda which means turtle in Anindilyakwa language, and it is a song that we used to sing when we were really little with my grandma,” she said.
“We would sit with my cousins, and we would play the hand clapping game as we sung along to the song.”
From a young age Emily Wurramara picked up music, starting to write her own songs at six and a half years old before going on to win awards and perform with a number of artists.
“I started writing music when I was six and a half and then I learnt how to play the violin, saxophone and then guitar, ukulele,” she said.
“I released my first single when I was 18 and ended up being Triple J unearthed artists and touring around with incredible people like John Butler and Missy Higgins.
“It has been an incredible journey and I released my album in 2018 and that was a homage to my country, people, language and my grandmother and mothers’ stories.
“I got nominated for an Aria award and that was amazing and now I am here.”
You can find out more about Emily Wurramara and her music here.