Noongar song writing workshops were led by Noongar language facilitator Charmaine Councillor and musician Phil Bartlett. Held at Nidjalla Waangan Mia Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Centre in Mandurah, the workshops resulted in the creation of seven original songs that honour the land, ocean, and love. The songs were subsequently recorded at the John Butler Studio at Fairbridge.
Dollmaking workshops led by Noongar artist Marcelle Riley were held at both Coodanup Girls Academy and Nidjalla Waangan Mia. These workshops provided a supportive space for participants to listen, learn and share stories while producing Noongar story dolls made with bush-dyed fabric.
Dollmaking workshops at Coodanup Girls Academy
The album and songbook were launched as a centrepiece of a community celebration of 30 years of the Winjan Aboriginal Centre in December 2019. Participants shared their stories and songs with the 150 strong audience on the day and Noongar Radio broadcast the event live.
Following the launch, more than 500 albums and songbooks were distributed to share and honour Noongar language and culture within the broader community, before being made available free of charge online.
From the album the ballad 'Nganyang Koodamart - My Sweetheart', was nominated for a 2020 WAM Song of the Year Award in the Outstanding Indigenous category. Written by John Mitchell and performed by Phil Bartlett, this was significant industry recognition from West Australian Music (WAM), the peak music body responsible for supporting and growing contemporary music in Western Australia.
John Mitchell and Phil Bartlett recording Nganyang Koodamart