Two members of the musical collaboration project Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land, which brought together Australian Indigenous women to record their native languages through song, will be performing at the Gala Dinner on the opening night of the Fourth World Conference of Women's Shelters. Joyce Bonner (left) and Leonora Adidi (right) joined Yamani to learn and record songs in first languages, this year being the Year of Indigenous Languages.
On the 4WCWS stage in Kaohsiung, Joyce and Leonora will be performing songs from their album "Yamani - Voices of an Ancient Land" sung in the Kalawkawawya, Butchulla and Yugambeh languages, as well as the indigenous anthem "Because Of Her We Can". The women say they together found a collective passion for music and song. Some of Yamani's members just love to sing and others wants to see their songs passed on the younger women. The six founders started by each bringing a song in their language to share with the others.
Joyce Bonner is a proud Indigenous Narawi woman currently residing in Hervey Bay, Queensland. She works as a family support officer and also runs her own community indigenous consultancy business. Joyce’s passion lies in preserving indigenous languages and culture. She has been a driving force behind many regional school programs and adult learning programs alike. She is author of numerous children’s books that have been published in her native aboriginal Butchulla language as well as in English.
She has also mastered the power of song and dance as a way to keep language and culture alive. Joyce was a founding member of the Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee (QILAC), and a founding member of the musical collaboration project Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land. Joyce holds a tertiary degree in linguistics and a graduate diploma in education.
Leonora Adidi is a proud Indigenous woman of the Torres Strait Islands. She currently lives in Bamaga, the northern tip of Queensland. Leonora is self-employed as a linguist and cultural consultant. She advises on diverse projects ranging from the development of language learning resources to the curation of artistic performances.
Leonara is also manager of the nationally acclaimed dance troupe Naygayiw Gigi, winners of the inaugural National Indigenous Dance Rites Competition in 2015 and ambassadors to the 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam and 2016 Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo. Leonora was a founding member of the Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee (QILAC) and of the musical collaboration project Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land. In the Yamani creations, Leonora performs in her native language Kalaw Kawaw Ya.
(This article has been corrected. Joyce Bonner is not a board member First Languages Australia as was stated in an earlier version.)