I had the pleasure over the weekend of meeting the amazing Maroochy Barambah, mezzo-soprano singer, actress, and Songwoman and Law-woman of the Turrbal People, the traditional owners of Brisbane.
The day before Maroochy was singing for the Dalai Lama, continuing an incredible career that has taken her from the Aboriginal mission at Cherbourg, to the Melba Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne, onto stage and film, and even the top 10 on the US Billboard Dance chart.
Maroochy was wonderful, she talked about her own family history in the area going back hundreds of years, and explained that if the local park was indeed a Turrbal cemetery, then they would have been placed in trees and not in the ground. She even knew the history of some of my own Indigenous relatives. We were both sure we had met before.
Maroochy featured in the Welcome to Country ceremony at the formal opening of the 2014 G-20 Summit, held in Brisbane, performing in front of global leaders including US president Barack Obama and British prime minister David Cameron.