The Laneway Festival in Melbourne is again honoured to present a stage named for one of our local music heroes, Dean Turner, and proud to be supporting the Yiriman Project in his name.

Since 2011, you have raised over $250,000 which goes directly into programs devoted to helping Aboriginal youth in the Kimberley region (including a devastating suicide rate of 1 in 1,200) by taking them ‘back to Country’ in the company of their Elders, where they can begin to reconnect with their culture and strengthen their sense of identity. The Elders saw the need for a way in which youth could separate themselves from negative influences and, through the care and guidance of older generations, reconnect with their culture in remote and culturally significant places. This strategy of cultural healing from within the community has proven successful again and again in the 13 year history of the program and resulted in Yiriman winning the Reconciliation Australia 2012 Indigenous Governance Award (IGA) for outstanding examples of Indigenous governance in a non-incorporated initiative or project.

This year, thanks to your ongoing help, we were able to provide Yiriman with more funds to continue their great work.

Dean Turner passed away in August 2009 after a long courageous battle with an extremely rare form of cancer. As bass player and co-founder of Magic Dirt, Dean was deeply devoted to and passionate about music which was always evident in his energetic and enthusiastic stage presence. He was a unique individual with a beautiful soul and is a huge inspiration to many musicians. He provided his vast knowledge and support with humility, grace and integrity throughout his role as a songwriter, musician and producer. Dean worked tirelessly because music was one of the greatest joys in his life; he selflessly championed Australian music, was focused on encouraging young bands and hosted music workshops for secondary schools nationally. He was particularly generous with his time and advice and had a profound effect on people, always leaving a warm and inspired feeling.

The Dean Turner stage is an ongoing collaboration we will undertake with Dean˙s wife, Linda Bosidis, and their two girls, Charlie and Evie. We ask that everyone has Dean in their thoughts while enjoying the incredible acts that we have curated on this stage. Further to that, in consultation with Linda, we are proud to be supporting the Yiriman Project.

Dean was a lover of live music, a great friend, a true inspiration and leader in the local music scene. Our goal is to remember our friend as we are celebrating what he loved most: his family, friends and incredible music.

Violent Soho, one of the bands Dean managed while also producing their debut LP We Don’t Belong Here, returned to the Laneway line-up in 2016. The band honoured him in their own special way when they appeared on the Dean Turner Stage in Melbourne. Check out some of the photos Violent Soho personally captured throughout Laneway 2016 here.

YIRIMAN PROJECT

The Yiriman Project was conceived and developed by the Elders from four Kimberly language groups: Nyikina, Mangala, Karajarri and Walmajarri. These old people were concerned for their young people about issues of self-harm, substance abuse and loss of cultural identity, and saw the need for a place where youth could separate themselves from negative influences, and reconnect with their culture in a remote and culturally significant place. Through this reconnection young people would gain strength and resilience, and build positive stories which they could take with them back to their towns and communities.