Yiriman & The Dean Turner Project
Laneway Festival is proud to celebrate one of our local music heroes, Dean Turner, and honoured to be supporting the Yiriman Project in his name.
Since 2011, Laneway audiences have raised over $250,000 which goes directly into programs devoted to helping Aboriginal youth in the Kimberley region 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.
"My brother Johnnie Watson and Harry and all the old people from Fitzroy Valley came up with this little program called Yiriman to protect and look after kids. And when they was looking after kids they was looking after old people same time and looking at how to look after the country. We still going with it."
-Mr. Nyapartu Hopiga, Karajarri Elder
"Yiriman taking out kids who getting into trouble. Old people do lots of singing, get young people into language group, we tell them what skin we [are]. Get them working down there. Respecting old people. Cutting boomerang. Drive kids out looking for food, kangaroo, turkey. Learn how to find a feed. Old people been tell story, young people pick up that story. Future for culture side. Young people love it. Most things didn't happen before are happening now."
-Mr. Joe Brown, Walmajarri Elder
"When you on country, you walk with a spring in your step, you walk with your head high, you not afraid of anything. In order to find yourself you have to get lost. So best place to get lost is country."
- William Watson, Nyikina Man
More information about the Yiriman Project can be found here:
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.