380 Crew - 'River To The Sea'




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Published on Feb 6, 2019

Desert Pea Media is very proud to announce our new collaboration with the Yaegl community in Maclean and Yamba in Northern NSW. This production brought together Elders, community members and young people to create a conversation about culture, country and community.

This project was funded by the Yulgilbar Foundation, and project managed by the good people at Maclean High School. This project is the second production in an ongoing partnership between Yulgilbar and DPM, to create awareness and conversation around cultural engagement, mental health and wellbeing for young Original Nations people in the Clarence Valley.

‘River To The Sea' was created in December 2018, the result of a five-day Desert Pea Media storytelling workshop. Co-written by, and starring, an incredibly talented group of young people, community members and local Elders from Maclean and Yamba NSW - with support from the DPM team and Maclean High School Staff.

Desert Pea Media projects involve a dialogue-based storytelling process that encourages participants to analyse 'the real', 'the ideal' and 'the bridge'. In simple terms this means critically thinking about how to create positive change for yourself, for each other and for our communities.

The DPM team feels deeply honoured to learn, share, create and build friendships and connection with the Yaegl community in Maclean & Yamba. These projects not only uplift and inspire audiences and community members, but everybody involved. These are friendships and experiences that all of us really treasure.

This project featured the musical direction and production of DPM producer Josh Nicholas (aka Hazy). We thank you brother for you artistic vision and hard work.

Special thanks to Project Manager, Liza Hamilton from Maclean High School, Madeleine Noble from The Yulgilbar Foundation, and all of the Yaegl Elders and local community members for making us feel so welcome, and sharing such a powerful creative journey.

CREDITS - Toby Finlayson - Director/Writer/Facilitator/DOP Josh Nicholas - Co-Writer/Music Producer/Drone Pilot/Facilitator Daniel Glossop - 2nd Camera/Facilitator/Sound Tech Jannali Donncaster - Co-Writer/Facilitator Kelsey Strasek-Barker - Production Coordinator/Photographer/Singing Coach David Nicholas - Audio Mixing Darren Ziesing - Audio Mastering Genevieve Kaiser - Editor/ Grading/ Graphics Rachel Rowe - Producer / Business Manager


My soul, the sun, the sand, the sea
I feel it washing over me
Washing over me.

This is where we live – on this sand we sit
This lands a gift – watchin my family's spirit lift
We are grateful to exist, we are dancing in the mist
Like our ancestors did – all of my mob raise your fist.

There they were, jarjums running free
Listen to the knowledge passed to me
Duraagan from the river to the sea
This is how it came to be, this is our identity
If you listen deep, you will hear the spirits speak.

They said it would change when? When will these days end?
They wanted us caged in - but we ain’t gonna stay in!
They said it would change soon, but we ain’t seen change yet
We singin the same tune, my DNA is struggling to forget!

There’s pain in these memories - there’s trauma in my bloodline
There’s power in my ancestry - this saltwater and sunshine
My Elders held this destiny - these rights and sacred sites
Gonna redefine my history and take darkness into light.

My soul, the sun, the sand, the sea
I feel it washing over me
Washing over me.
Connected to the Birrinbaa
Fought, survived, we’ve come so far
Come so far.

To find the truth we gotta look inside
We’re traumatised, we cannot lie
Sit around by the campfire - It is in plain sight, and we can’t hide
We gotta move forward but at the same time
We know that this healing is gonna take time
We know that this healing is gonna take time

Gotta be lookin after my countryLike my ancestors taught me
From the land to the sea, country speaks to me
Through my song and story
If I’m looking after my country
Then she’s looking after me
Cleansing my mind and my body, River to the sea
Washing over me
Washing over me


Destinee Walker, Kaia Louise Mercy, Latifah Taylor, Marlene Rapmund, Jaidia Boney, Brianna Roberts, Georgie Armer, Melanie Laurie, Jaydah Shone, Isabella Mercy-Bushell, Joshua Hippi, Harrison Armer, Brian Quinlin-Randall, Peter Kennedy, Noah Shone, Jake McLeay, Shane Mitchell, Craig Mercy-Bushell and Nicholar Torrens.

In memory of Aunty Carmel who passed away during the Maclean projects.

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