Doing Good Down Under


Doing Good Down Under: Sofar Australia Celebrates Indigenous Artists with AIME for NAIDOC Week

Photo by Fahim Alam @fahimages

Photo by Fahim Alam @fahimages

This July three of our Sofar Australia teams banded together for NAIDOC week celebrations, raising awareness and contributions for AIME. NAIDOC Week is held across Australia each July, and this year Sofar SydneyPerth and Gold Coast hosted shows featuring indigenous and other local Australian artists to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Ziggy Ramo at Sofar Sydney    Fahim Alam

Ziggy Ramo at Sofar Sydney Fahim Alam

When guests applied to attend, they had the chance to donate to AIME, a mentoring bridge between university and disadvantaged high school kids that focuses on inspiring and supporting indigenous children to finish school and head into university and employment at the same rate as their peers.

Sofar Gold Coast featured performer Budjerah Slabb, just 15 years old, who wrote a song two days prior to the show called “Because of Her,” representative of the theme for this year’s NAIDOC week – “Because of Her We Can.”

Budjerah Slabb performing at Sofar Gold Coast    Lowana Davies

Budjerah Slabb performing at Sofar Gold Coast Lowana Davies

Over in Sydney, AIME Co-CEO Bianca Hunt started off the night with an acknowledgement of country, to show awareness of and respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Past AIME mentee and 17-year-old artist Mi-kaisha was one of the performers of the night. “Each artist brought so much passion and love to their sets and were so diverse in their genre. We had hip-hop, soul, rap, pop and R&B which showcased the diversity and future of Australia’s music scene! Top it off with the intimate setting of AIME HQ in Redfern, and it was a night to remember for a long time to come,” said Sofar Sydney City Leader Sophie.

Sofar Perth closed out the week of celebration. Setting the scene for the evening, AIME mentee Sebastian delivered the acknowledgment of country, mentee Jarnda-Bina gave a stirring rendition of Christine Anu’s version of “My Island Home,” and Hannah from AIME presented a powerful video. Rhys Bedford made the epic 2800 km journey from Halls Creek to Perth to perform, while Leah Emily Grant and Mitchell Martin rounded out the lineup. “It was the perfect night of unity and celebration,” Sofar Perth City Leader Paul said.

We believe in giving a respectable platform to artists of all cultural backgrounds and letting music be the communicator between people. We want to celebrate and give back to the incredible work that AIME are doing to nourish the next generation of artists, storytellers and leaders
— Sophie
Mi-kaisha MasellaAIME