An Indigenous Australian artist, with connections to Grampians country, will be presenting an original storytelling production at the fifth biennial Yellamundie Festival in Sydney across the Australia Day weekend.
Musician, producer and presenter Mark Ross has teamed up with two other Indigenous Australian artist to create the 'Longest Time Right Now' production to educate audiences about the history and care needed for the environment.
Mr Ross was born in Sydney, but has a deep connection to Grampians country through his Indigenous Australian family bloodlines and wants people from all over the country to connect with this story.
"I always try to represent the area (the Grampians), because it is close to my heart because it is my history," he said.
"It would be great for people to have a look at it because I think the story it tells is universal to people all around our country.
"The nature of story is it doesn't matter where you are you will be able to relate to it."
Mr Ross was inducted into the National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2014 after his career started with break dancing in the 1980's.
He also produced a number of songs throughout his career using the Grampians' region First Nations language of Jardwadjali, which he learnt through family.
He then spent some time producing Australian rap music before heading to south-east Asia to produce pop music.
'Longest Time Right Now' production is a multi-disciplinary work, combining traditional Indigenous languages, music, and animation to tell stories from the land and the river.
Mr Ross said he hoped audiences from across the country could share in the message of the piece.
"This is a passion. Telling these stories is a passion of mine and to be able to let people know what's going on out there," he said.
"I love enlightening people and telling them something they don't know, usually they are really receptive and they want to learn more. It's just the type of guy I am."
Mr Ross said the project focuses on the Darling river system in Brewarrina country in rural New South Wales and tells traditional stories about its creation.
"We are telling traditional stories about how the river was created, but also taking it to a level where some of the current problems are being addressed," he said.
"For example, we are taking aim at some politicians that are selling off water, which we have seen, in the last 12 months it has lead to rivers with no water in them and dead fish.
"The end-game of our piece is about the kids and what are we passing on to our next generation of young fellas that are looking up to us.
"What are we leaving them with, what knowledge are we passing on and what problems do we face.
"When people watch it they can walk away learning some traditional stories about the river, but also walking away inspired and knowing there are people trying to tell that story."
Mr Ross and his partners in the project said they hoped sharing the story was just the beginning.
"Our goal isn't just to spread the knowledge here, it is to get this thing into some museums and international film festivals to help other people learn," he said.
"This piece might get picked up by a theatre company or someone who wants to create a short film, but this piece is just a starting point."
Further information about the festival can be found at: sydneyfestival.org.au/events/yellamundie-festival.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Stawell Times-News, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Stawell's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.