Australian Embassy

The Voyage to Marege’: A Musical Celebration of Australia and Indonesia’s Shared Histories

Media Release

29 August 2017

The shared history of the Yolngu people of North East Arnhem Land and the Bugis traders from Makassar has inspired a musical collaboration which will be performed in Jakarta this week.

The Voyage to Marege’ will see renowned Indonesian composer Ananda Sukarlan and Australian Indigenous musicians Djakapurra Munyarryun and Kevin Yunupingu  celebrate the long and rich history of both countries in an orchestral collaboration  on 31 August 2017 at Teater Jakarta, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM).

Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson said the relationships forged between the Bugis traders and the Yolngu people represent some of the earliest contact between our peoples. 

“As early as 1700, the Bugis traders made the voyage to Northern Australia and the relationship continued for more than four centuries. A record of this friendship is found in the songs of the Yolngu people and in their art,” he said.

Earlier this year, Ananda Sukarlan travelled to Australia to visit the Yolngu community to learn about their culture, traditions, and music.

Ambassador Grigson said the concert is a great opportunity to share the results of their collaboration as a tribute to Indonesia’s struggle for independence.

As part of the concert, the Australian Embassy also presents a photographic exhibition of Indonesia’s Struggle for Independence: The Australian Connection in the theatre’s lobby.

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