Joshua Walker

Listen to the stories of Joshua Walker who is a holder of cultural song and dance in southeast Queensland.

When I was a young fellow. The only dance group I recall was Wakka Wakka Dance Group other than like the Woomera Dance Company from Mornington Island, which travelled around. But it was mainly the Wakka Wakka dancers that kept the culture strong in southeast Queensland and passed it on to, not only myself but other young people in Southeast Queensland and then we grew up and passed on and taught other young people around, like Wayne Sandy and the Slabb boys down on the Gold Coast and in later years, Shannon Ruska and Nunukul Yuggera Dancers. So a lot of, all of these younger dance groups first learnt a lot of their song and dance through the Walker brothers, through us brothers, who as we mentioned earlier, we learnt from the Brady’s mainly. On country in Southeast Queensland. If it wasn’t for the Brady family and the Wakka Wakka dance troupe, back in the early days. Things may be very different today. So I always say that, I always maintain that. I have very high respect for all of the Brady brothers and their father the punching pastor old grandfather Don [Brady]. They were very strong in culture and they instilled that into us and we were very lucky and fortunate to have them in our lives.

13 July 2018

My grandmother Oodgeroo, Kath Walker was a very stanched political women, who fought for the rights of our people and later after that my father Denis Walker, he also fought for health and legal aid, the continual struggle for our people. For me, I don’t really engage so much in politics, perse. For me, to be a tribal man on country singing and dancing and speaking language that in itself, to me, is a political stance to let the invading Europeans know that we are not going away, our culture will not die and we will not let it. And I remember the poems my grandmother use to write. Gone are the corroborees, gone are the old songs, gone are the old ways. Because that’s how she grew up in an assimilated way of living. There was no integration, it was all assimilation. Back in the day, we were expected to assimilate, nowadays we are allowed to integrate and so through integration and maintaining our cultural identity of who we are for me that is my political stance if you will.

13 July 2018

We all come together for the big Yawar and everyone contributes in the circle and everyone in the audience feels that power and that’s spiritual recharge. When you do song and dance you get a spiritual recharge in your body. You could be feeling a little sick and then when you do a corroboree it’s all gone. Because it really does heal you. And in the song and dance circles. See in the old days in our people use to fight, they’d have their fight their dispute then after that they have their celebration and feasting and coming together. That was always done in the past. Our people shouldn’t be afraid of having conflict or having different ideas to how they may see the direction in the future.

13 July 2018
photo Mick Richards 2018