Nambarra Band with composer/sound recordist Matthew Harris

Pangari is a leading organiser of performance poetry events. Poetry courses through our creativity and inspires us daily. We are encouraging cross-cultural, cross-lingual, multi-media, progressive approaches to literature and performance poetry and are working to create as many exciting, new opportunities for established and up-and-coming artists. We take poetry off the page and onto the stage, in order to make it accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Join us as we take poetry to the next level!

(Poems by Fee McColl can be sampled below)


PANGARI PRODUCTIONS presents the diverse voices, poetry and musical talent featured on the collaborative cross-cultural, cross-lingual SALT WATER FRESH WATER POETIC VOICES CD
recorded on location in remote North East Arnhem Land at the aboriginal homeland community of Dhuruputjpi.  The CD celebrates the beauty and majesty of Yolngu Matha, the aboriginal language of the Dhudi-Djapu people of Dhuruputjpi, forever capturing their spirituality, culture & stories in this capsule of time and seamlessly fusing it with English poetry & spoken word, western literary concepts & contemporary music in this innovative, ground breaking project.

THE LAUNCH: The Salt Water Fresh Water Poetic Voices CD was officially launched on Sunday, 14 November 2004 at the indigenous restaurant, Tanabe "To Feast" (previously known as 'Flamin' Bull Restaurant) in Lygon Street, Carlton.   The event featured the voices, talents and skills of a collective of artists from the Dhudi-djapu community of Dhuruputjpi in North East Arnhem Land who worked alongside a dedicated team of volunteer artists from Melbourne and London.  The launch event, which also featured a short documentary film, UNDER THE MIDDAY SUN, highlighting the ongoing reconcilation aspects of the project, was extremely successful, with the venue being packed to the rafters and the audience was honoured to have three elders from the Dhuruputjpi community in attendance.  Elders included Wuyal Wirrpanda, Dhuruputjpi Leader; his brother Dhukal Wirrpanda, Dhuruputjpi Community Organiser and his wife Galuma Wirrpanda (nee Maymaru), 2003 Telstra Award winner for Bark Painting. Profits raised from the event were used to pay the School of the Air enrollment fees & improving education for the children of Dhuruputjpi. 

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE PROJECT:  Fiona McColl, a performance poet and independent filmmaker, relocated to her Aussie roots after 8 years in London to take part in the Wukidi healing
ceremony in Darwin on June 28th 2003, between her family, the McColls, and the Wirrpanda family.  As part of a gift exchange between the two families, Fiona performed her poem Dream Catchers to music, after which she was approached by Dhukal Wirrpanda, Dhuruputjpi's Community Organiser and esteemed Yolngu artist, to work with Dhuruputjpi and together they hatched the plan of creating a cross-lingual, multi- cultural reconciliation poetry and music CD.  Fiona acquired funding through the Australia Council for the Arts and gathered together an extremely talented support team of volunteers who travelled to Arnhem Land on their own steam to take part.  Melbourne based Londoner, sound recordist and composer, Matthew Harris of
Audiostar Music Productions; and two of London's dynamic, multi-award winning performance poets, Kat Francois and Beyonder, donated their skills, talents, voices and expertise to this logistically challenging project, working closely with the singers, songwriters and musicians of Dhuruputjpi.  Also involved in the post production phase of the project, from his London based Cane&Able studio was composer, Innes Johnston, who worked his musical magic on several tracks including the delightful nursery rhyme style track, Mosquitoes & Fishing, sung by three year old Barmal Shirley Marawili, about slapping the annoying and ever present mosquitoes and her friend Liyawady who goes fishing at the Dhuruputjpi river.    

The CD involved a diverse cross-section of Dhuruputjpi's voices, stories and songs and contributors ranged in age from 3 years to elders.

The project celebrates the ongoing process of 'reconciliation in action' between the McColl and Wirrpanda families, and continues their story where the ABC/Film Australia documentary 'Dhakiyarr vs The King' left off. We are currently looking for ways to increase the profile of the CD and are especially keen to find distribution for this ecclectic, groundbreaking and worthy project.  A large percentage of proceeds from the sale of these CDs goes to the McCOLL WIRRPANDA FOUNDATION INC. with the rest being split with the related artists who all volunteered their time and expertise to the project for free.  Therefore, the more CDs we can sell, the more money we can raise for the McCOLL WIRRPANDA FOUNDATION INC., which is a not-for- profit organisation dedicated to improving the health, education, livelihoods, and housing for the Dhudi-djapu people of North East Arnhem Land as well as promoting positive change in Australia's interracial relationships.   The connection between these two families truly represents "Reconciliation in Action" and what can be achieved at a grass-roots level.

THE NAMBARRA BAND:  The project also saw the formation of the Nambarra Band, whose members come from the closely related homelands of Dhuruputjpi and Yilpara.  Band members wrote and performed songs specifically for this project and often performed several different roles including songwriting, vocals, keyboard, yidaki, clapsticks, lead, bass and accoustic guitar on the various songs.  Nambarra represents trees that are native to their homelands and have significant
sacred and ceremonial meaning to the Dhudi-djapu people.   

The song NAMBARRA BOY was written about clan member, Nalpa Moses Wirrpanda, who retraced the steps of his ancestors - the old people, the ancients - whilst journeying through the
Nambarra trees on the long walk from Dhuruputjpi to Yilpara to collect food when the community was hungry and hunting was scarce.  'Gurtha: Tongue of the Fire' tells the story of Walwurr David Yunipingu who was attacked by a crocodile whilst hunting for stingrays at nearby Birany Birany

The song DJAMBATJ MALA is a traditional creation story highlighting the great past deeds and abilities of the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land, and their potential for the future, with particular focus on the unique skills of the Dhudi-djapu hunters who go out after the sacred dugong and giant turtles, so prized by their people.

By purchasing a copy of this unique CD you will be sharing in the journey and contributing to building Dhuruputjpi into an eco-friendly, sustainable, model community.    

For any further questions or order enquiries, please feel free to contact us...

1.    Introduction
2.    Danggultji: Brolga, A Traditional Dhudi-djapu Creation Story
3.    Masked Men
4.    If I Could Change
5.    Operation Dhuruputjpi
6.    Gurtha (Tongue Of The Fire)
7.    Bind Us Together
8.    Whispers Of Dreams
9.    Na:mbarra Boy
10.  If Our Leader Calls
11.  Djambatj Mala
12.  The Ancients
13.  John Fourteen (New Testament)
14.  Roses That Never Die
15.  Animal Watch
16.  Mosquitoes & Fishing
17.  Women Of Dhuruputjpi
18.  Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled (John Fourteen - New Testament)
19.  Dream Catchers
20.  One Mob, One Voice...Wanggany Miny'tji, Wanggany Dharuk
21.  Dhuruputjpi Dreaming

The Salt Water Fresh Water Poetic Voices Project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Track 18: Pangari Poetess: Sounds of Silence Echoing the Soul

Poem & vocals by Pangari Poetess a.k.a. Fee McColl
Music composition & productions by Cane&Able (
Track 13: Pangari Poetess: Sounds of Silence Echoing the Soul

Poem & vocals by Pangari Poetess a.k.a. Fee McColl
Music composition & production by Cane&Able (