I hate Noosa Heads and Surfing*

Today, this image came up on my facebook news feed, and it made me smile.

Of course, images on facebook news feeds rarely come with any real contextual information, so I trawled around the net a bit and found some more information...

This is an album cover for the 'Warumpi Band', from the settlement of Papunya in Australia's Northern Territory**. It seems that this image was the cover for an EP of their song 'Jailanguru Pakarnu (Out of Jail)', which was the first ever rock song recorded in an indigenous language. It's a pretty jumping song.

It's worth noting that on the Warumpi Band's wikipedia entry, the list of their musical genres includes 'anachro-rock'.

*On a personal level, this is absolutely not true. I love Noosa Heads. And surfing!

**Update: I had read that the man wearing the t-shirt is singer of the Warumpi Bane, George Burarrawanga. As Dave commented below however, it isn't George. Thanks for your comment, Dave!


  1. Dave O'Brien10:55 AM

    That ain't George (RIP).

  2. Oh. Thanks for letting me know. I'll amend the post now. Do you know any more about the photo?

    Cheers, Dave.

  3. Dave O'Brien11:18 AM

    Hi Rebecca. Not about the pic but I know a great deal about the band. The pic would be from 1982 or 1983, and that bloke was probably one of the band's many relations who tagged along on that tour of the Tanami. There's a deep and rich story attached to the band, if you're interested.

    Neil Murray, who wrote My Island Home (covered by Christine Anu), was the lead singer and principle songwriter of the Warumpis. He wrote a semi-autobiographical novel about his ten years in the communities called Sing For Me, Countryman. Well worth a read. Available from here:

    Martin Flanagan reviewed one of Neil's plays in The Age and had this to say about Countryman - "
    His 1993 novel, Sing For Me, Countryman, is at one level an account of that experience. At another level, one seen by too few critics, it is an extraordinarily candid but respectful account of traditional Aboriginal society by a contemporary white writer. Like Xavier Herbert, a writer he admires, Murray is nothing if not his own man. Angela Chaplin, the artistic director of Fremantle's Deckchair theatre Company, read Sing For Me, Countryman in a German pensione near Bonn in 1995. She finished it in a single sitting. "It was the first time I had read a book that I felt had truly rounded Aboriginal characters." What also impressed her was the author's familiarity "with so many different aspects of indigenous culture"."

    Hope this helps.

  4. Dave O'Brien11:41 AM

    Just browsing your blog quickly and I think there are definitely some paralels between your exploration of cultural frontiers regarding surf and mainstream cultures and the mainstreamers' experiences with traditional Australian indigenous cultures.

    The t-shirt pic you've posted covers a narrative all its own. Would be an interesting history behind that garment for sure.

    I look forward to reading your blogs in more depth, Rebecca. Nice to find a particularly academic pursuit blogged with such dedication.

  5. Hey Dave,

    Thanks so much for the info! And for your kind words about my blog.

    I do certainly focus on women and surfing culture, but there are definite links to the experiences of many other people, even if they are not exactly the same.

    Do let me know what you think as you go along, and thanks again for your comments!



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