Simon Mellor - Art, Music, Play

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Sing It In My Language

Simon creates songs and learning resources for children, and he has been invited by the Coonabarabran community to work with Aboriginal Elders, translators and the schools to create an album of songs.

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Working with project partners, translators and Aboriginal Elders in Coonabarabran, Simon will be the songwriter Artist-in-Residence. The project will give the Simon and the community the time to develop strong relationships and the trust needed so that the stories and songs will honour the protocols and Lore ways of the community.

Simon and the project team will visit the community for 3 days at a time, culminating in an album release with the recordings of children singing their songs in language for the Elders

Globally, approximately 600 Indigenous languages have disappeared in the last 100 years. Currently, a language disappears from the world every two weeks. 1 to 2 Aboriginal languages are lost every year in Australia.

Today: Fewer than 150 Aboriginal languages remain in daily use, and all except about 20 are highly endangered. Of the languages that endure, only 10% are being learned by children, and those languages are usually located in the most isolated areas.

Only 7 Aboriginal languages have more than 1000 speakers.

The Sing It In My Language project connects Elders, children and community with a dedicated Artist-In-Residence to build the bridge between generations and support the creation of new, original and unique songs.

Simon Mellor is a professional songwriter with over 30 years’ experience touring regional Australia. Simon has worked with extraordinary artists and musicians including Merri May Gill, Peter Browne, Arnold Dreislma, Victoria Edwards, Anh Do and once played guitar for John Paul Young at the Variety Bash Breakfast in Moree.

In 2016, Simon was invited to take up a year’s artist residency at the Kiah Preschool in Moree, and began to understand the power and impact of songs in Language for kids. He worked with Elders and translators to learn and write songs in Aboriginal Language, Gamilaraay. Simon wants to continue this work in Coonabarabran, creating an album of songs for the children and Elders of the community. Focusing on Wiradjuri, Simon will work for a year to create songs.

As a Match Lab artist, a dollar-for-dollar offer is available to double the power of your donation!

I am a songwriter. My work is licensed with Anh Do and has featured in What Do They Do With All the Poo From All the Animals Zoo released by Scholastic Publishing and has been long-listed in the Australian Independent Bookseller Indie Book Awards 2017, shortlisted for ABIA 2017 and shortlisted for the Koala Awards 2017.

Scholastic is now preparing for the release of the second book which features another of my songs. I have independently released and toured 5 albums in my discography and performed in festivals including Woodford Folk Festival, National Folk Festival, Black Gully Music Festival and in television for a brief stint on Australia’s Got Talent.

I have delivered interactive all ages gigs in my previous project, The Funny Green Smelly Things with Merri May Gill. In 2015 I worked with an actor and theatre practitioner to deliver theatre skills to young people for the Eudaimonia project.

These experiences have helped me really understand that parents need to be included in kids gigs as much as the children! I have crowdfunded my latest project, I Saw A Fish Art CD, which introduces the Art, Music, Play initiative to help Aboriginal communities preserve and protect their First Nation language. I write songs in language