KANKAWA Nagarra (Olive Knight) calls Fremantle her second home and when she’s not working as an interpreter in the Kimberley, she works with O’Connor based not-for-profit Desert Feet.
That is when she’s not travelling the world with her brand of gospel/blues music.
“She has performed on Broadway with Hugh Jackman and toured with him on his recent Australia tour,” Desert Feet chair Ewan Buckley says.
The 70-year-old Aboriginal elder was integral in developing a Walmatjarri dictionary, on the front line of the Nookanbah land protests in 1980, played an important role in restricting alcohol in Fitzroy Crossing and led the push for recognition of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Kimberley.
All of which has earned her a nomination for a 2016 Senior of the Year award.
Nagarra is in the Fly by Night in Freo tomorrow (Sunday, November 27) from 2 – 5pm for a fundraising concert for Desert Feet.
She brings the songs of an ancient culture into contemporary gospel, blues sung in several languages including Walmatjarri – with styles of the deep American south, Freo’s Lucky Oceans says.
“You’d think she was a Mississippi blues shouter if she wasn’t telling Kimberley stories. She’s a total original with a lot of heart and soul.”
Tickets $30 online or $35 at the door.
by JENNY D’ANGER