Singer Emily Wurramarar always calls Groote Eylandt home wherever she goes.
She was educated in Brisbane and now lives in Tasmania.
But the ARIA-nominated performer says: “Groote will always be my island home. It’s where my grandparents sleep, my ancestors. It’s where my family are.
“I always feel that connection no matter how far I go.”
She returned home recently for the funeral of her uncle – she grew up loving listening to him and her other uncles sing.
Emily was thrilled to be named the 100th Most Powerful Women in the Territory by the NT News.
Her debut album Milyakburra was nominated for Best Blues and Roots album at the 2018 ARIA awards.
Emily realised that women from her community on Groote and Bickerton islands rarely sang in public.
Wanting to inspire and empower members of her community, especially young Indigenous women, to find their voice, she sings original music in English and Anindilyakwa.
Emily says her songwriting is inspired by nature.
“Growing up on Groote has influenced my songwriting in many ways.There are parts of that island that hold the best memories from my childhood to now.
“Music for me is a constant journey. You’re always moving forward, but sometimes you have to look back, reflect and give thanks.”
Emily is a strong supporter of the Groote music program, which is run by the Anindilyakwa Land Council.
“I’m so very glad they have a program for young musicians and artists. Music plays such an important role in our community and in our culture.
“I know there are some incredibly talented youth in the community and it’s so lovely to have a program that facilitates and nurtures their talent.”
Emily’s goal is to win an ARIA and “crack the mainstream”.
“I’m really excited to be working on a new album, which is a dedication to my own self-healing journey.
“This next chapter of my career will be so colourful and bright, kind of like a kaleidoscope.”
Emily will tour with Cat Empire, John Butler and The Whitlams this year.