David Bindi Hudson is bringing the campfire into the spotlight - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

“Come on David, you’ve got to get a real job, get to college, be an educated man…where’s this music going to take you?” The concerns of David Hudson’s mother echoed those of many mothers when confronted with a passionately creative child.

But David is a born performer and you can’t run away from who you are. His boyhood dreams of being an entertainer have taken David around the world but he’s also graduated as a teacher and has added a Doctorate of Culture, Music and Art to his impressive CV.

“I grew up in a musical family and music’s always been a part of my life,” says David. “Dad was a guitarist and singer and as a kid I learned guitar, drums, cornet, clarinet and Yigi Yigi (Didgeridoo)
I make my own now, I’ve got about 80 in my personal collection.”

The music was always an inspiration. Amongst other achievements, David is co-founder of Tjapukai Aboriginal Dance Theatre.

“Mum grew me up on a cattle station until I was about five then it was down to the Big Smoke to get an education. After finishing school I worked on the railways, in a pest control company, played football – but Mum was my inspiration and I wanted that education.”

A chance collaboration with Ernie Dingo and a later tour of America made David realise that education and entertainment could work together, and the concept of a cultural show could be a reality.

“That American trip made me realise that they were more interested in Aboriginal history and culture than most of my fellow Australians were, and that there was a real need for education – of young Indigenous folk as well as white folk. Only older Indigenous people have any understanding of what it was like to live on a mission reserve, not allowed to walk off it without an Exemption Card; I still have my mother’s. Until I was five I was classified – like all our people – without citizenship.”

David calls himself an edutainer, and together with his company Didge-Ralia and the Jute Theatre Company, has developed his Campfire show, this telling the story of his life set within the bigger frame of post-white settlement Indigenous history. The stage is filled with music, story-telling, songs, projection – and, of course, a live band.

David laughs; “I’m a musician, no backing tracks for this show!”

To book or for more information on the program call 3829 8131 or visit rpac.com.au.

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