Passionate voice sends strong message | story and song

A trio of achievers - Natalie Nye, Bandria Nye-McLeod and Jason Groves.

A trio of achievers - Natalie Nye, Bandria Nye-McLeod and Jason Groves.

The voice of a 12 year-old is going to play a role in making great change in Australia.

When St John the Evangelist student Bandria Nye-McLeod attended an indigenous conference  in Sydney with Jason Groves and Natalie Nye she performed a wonderful rendition of Monica Brown’s ‘This is Our Land’.

Mr Groves wanted people at the Sydney gathering to hear things through the eyes of a child and Bandria then got up and sang.

“She got a standing ovation and I have never seen so many elders cry from happiness in my life,’ Mr Groves said.

They then got an invite to Uluru for the First Nations Convention, and Bandria performed again.

Bandria's passion shine

Bandria took it all in her stride.

“Being the person I am, I'm never nervous,” she said.

She loves public speaking.

“I think the convention was about all of our people coming together to talk about what we can do in the future for the next generations,” she said.

The trio were among 300 people who attended the First Nations Convention at Uluru recently and their desire to be there was strong.

A passionate Mr Groves just wanted to be involved.

“I was representing myself, my family and my mob,” Mr Groves said.

“It was the opportunity to have a voice and express an opinion.”

It was a generational experience for Mr Groves, as his grandfather Burt Groves was part of the first referendum changes from the late 1950s.

“Our family had always been part of the Aboriginal movement and Aboriginal advancement - creating great opportunities,” Mr Groves said.

“It is for all of our people and righting wrongs at the end of the day.

“It’s about creating the best opportunities for all our people and I think ultimately at the end of the day through many mediums (music, dance, song, art) and through genuine conversation it creates an environment of two-way sharing.”

He said the process provides an opportunity for unification and for everyone to stand together for the right reasons.

“We can create great change and great change can happen,” he said.

“Australia does have an Aboriginal history and that is never going to change.”

Ms Nye said the convention was an interesting gathering.

“The reason I found it interesting was because of the complexities of how many different groups of people were represented,” she said. Ms Nye promotes the importance of education.

“The best we can do for our children, besides love, care and protect them, is to educate them to the highest level that we can,” she said.

Now, representatives will be sent out all over the country to get more conversations with the Indigenous people going.

“The real message is there needs to be substantial change for the Aboriginal people as we are the direct descendants and owners of country,” Mr  Groves said. 

He said the change could be constitutional or outside the document.

This is Our Land by Monica Brown

There is a land, an ancient land,

It bears a vast and rugged face

It’s Spirits deep, Haunting and free

It calls to you it calls to me

Come find your soul within my depths

Come make of me your homeland true


This is our land, we are its people

A nation that’s free to realise its dream

A dream for all who dwell in this land to live as one people

One people one land

There is a people an ancient people

There sprits rest deep in this land

there dreamtime creation story and faith

make this land a sacred place

they seek of all a true embrace

that reconciles all that we are


And from distant shores, many have come

To find their home in this great southern land

Where the sprit yearns and seeks to unite us all