Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project Hits The Road Again!

Jessie Lloyd’s acclaimed production Mission Songs Project is back, touring nationally in 2021!

Mission Songs Project features a trove of old and rare songs gathered from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the Stolen Generations who were forcibly taken to live on missions and reserves across Australia. These unique songs reveal near-forgotten stories that shed light onto an unexplored corner of Australian history, expanding the Australian songbook in the process.

In 2020 we planned to tour Mission Songs Project across Australia and Canada, but given the existential threat posed by Covid-19 we were forced to postpone. However, thanks to a grant from the ABC in the interim, Jessie was able to reimagine the show as a ten part digital series hosted on ABC iView. And now we’re delighted to bring the show back for a ten stop tour of Australia in 2021.

Performed by an extraordinary trio of Indigenous musicians; Mindy Kwanten, Shellie Morris and led by Jessie Lloyd herself, Mission Songs Project is infused with Islander rhythms, folk, and a little country ‘n western. With laid-back humour and poignant storytelling, moving harmonies and historical insights, the trio bring to life the voices of Elders as they would around a campfire or kitchen table.

In developing the collection of songs for this performance project Jessie travelled extensively, visiting communities from Perth to Palm Island to hear their stories and learn the near-forgotten songs that make up the show.

This national tour of Mission Songs Projects continues Performing Lines’ proud tradition of supporting independent First Nations artists to fulfill their creative potential.

Commenting on the performance project, Patron and Project Adviser Archie Roach AM, said “Mission Songs Project presents contemporary folk songs that continue the ancient song lines of this country. The songs speak of the daily lives of the First Peoples who were relocated from their traditional homelands to the missions”.

We’re delighted to bring Mission Songs Project back to the stage this May and June where it will reach whole new audiences across Australia.

Tour Itinerary

  • Sat 1 May – Darebin Arts Centre, Melbourne, VIC
  • Thur 6 May – Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, Bundaberg, QLD
  • Sat 8 May – Cowra Civic Centre, Cowra, NSW
  • Wed 12 – Sat 15 May – HotHouse Theatre, Wodonga, VIC
  • Tues 18 May – Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst, NSW
  • Fri 21 – Sat 22 May – Theatre Royal, Hobart, TAS
  • Wed 26 May – Cardinia Cultural Centre, Pakenham, VIC
  • Thur 27 May – Riverlinks,  Shepparton, VIC
  • Sat 29 May – Geelong Arts Centre, Geelong, VIC
  • Tue 1 June – Latrobe Performing Arts Centre, Traralgon, VIC

Click here for more information.

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.