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Taken from ABC (Oct 26, 2008)

Speaking Out - Michael Franti and Cherine Anderson

Mobfest 08 and Part 2 of musicians

by Rhianna Patrick

Michael FrantiYou're heading bush to Ti Tree, a remote community north of Alice Springs for the inaugural Mobfest which is part of the Music Outback Foundation program. You'll hear Part Two of last week's interview with U.S Musician, Michael Franti and Jamaican Dancehall artist, Cherine Anderson and you'll learn more about what Centrelink WA is doing in helping young Indigenous people re-establish their lives after being released from jail.

The small remote Northern Territory desert community of Ti Tree, 200 Kilometres north of Alice Springs recently hosted the inaugural Mobfest.

Hundreds of Aboriginal students from Ti Tree, Laramba and Utopia gathered for music workshops and performances as part of the event which is the creation of the Music Outback Foundation which believes that music is a powerful way to reconnect Indigenous Australians to their own cultural expression.

Founder, Steve Berry talks about setting up the Foundation and the work that it's done in the last 6 years and why Mobfest was held. He talks about what inspired him to set up the foundation and what it was like growing up next to the late Fred Hollows.

Centrelink WA's Youth Services Officer, Liz Astone, works with young people who are getting ready to return to life in the community after leaving jail. Liz talks about her work in preparing young people with the skills needed to make it on the "outside". Liz works with young people in two WA detention centres and says they face many challenges in making it once they leave jail.

She says she helps get them "Centrelink ready" and that understanding all the forms that you need to fill out can sometimes be difficult if you're not sure what you're doing or what services Centrelink offers.

Liz says there are many challenges to her job and she also talks about what keeps her going in a job that can sometimes prove tough.

And you'll hear Part Two of an interview with U.S musician, Michael Franti and Jamaican Dancehall artist, Cherine Anderson.

Michael was adopted by a white Finnish-American family from birth and grew up in the predominantly African-American city of Oakland in California.

It was at the University of San Francisco in the late 80s that he started his first band and it was here that his song writing started to turn into what he's become known for - songs which say something about the situation in the world.

He's also well known in Australia's Indigenous community for his work with other minority groups around the world and also for his support of Indigenous media and musicians when he tours Australia.

Michael talks about where he was for the Apology to the Stolen Generation and what advice he was for Indigenous hip hop musicians who are trying to get their message out.


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