Changing Colours Movement


Changing Colours Movement

Greg Tingle, Bunna Lawrie, Chad Kendrick and Marco Yellin

Changing Colours Movement - review by Rae Threnoworth Bunna Lawrie

Sunday 11:45am Before:

Sitting at one of the 'reserved' tables in the North Bondi RSL club I feel surprisingly energised after a 3-hour drive down from Newcastle this morning. Missioning it down the coast on this Sunday morning on my own after working late at the pub last night, and fluking it through toll bridges and tunnels on my first adventure to the 'big smoke' of Sydney, I realise that people will do so much more in the name of a good cause. When people are passionate enough about a topic, they attract people of a similar attitude and outlook, it's because of this that "The Changing Colours Movement" are a success.

As I sit here organizing my camera equipment and fiddling with my pen, people are casually but quickly moving about making the finishing touches to the Benefit Concert being held here today. There is a cruisy and united vibe about the place and no body seems to be stressing or panicking about the expected crowds arriving in the next couple of hours, not to mention the media expected to arrive for the press conference being held in twenty minutes. The crew are organized and focused – the specific intention of saving the whales is evident and all about are people flashing whale tales arm symbols as often as their smiles as a sign of unity, dedication and good humour.

Today's activities coincide a week long International Whaling Commission Meeting being held in Chile as of Monday, to raise awareness and money and help to bring about peace in our waters and to bring a final, necessary ban on whaling of any kind. It's been 22 years since Commercial whaling was subjected to a moratorium by the International Whaling Commission, although this is hotly contested by a small number of countries. The ban on commercial whaling was agreed by the IWC in 1982, finally implemented four years later although there are two IWC members who still continue to kill whales - Japan for what it calls "scientific research", and Norway because it does not accept the moratorium. Whaling and other threats have led to at least five of the 13 great whales being listed as endangered.

As a group, we ask:
Isn't it time to consider a non-lethal form of scientific research Japan?

The Benefit concert has been organized under The Changing Colours Movement, a movement brought together by a local Sydney band Mojada. Marco, Chad, Wes, Neil and Pat have recently taken some time off after a 3-month adventure and recording of their album over in the US. During this time the boys acknowledged the dire need to shine colour and light on to the horrific and pointless killings, which take place in our oceans, and to encourage the community/world to stand up to the Nations who refuse to take responsibility for the declining numbers of whales and dolphins in our oceans. This is what they endeavor to do today as the first of many events in the name of ending the slaughter of the people of the ocean.

"As 'The Changing Colours Movement' it is our passion and goal to promote sensitive and thoughtful discussion, and to bring general awareness to the issue of whaling to our generation."

Monday 10:32pm After:

Looking back over Sunday's events, not only have I connected with some amazingly motivated and inspired people but I have walked away feeling I have more knowledge and motivation on the topic because of this. It's comforting and endearing to know that there are people who aren't so out of reach that share this passion to rescue these giant beauties of the sea. They too are awake, aware and can acknowledge the need for people to unite and speak up to make these necessary changes so that our children can share our love for these ocean mammals.

The day kicked off at 11am and despite the bitterly cold wind whipping it's way along Bondi beach, media, celebrities and people in the local community made the effort to show their resilience to the world. To formalize the day's events, a press conference was held outside of North Bondi RSL club with celebrities the likes of Hugh Jackman, Gyton Grantley from channel 9's Underbelly, Bessie Bardot, Lauren Eagle (World Champ water skier and Miss Teen Universe), Nicole Atherton (World Jnr. Womens surf champ) Aaron Jefferies from McLeouds Daughters, Star Wars star Leanna Walsman, and Bardot singer Belinda Chappel showed up to help speak out on the Anti-whaling cause.

Joined by Australian band Mojada were special guests Waverly Mayor Ingrid Strewe, Deputy Mayor Dominic WYkanak, CEO of Greenpeace Steve Shalhorn, And CEO of IFAW Erica who voiced their knowledge and opinions to open the publics' eyes on some very real and very important facts which pro-whaling organizations are trying to keep quiet.

Bunna Lawrie, famous as lead singer in the band 'Coloured Stone' many years before and the first Aboriginal person to be awarded an Aria was also present through out the length of the day. Bunna who is the songman for his Mirning tribe performed a traditional Whale calling ceremony. The whale has a special place for Bunna and his people as the Southern Right whale is their totem animal, (an entity that watches over their tribe). The ceremony consisted of Bunna saying a prayer for the whales in his native tongue, followed by singing and dancing and calling the whales in. The spirits of everyone were lifted in delight as Chad from Mojada yelled "Whale!" and a couple of hundred meters out of Bondi Beach, water spouts could be seen coming from a couple of whales traveling up our coastline.

It was evident the connection we have with these whales, from our singing "Wiberu, Wiberu We Love you.. Wiberu We love you.." (Wiberu is Mirning's name for the Humpback whale) and sending out our peaceful united vibes of protection being rewarded by there presence. I can't imagine a world without them, one where we would have to explain to our children what these magnificent creatures were and why they are no longer part of our Earth. No sense can be made from it… being the only reason for their extinction would be man's greed for money and power. This greed is unsustainable and inevitably will lead to not only the wiping out of the whales, but an end to the income that these ignorant few are making from them. There is so much more to be learnt and if necessary, money to be made, from the living and breathing whale industry.

After the traditional and political aspects of the day on the foreshore of Bondi had wrapped up, the real party started. Kicking off the musical celebrations was Gin Wigmore, a young Kiwi girl with the most unique and energetic style I've seen in a long time.

Her style has been described as something of a mash up of Neil Young, Blondie and Macy Gray, You can check out her stuff at http://www.myspace.com/ginwigmore

Following Gin with everyone all the more happier and relaxed thanks to Sol beer's contribution to the event was the acoustic sounds of Melanie Horsnell.

Soon enough, everyone was in the partying mood and the music started to pump everyone up a bit more thanks to an Aussie hiphop band Budspells (http://www.budspells.com), the soulful sounds of Decklan Kelly. In between sets Dj's Jimmy 2 xox, and TARAS dj's kept everyone dancing.

(http://www.myspace.com/themojada) Volunteers on the day even stopped what they were doing to come and celebrate with the boys who had created this awesome event and mass awareness through media and word of mouth to help the charities "Surfers for Cetaceans" and the "Whaleman Foundation". Judging by the crowd's reaction of dancing, jumping and singing along, Mojada are a band to be reckoned with. Afterwards, Mojada called special guest Bunna up on to the stage for 5 songs including a great cover of "Aint No Sunshine" by bill withers, which he sang in his native Koori tongue. The energy in the room was intense with a clear message of unity. We're the new generation and although we like to party, we aren't going to allow these slaughters to continue.

Ending the night with a bang are local award winning Sydney band who were recently reviewed by Drum Media as "the tightest band in Sydney". Set to the stage with their explosive energy, everyone let loose before heading home to bed (or various after parties) ready for the Monday morning which was soon approaching.

King Farook's online profile can be seen http://www.myspace.com/kingfarook

It had been the most successful day and "The Changing Colours Movement" couldn't have asked for a smoother execution of the first of many events to come in the name of peace and protection of our waters, bringing people together with focused intentions and harmonious vibes. After putting this first event together in only four weeks with such success, I can only imagine the size and impact the next one will have thanks to Mojada, Sol beer, the musicians, celebrities and everyone who contributed on the day. It goes to show that big things do happen when people come together as one. Our voice grows louder and can reach this message further and further.

Please also visit www.myspace.com/thechangingcoloursmovement to show your support and join the thousands of people now speaking up.

Article and Photography by Rae Threnoworth
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For more information on the whaling issue, you can visit Surfers for Cetaceans and Whaleman.org

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