Member’s Statement: David Arden

Ms D’AMBROSIO (Mill Park—Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Minister for Solar Homes) (09:39): I rise to congratulate proud Kokatha/Gunditjmara man David Arden, a noted guitarist, singer and storyteller who lives in my electorate of Mill Park. Through the Andrews Labor government’s music works grants program David has recently received a grant of $35 000 to support him to produce his fifth album, Meetra, the Ballad of James Arden: Rise Up. His fifth album follows the story of his great-grandfather, who was the keeper of traditional knowledge of the Gunditjmara people, who are from the west of Victoria.

During his 37-year career David has performed with many influential artists, including the likes of Archie Roach, Paul Kelly and the late Ruby Hunter. He has also toured extensively both here and overseas as a co-musical director of the renowned Indigenous music theatre organisation the Black Arm Band. David’s body of work provides a valuable insight into Aboriginal heritage and contemporary Indigenous culture. His music follows his family’s journey over four generations and the hope, joy and struggles of both his traditional and his urban life. His songs are inspired by love of country and his family, with whom he shares a special spiritual and cultural connection.

I am so privileged to say that there are many First Nations people who live in my electorate, and it is great to see that the government can support First Nations people like David to tell their stories. I am very much looking forward to listening to David’s latest album when it is released in 2023.

Hansard Link: David Arden