Image: Anna Reece


Dr G Yunupiŋu was raised on Elcho Island, off the cost of North East Arnhem Land, as a member of the Gumatj clan. Born blind, his powerfully emotive yet fragile voice has affected the public unlike any other Australian artist. His songs covered themes of identity, spirit, connection with the land and its elements across multiple Yolngu languages as well as English. The depth of his music, his stage presence, combined with his captivating high tenor voice incited emotion, compassion and a feeling of peacefulness within Australian and international audiences alike.

In today’s world where the media and the music industries are centred around hype and fashion, Dr G Yunupiŋu is a unique celebrity who has stood the test of time, one who could “change the way you breathe” (Brisbane Courier Mail, 2008) and forever altered the way people from around the world interact with Yolngu culture.

In 2008, Dr G Yunupiŋu first gained international attention when his self-titled first solo album debuted at #1 on the independent music charts and peaked at #3 on the ARIA charts. In 2009, he was named Best New Independent Artist and the album won both Best Independent Release and Best Independent Blues/Roots Release at the Australian Independent Record (AIR) Awards. The album reached Triple Platinum in Australia and Dr G Yunupiŋu’s voice connected with listeners such as Elton John, and Sting. His second album Rrakala (2011), hit Platinum and continued the stream of adoration for Dr G Yunupiŋu, with Rolling Stone magazine declaring him “Australia’s Most Important Voice” (Rolling Stone, April 2011).

Dr G Yunupiŋu has performed for HRH The Queen of England, past-US President Barack Obama, Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary of Denmark, in addition to being one of only two Australian performers at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, confirming this multi ARIA award-winning musician’s place as an international star who had transcended cultural boundaries while staying true to his culture.

In April 2018, Dr G Yunupiŋu’s posthumously released fourth studio album, Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) was released. The album debuted at #1 on the ARIA charts, won multiple ARIA awards and the Australian Music Prize. A true testament to his legacy, the Gurrumul documentary released 2018 has been screened internationally and won the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Award (AACTA) for best documentary, showing a deep worldwide appreciation for his story and songs.

The Songs in Buŋgul
A Buŋgul is a ceremony, a meeting place of dance, song and ritual. Manikay are series of songs, passed down through generations from the ancestral beings that originally shaped and named the Yolŋu homelands. The Yolŋu people have been singing manikay at ceremonies for millenia. They are scared ritual songs, but are also songs about the land and the plants, animals, people and spirits that inhabit it. They contain ancerstral knowledge to the Yolŋuway of life.

Yolŋu Culture
The Yolŋu world is defined by two opposite sides, Yirritja and Dhuwa, within which individual clans have different identities. Both halves are required to find balance. For instance, Yolŋu people must marry someone from the opposite half. The whole world is made up of these balanced and specific identities which all have very specific relations with every other thing in the world. The moon, the north wind, the hammerhead shark, the emu, the Milky Way are Yirritja. The sun, west wind, tiger shark, bustard and Venus are Dhuwa. Whilst in North Arnhem Land, everywhere that you go you will be either on Dhuwa or Yirritja land and every Yolŋu person you meet, every native species or plant or animal you see will be one of these identities.
-Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre



Music: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Erkki Veltheim & Michael Hohnen
Directors: Don Wininba Ganambarr & Nigel Jamieson
Musical Director and Conductor: Erkki Velheim
Creative Producer: Michael Hohnen
Executive Producer: Anna Reece
Concertmaster: Veronique Serret
Design & Creative Associate: Jacob Nash
Lighting Designer: Mark Howett
Associate Lighting Designer: Chloe Ogilvie
Sound Designer: Steve Francis
Video Design: Mic Gruchy
Cinematographer: Paul Shakeshaft
Performers: Nebbie Burrarrwanga, Robert Burrarrwanga, Mark Guruwiwi, Terence Guruwiwi, Jaimie Yunupingu, Teo Yunupingu, David Yunupingu, Kyle Yunupingu, Jason Ganambarr