NSW Education Live - Adam Briggs

This page is a transcript of the video NSW Education LIVE with Adam Briggs..

Author and entertainer Adam Briggs reads his debut book Our Home, Our Heartbeat.


Adam Briggs

Hey everybody. My name is Adam Briggs or Briggs and this is Education Live, and we are here live at my publisher, where they keep my books, but we'll talk about that a little later.

First, I'm a Yorta Yorta man from Shepparton, Victoria. That is where I grew up. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a rapper, artist, a writer. I write for Disenchantment on Netflix and The Weekly, and a few other shows that you may have seen me on in the ABC and around the place.

I'm a record label owner, Bad Apples Music is my record label. I'm a rapper, A.B. Original, the multi-award winning rap group with my homeboy, Trials, from Adelaide, a Ngarrindjeri man. I've been doing this for the better part of 15 years.

I kind of started doing the music thing when I was in high school. I wasn't the best student but now look, I'm a teaching resource, so here I am. School wasn't too much fun for me. I didn't enjoy it a whole lot but I made it through begrudgingly and now, yeah, look, you know, I turned out okay.

So let's take a stroll because recently, I've added a new title to, you know, my repertoire and a new member of the arsenal, my kids' book. This is Our Home, Our Heartbeat written by me and the illustrations are by Kate Moon, she done all the portraits and Rachael Sarra, who did all the... Did all the background designs. And I wrote this book because like I write in rhyme form a lot and I, you know, clicked that a lot of kids' books are in rhyme form and I tried to figure out which of my songs would best fit into a kid's book, you know, kind of format. And Heidi Grant come through and printed all my words into this beautiful piece of art.

Like I hadn't seen a kid's book like this, that kind of celebrated like a lot of, you know, indigenous heroes and, you know, kind of recognize all the contributions to industry and entertainment and various, you know, aspects of Australian culture that indigenous people have brought. So I guess we should just read it, you know, we can start there.

Okay, so this is Our Home, Our Heartbeat written by me, Adam Briggs. Kate Moon did all these amazing portraits. You know, some people you probably know like Adam Goodes and, you know, Patty Mills. And some people you might not know like William Cooper or even Lionel Rose, who was a champion boxer. Our Home, Our Heartbeat written by me, again.

You know, just in case you weren't sure who I was. I'm Wanganeen in '93. In 1993, Wanganeen, Gavin Wanganeen, he played for the Essendon Bombers, was my hero. He was number one, he was everything. He still is and he still looks the same. The Sapphires are my aunties, which is a true fact. They are in fact my aunties. Like a lot of this book, I've written kind of, you know, that everybody can enjoy, but there's a few little gems in there that are truth. Like, you know, truth to myself, and the Sapphires are my aunties, the singers. And my cousin, Tony, wrote the movie, The Sapphires, which was adapted from a play.

The first gold medal, I'm Nova P. I'm Cathy Freeman and her fire's inside of me. The Cathy Freeman fire inside of me is kind of reference to her winning the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics, where she also lit the cauldron, and that's the fire that I'm referencing there. I don't normally do this kind of stuff, so it's like I get to explain a little bit of, you know, the nuance beyond just the pictures.

I'm Adam Goodes and Adam should be applauded when he stands up. I'm also Adam. I'm Tapsell in my closeup and I'm Patty Mills with the last shot. I love Patty, again. My history is my strength, my future is my own, my community is a part of me. It's my time, my heartbeat.

I'm Yvonne Goolagong with a trophy from Wimbledon. I'm Doug Nicholls. I'm Jimmy little singing down the royal telephone. You see Doug Nicholls and Jimmy Little were both from the same mission that my dad was from, the Cummeragunja Mission. Jimmy little was obviously a singer, songwriter, pop star and Doug Nichols was actually, the first governor of South Australia amongst other achievements. Both from the same mission and there's a few people that I mentioned in this book that are from my home.

I'm the world champ in '68, that's me, I'm Lionel Rose. The world boxing champ in 1968. It's a pretty big achievement. I'm William Cooper, I take a stand when no one even knows. Now, William Cooper was also from the Cummeragunja Mission. He led some of the very first protests for Aboriginal people in Australia, including the 1939 Cummeragunja Walk-off. In protest of the living conditions of that mission, where a lot of my family are from.

And he also led a few other protests including a protest, it was January 26th, signing it as a national day for mourning of indigenous people. And not a lot of people know that and that's what, I mean when he takes a stand. When, you know, because it's the right thing, not because it's a popular thing. And that's what I reference in, my history is my strength and my future is my own.

My community is a part of me, it's my time, my heartbeat. See the history is my strength is not about knowing that kind of stuff. To know where you come from but your future is, you know, whatever you want to make it. I'm uncle Buddy, everybody loves me and ain't none below and ain't none above me. Now, Uncle buddy was a reference from the original track, The Children Came Back that I wrote, was my actual uncle. But in this one we kind of, we joined the dots with Buddy Franklin and put some tattoos on this lovely child.

I'm the carvings outta every scar tree, I'm those flats that birthed Archie. That's uncle Archie Roach, who was born on the Mooroopna flats, which is right next to where I grew up in Shepparton, Victoria. I can sing like I'm Thelma. That's Thelma Plumbe.

I can sing like I'm Jess Mauboy. I can sing like I'm Sultan. That's Dan Sultan and I can sing lock on Em. That's Emma Donovan, who in my opinion has the best voice in Australian music. She's unstoppable. I talk like my uncles, I look like my aunts, I dance with my cousins, I speak through my art. Some of us are fair and some of us are dark.

We're all different colors and that's who we are. You can see all the hands. See, that was a reference to, you know, being a fair skinned Aboriginal kid. A lot of people don't understand like, you know, that your connection to your community and your identity isn't bound by the color of your skin.

It's about, you know, your community and so many of us look way different. Some of our cousins are super dark, some of them are fair but it doesn't matter because we're all got the same lived experience and we're all family. So, you know, there's deeper connections that blind us than just our skin color. Our history is our strength, our future is our own.

We are all our community, it's our time, we're home. And on the inside of the book, it's got like a small, like a little write-up biography on a lot of people that are mentioned in the book. And again, there's all the different portraits by Kate Moon, which are all fantastic and all the background colors and stuff that are by Rachael Sarra, where all these characters get to live. Just give it so much vibrancy and so much life.

That's Our Home, Our Heartbeat. I wrote that book, I never thought I'd write a book. I don't think anyone who was my teacher would have thought I'd write a book but I did.

So, you know, I know a lot of times that... A lot of times that school can be super-difficult, a little bit hard but there's always... There's something else on the horizon, so you just got to keep moving through and pushing through, and trying to do your best and do what feels right. And try your hardest at what you are good at and, you know, try to... Try a little bit, you know, as hard as stuff you don't really like as well, you know, it teaches you some good discipline. But thank you so much for tuning in, my name is Adam Briggs or Briggs or Senator Briggs.

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