On the sideline of an event in Hanoi on February 24, Firebrace spoke of his impressions of the Vietnamese culture and people. “This is my first time here, and it is just been really great to be here for the music. I have travelled to many different places around the world with my music, and it is great to finally bring it here to Vietnam. Everyone in this country is so beautifully welcoming and so warm, and it's been really great. I love experiencing new cultures and seeing different parts of the world.”
Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country with 54 ethnic groups, how Vietnam preserves its diverse and distinctive cultural capital in the context of globalisation and international integration is important. The singer born in 1999 said, “Conversation and music, it's the way that I keep my culture alive. I'm very aware that Vietnam has a strong culture.”
“I love seeing other people proud of who they are, and what they represent. So, I think continuing to celebrate who you are; continuing to celebrate individuality and diversity in as many ways as possible. It's essential to keep it by talking about it, showing it off.
For Firebrace, music is like a universal language. "We can say so many things in a song that we sometimes cannot necessarily say in conversation. And music is a mighty tool," he said.
|Australian singer Isaiah Firebrace performing in Vietnam |
In November 2021, Firebrace presented a petition to Parliament and the Department of Education, calling to implement Aboriginal history classes in primary and secondary education nationwide. The petition quickly obtained support and received about 300,000 signatures.
The petition started with Firebrace's own personal experiences. He believes it is absolutely necessary to teach the true history of Australia and its First Nations people in schools across Australia.
“I made a change about two years ago, and I didn't really know what was going to come up. I didn't even think that people would sign it. I didn't even mean for it really to get as big as it did. And then it started getting some signatures and some people supporting it," he said.
Australia is known as one of the oldest continuous civilisation in the world, with evidence of Australians reaching back as far as 65,000 years. “There hasn't been much representation of First Nations history and culture taught in the classroom, and that was my experience as well. There wasn't anything like a book in my library where I could pick up and read and learn,” he said.
As for his next chapter, last year the singer launched a book "Come Together: Things Every Aussie Kid Should Know about the First Peoples," which was his debut in children’s literature.
Inspired by his petition, the heart-warming children’s book aims to give kids aged five and up, and adults, a foundation of First Nations' knowledge, including on 20 key topics.
The book was created as both a celebration of First Nations' culture and an educational resource that is crucial in helping children and adults grow up with a better understanding of indigenous culture.
Isaiah Firebrace introducing Vietnamese students to his children's book "Come Together: Things Every Aussie Kid Should Know about the First Peoples"
The arrival of performers from Australia in Vietnam last week marked the start of a series of activities to celebrate the 50-year-long partnership, while also promoting Australia’s rich First Nations culture.
During the visit to Vietnam last week, Firebrace and Mitch Tambo, a multi-talented didgeridoo player, and traditional indigenous singer and dancer, joined student workshops at the Ho Chi Minh City Music Conservatory, the Australian International School, and Hanoi Adelaide School to share lessons from their journeys as some of Australia’s most beloved First Nations artists.
At the gala reception in Hanoi on February 24, with the attendance of Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowsk, Firebrace entertained guests with a unique rendition of two hit songs, accompanied by the Australian Army Band.
Australian and Vietnamese military musicians also provided outstanding performances of some Australian rock classics, and jointly performed a traditional Vietnamese marching song.
| ||Australia and Vietnam work together on gender equality for stronger economies |
The Australian-funded Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) programme hosted the symposium Engaging Women in Markets – Scaling up Local Successes Nationwide in Hanoi on May 27.
| ||Australia, Vietnam work together on gender equality for stronger economies |
The Australian-funded Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) programme hosted a symposium, Engaging Women in Markets – Scaling up Local Successes Nationwide, in Hanoi on May 27.
| ||Australia provides additional 7.2 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam |
On June 1, Australia provided 7.2 million Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses with Vietnam purchased through an agreement with UNICEF and in partnership with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health. The vaccines were already delivered on May 20-28 to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
| ||Vietnam Airlines provides official information about flight attendants questioned by Australia |
National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on June 18 released a statement regarding its flight attendants interrogated by Australian authorities, saying it was just a random examination of passengers and flight crews exiting the country.
| ||Vietnam, Australia promote trade, investment partnership |
The Australia-Vietnam Business Council (AVBC) held a conference in Sydney on June 23 to promote trade and investment partnerships through the strengthening of the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy that was reached between the two countries in late 2021.
| ||Vietnam and Australia promoting bilateral trade and investment |
As Business Champions Vietnam-Australia 2022 celebrates its first anniversary, it promises to continue facilitating trade and investment.
| ||Japan, US, Australia to assist Vietnam in decarbonisation |
Government-backed financial institutions from Japan, the US, and Australia have pledged to support Vietnam's efforts to cut carbon emissions, according to the chairman of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).