Radio news

NAIDOC Week on Vision Australia Radio

06 July 2023

In honour of this year’s NAIDOC week theme For Our Elders, Vision Australia Radio's Chris Thompson, host of arts and culture program Behind the Scenes, spoke with two acclaimed First Nation’s performers: Singer songwriter Uncle Kutcha Edwards and opera singer Professor Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO.

Both are also survivors of the Stolen Generation.

Kutcha Edwards

Mutti Mutti songman was recorded at Kutcha's kitchen table. The singer reflected on his introduction to music (playing Thumper in a school play of Bambi) to his performances in major venues such as the Sydney Opera House, London’s Elizabeth House and playing for 80,000 people at the AFL Dreamtime at the G.

Ultimately though, it’s Kutcha’s spiritual connection and responsibility as an Aboriginal elder that gives him the greatest fulfillment.

First Nation’s singer-songwriter Uncle Kutcha Edwards stands with VAR's Chris Thompson

“It’s the small things, like travelling with my show The Kutcha Edwards Hour performing in tiny community halls or regional prisons where I cannot see one non-Aboriginal face. I get them singing.”

“I celebrate my Aboriginal connection, and all those families inspire me to continue to do so.”

The depth and generosity of Kutcha Edwards in this conversation is touching and beautiful and makes it a must-listen interview.

You can listen to the interview here.

Professor Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO.

As a proud Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator, Deborah has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years.

Her list of commissions for major Australian ensembles include Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australia String Quartet, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and The Sydney Philharmonia to name a few.

Deborah generously shared delightful, insightful, moving and sometimes funny stories and, of course, he included some of her music in this extended interview:

You can listen to the interview here.

Chris Thompson and Behind the Scenes

Host Chris Thompson, says that while NAIDOC week offers a opportunity to focus on stories like Kutcha’s and Deborah’s respect for First Nations people and their stories should be ongoing.

“NAIDOC week is not just something to think about for one week a year. These things should be constants so that NAIDOC Week is simply a celebration of what is, or should be, commonplace in our shared lives”.


Behind the Scenes can be heard weekly via podcast and on the Vision Australia Radio Network 9pm Mondays and repeated 7pm Saturdays. You can also listen on your local Vision Australia Radio frequency or stream live here.