Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Building Bridges Association

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Building Bridges Association

The Building Bridges Association was formed by Aboriginal musician Kev Carmody and musician Paul Kelly, in an effort to link Aboriginal people and the wider community through music.

The association staged concerts showcasing black and white talent at the Bondi Pavilion. The first concert was held on 26 January 1988 in support of the Long March for Justice, Freedom and Hope.

In 1989 a compilation album, Australia has a Black History, was released at the concert. In July the same year, a Rock for Land Rights concert was held at the State Sports Centre, featuring Crowded House and Paul Kelly. [1]

The fight against racism was at the heart of the Building Bridges Association's purpose, but the organisation also aimed to raise the profile of Aboriginal music. As in most professional sectors, Aboriginal people faced discrimination in the music industry, struggling to secure record deals and airtime on radio. Through association with mainstream artists, the Building Bridges Association was able to launch the careers of Indigenous artists such as Joe Geia and Archie Roach.

Building Bridges was eventually absorbed by the Survival Festival Concerts, which were run by Aboriginal people.


[1] Michael Smith, 'A brief history and assessment: Building Bridges Association' in The Drum Media, no 18, 1991, p 21