Ken Medema on music,travel,life.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Reflections on seeing the film Australia

He is a child of mixed parentage aboriginal and white. He and his mother live on a cattle station now run by the wife of the British gentleman who purchased the station and has been recently killed. The young boy's mother is lost in a terrible accident and when he is cared for and almost adopted by the lady of the property he says to her, "I sang to you to me".

That was when I first cried my eyes out. Oh- that the songs we sing could bring people to a good place, Oh- that we could sing each other to health and caring, Oh- that we could sing each other to healing and comfort.

At another point in the story the young child is about to be taken by his grandfather on a "walk-about". We are not told, but we understand that the walk-about is that which confirms his place in the community and moves him on toward manhood. Lady Ashley is most reluctant to let him go but she is reminded by her friend and ranch manager ,"If he doesn't go on the walk-about, he has no country, he has no story, no dream, he is nobody". That was the next place where I started weeping. Don't we all want to be connected to a story? Perhaps it is our ethnic story. I talk about my Dutch ancestors with great pride sometimes. Perhaps we want to be connected to a religious story; I am a Christian and tied to the great movement of the community of Christ through the ages. Perhaps we want to be connected to the American story. In any case the need for a story, and dream, a place to locate ourselves is so strong in us humans that we will sometimes travel around the world to find our story.

By the time we had singing and story, I had become a basket case. The rest of the movie had enough inspiration and good news for many many days. Please find a way to see it if you can. I have set my goal for the year because of this movie. I want to sing people to a better place. I want to help people sing each other to a better place. I want to find ways to encourage people to know and appreciate their story, their tradition, and to let it be a place to spawn new dreams and possibilities.


  1. Wonderful comments---I've felt alone in that no one I know has seen it! Australia was advertised as a love story between the man & woman---I saw it as a love story between all of us--in the movie and those who watched it. I've seen it 6 times plus bits and pieces --it's on cable-makes it easier--
    I will sing you to me!!!

  2. This is so beautiful, Ken, as I had the same reaction. We just finally saw the film this winter, and I'd no idea about it and saw it the same way you did. I was about to put some movie quotes on my blog, and thought of this one today...and when I googled to make sure I had it right, I found you! I'm following you now. I've a blogspot page where I'm highlighting Henry Reed's The Daily Mandala, along with my interest in movies and dreams. I'll add your link to my page! Music is in there, too, of course:) So my first two are "I SEE you" from Avatar and "I will sing you to me." from Australia. Thanks for adding to the inspiration!

    1. Omgosh...these are my two.absolute favorite movie quotes of all time!! So so special.

  3. fantastic! I too loved the "I will sing you to me." You have created a great perspective on that theme. thanks!

  4. This movie & the character of Nullah awakened something in me. I began to be a different, better person after seeing this film. I had a son not long after & I named him Djarhyn Nullah. Our bond..was intense from conception. I believe he sang me to him. He coded at birth & was recussitated only then to have open heart surgery at 5 weeks old. He has changed me. He is my Magic Man. I hope that he will one day have a strong connection with his country.

  5. Love it.....can we sing our missing Native women and child back to us..??? here in Canada..?