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The Music Makes its Way into the Desert

November 9, 2023

Out of lockdown and into the sunshine! ‘Music in the Mannas’ at Balnarring in 2022 was where it began. Funds raised on that wonderful day have enabled Indigenous rangers and other members of the Martu community to make music, deep in Australia’s Western Desert region.

Music in the Mannas fundraiser, February 2022.

In August 2023, a custom-built music trailer, bought from funds raised at ‘Music in the Mannas’ together with contributions from Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ), made its way into the desert loaded with musical instruments, amps and microphones, arriving to a gathering of 200 Martu community members in Parnngurr, Western Australia.


This is no ordinary trailer. It’s been made to survive the rigours of outback travel, keeping the instruments and other gear dust-free and dry too.

Parnngurr is about 1500km from Perth, just above the Tropic of Capricorn. Thin Green Line general manager, Tim Schneider, has worked with KJ and still visits the community to help out when he can. 

“If you look it up, you will see Parnngurr is nestled deep in the Western Desert region of Western Australia – right in the heart of the 13.6 million hectare Martu determination,” said Tim. “Their desert Country is two-and-a-half times the size of Tasmania.”

“The trailer took six hours of off-road driving to get there, and we’re happy to report that its heavy-duty fabrication performed well,” Tim said. “As did the guitars, drums, amps, and speakers that were set-up straight away for hours of Martu music that was performed as the sun was setting.”

Tim was there on Country for the big gathering.


“The Martu musicians really cranked out the tunes – it was a sweet moment to see these guys rocking in the desert,” he said. “They really appreciate the generosity of Thin Green Line’s supporters.”

Thanks also to musician Tim Stout, Charles, and Marty from The Peninsula Hot Springs, and John Mallon with DB Results, who provided many of the instruments and funded the transportation of the trailer from Balnarring to Parnngurr.

The trailer is now permanently housed at the KJ depot. It’s accessible to the KJ rangers for gigs in the desert communities.

Stay tuned for more as this music story unfolds, with the possibility of a visit by the Martu musicians in 2024, at the next “Music in the Mannas” on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. 

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