A singer, songwriter and music producer dedicated to enhancing First Nations music education, skills and appreciation recently became a Senior Honorary Fellow of USC.
Glenwood’s Uncle Kev Starkey was honored by the University at a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, September 29 for his significant contribution to First Nations music and language, including mentoring young emerging artists .
During a musical career spanning nearly three decades, Uncle Kev has helped First Nations artists develop their musical knowledge and skills and initiated significant high level cultural projects with significant impact. .
He worked to preserve the indigenous language and used his music to raise awareness around the world about environmental damage and destruction of cultural sites around the world.
Uncle Kev, who was born and raised in the land of Gubbi Gubbi and whose traditional country is Narungga / Adnyamamathanha and Saibai, said he felt stunned and humbled to become an honorary senior member of the ‘USC.
“I live by the manta that success comes from helping others be successful, so to be recognized for my efforts is a great honor,” he said.
Uncle Kev recently worked alongside academics at USC to develop what is believed to be the first Bachelor of Music in Australia to include a First Nations Music Minor.
He said this partnership will place First Nations music, knowledge, consultation and practice at the center of the Music Diploma which will be awarded for the first time in 2022.
Uncle Kev had for many years performed and worked interstate to advance Indigenous education, but returned to the Gympie area four years ago to open Darkwood Studios – Australia’s only private First Nations label service. .
He is a founding member of the First Nations Artist Collective, which brings together all artistic disciplines and supports current and emerging artists in South East Queensland.