The Murru Concert: 10 Songs of Freedom for John Pat launched the Festival on a beautiful Melbourne spring evening to a packed Federation Square. This special collection of songs written with prisoners from Roebourne Regional Prison, people from the community and artists such as Bill Chambers, Lucky Oceans, Emma Donovan, Harry Hookey and Shellie Morris were especially arranged for the premiere performance of the Murru Concert in Melbourne.

The 6,000 strong audience were treated to wonderful performances from Lucky Oceans, Emma Donovan, John Bennett, Harry Hookey, Josie Alec and Roy Evans (both from Roebourne), supported by Wendy Matthews, Jae Laffer (the Panics) and the cast of Hipbone Sticking Out while dedications to John Pat and simple messages about current juvenile incarceration statistics flashed up on the big screen as a reminder to the Concert’s purpose.

Although all the songs of Murru are enormously heartfelt compositions, it was the Concert’s finale that will linger long in the hearts and minds of all that were there to witness Archie Roach’s emotion-charged, heartbreaking performance of ‘John Pat’ (from his album Journey as John’s sister Masie, and the rest of the Murru Band stood behind in silent reverence.