Theona Councillor is a Naaguja woman of the Bowes and Greenough River area in WA’s Mid-West region – Yamatji Nation country. Through her mother’s bloodline she is connected to the Wardandi and Bibbulmun Noongar clans of the South West region, where the Vasse River runs to the sea.
After starting her career recording gospel songs with the Aboriginal Hedland Ladies Choir, Theona released her debut offering Diamond In The Rough (2001), featuring the single Sweet Black Man, which helped earn her a nomination at the 2001 Deadly Awards. Over the next decade, Theona cemented her reputation, releasing two albums Sweet Black Man (2007) and Cover Me (2013).
On a personal journey in recent years, Theona has immersed herself in her culture and language to sing and write a new album of songs in her native Naaguja Wangga, not widely spoken in over 40 years and not shared in song for even longer.
The first offering from her new album is ‘Ngaalija Yangoogoo Yaanaa’ (Come Let’s Walk Together), penned with a sentiment of Australia becoming a united country, tolerant of new cultures and celebrating the uniqueness of our ancient Indigenous cultures. The track was recorded as part of WAM’s Sounds of The Mid West and was released in March 2021. The song was added to the National ABC local playlist in April, receiving airplay around the country. The track was also selected for the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s First Sounds compilation in June 2021. After performing at multiple festivals over many years, Theona has performed at Nukara and State of The Art Festivals so far in 2021 and has been invited to perform at Boyup Brook music festival in 2022.
Theona Councillor – Vocals, acoustic guitar
Sarah O’Malley – acoustic guitar
Darcy Hay – electric/lead guitar
Janine Prestorious – bass
Nigel Bird – drums