With a line up of Townsville’s most inspiring bands, there was no better way to share Marine Wildlife Australia’s first ever fundraiser for a cause more than worthy.
The venue was extraordinary as expected, Martas Café and Art Gallery was the perfect setting - their hospitality and support is greatly appreciated by all involved.
As the excitement grew, first up was Candela. A beautiful soulful fusion of reggae, jazz and chilled out electronic coupled with an amazingly beautiful voice, happily provided by Ella Basile.
By this point the crowd was well and truly ready for the big night ahead. With this enthusiasm Blanche Danastas, Marine Biologist and Founder of Marine Wildlife Australia took to the spotlight and informed us of the importance of the flora and fauna of Ella Bay and the damaging effects that this proposed development will undeniably have. She also wholeheartedly thanked everyone who was involved in helping create awareness of this situation in Ella Bay. Blanche also urged the crowd to sign letters to Minister Garrett voicing their concern for this wonderful area.
Following this, Kane Egyed and Sharon Bush, concerned and passionate community members local to Ella Bay, spoke from a place of honesty and hope and provided us all with an insight into how truly magnificent this area is.
Now it was time for the majestic acoustic sounds of Hufkas. The audience banded together for an inspiring version of ‘Lean On Me’, a song very relevant to the importance of us all uniting together for the protection of Ella Bay.
I was able to steal Paul Finn from Hufkas for a moment and ask his thoughts on the night and the development “it is a great thing to have everyone get behind this, there has been amazing support, now the government needs to address everyone’s concerns and do the right thing”. Rodrigues Virelala, also from Hufkas, commented that he hoped Ella Bay would be protected for future generations.
By this time the entire crowd were well versed on the significance of Ella Bay, through the speakers, the bands and the presentation running constantly throughout the night which included amazing pictures of Ella Bay and its wildlife as well as the threats and some hard to swallow photos of the potential devastation.
Finally, the band that was headlining the night, The Bandawalla Moons took to the stage. They have an unmatched positive and fun vibe achieved by their mix of funk, reggae, jazz styles inspired from around the world. There wasn’t a body in the room that wasn’t grooving away to the fresh and uplifting sounds.
Within this unforgettable band is Sammy Jay Forbes, a pivotal person in making this event possible. Sammy emphasized the issue of the night as well as warmly and sincerely thanked everyone for showing their support.
As the night drew to a close, I caught up with Zouzou Abdul Wahab, the charismatic frontman of The Bandawalla Moons. He commented that “the night was a success due to great planning, great people and a great cause” he went on further to say that the night was “really positive and I wish you (Marine Wildlife Australia) all the best in fighting to protect Ella Bay because it will be a shame to lose this place”.
The Live for Ella Bay gig went off in unrivalled fashion, with just over 110 attendees. The genuine positive response proves what Marine Wildlife Australia and everyone else involved already knew, that Ella Bay is a place that exceeds the need to be protected. Hopefully with all this support we can do so.
Yours in conservation,
Marine Wildlife Australia