Skip to Content


By Tia Duke, Youth Ambassador, Just Reinvest NSW – Moree

Living in Moree not many opportunities come our way, especially in such a small town. But when they did, they were good, and you didn’t want to miss out. When I first heard that Desert Pea Media was coming to town, I’ve heard their songs and immediately knew I wanted to be involved, either rapping or the storytelling. I went with Mekayla Cochrane (JR Moree Youth Lead) to Shae Academy and met Uncle Matt, Scott, Toby, Narli and Chip (from Desert Pea Media) and it was so cool to hear their vision and how they wanted to involve the youth in Moree.

We could be a part of…

‘shaping our own yarns about Moree which I think is so important now that we are known as the ‘crime capital’. We are only seen as the negative, but we are so much more than that… and we could tell that through the songs, videos, and the Crossroads project.

Tia Duke, Youth Ambassador, Just Reinvest NSW – Moree

The first week with DPM, I remember it was during school hours so I could only come in my free periods. I know Dequitah, Brenda, Sebastyn, Amelia, and I would not have been a part of the Crossroads project unless Mekayla Cochrane was there, she was such a big part of it all. There were times I wasn’t confident, too tired or couldn’t get a lift and she was there, sometimes even to get our butts out of bed, like a big sister. Dequitah and Kerro (Ket), were involved in the writing.

The first couple of days was just talking about what to expect, what we would like to do and how to write a song, I’ve never ever done anything like that – it sounded very scary because they were documenting everything like recording and taking photos. We were told to act natural, but I remember every time I seen or felt the camera I was smiling up or posing. I’ve always loved R’n’B, rap was something I’ve always listened to, so I know that I did want to rap on the song but wanted to include everyone in the community with my writing. So, for me it was important to try and at least make it for everyone to be proud and feel included.

So, Dequitah was going to sing the chorus and Ket and I was going to rap in the song. Narli and Toby were a big help in the writing, making sure it was structured and sounded what I was trying to say. We had two weeks to film and write, so we were kind of in a time limit. Once the writing was out of the way, it was time to finally rap or sing our verse, Dequitah and Ket were the other two artists alongside me, but they were way more familiar with it then I was. Dequitah came from a family who were singers, and she was gifted with an amazing voice. Ket had already a staunch voice for rapping and was super keen too. This was our ‘debut’ and it was cool to use professional things like the mic, headphones almost like how a famous artist would.

In my verse I talk about my connections to Moree being Gomeroi and Dunghutti, Terry Hie Hie* and how I won’t allow other opinions stop me from achieving anything positive in my life.

Tia Duke

When you’re in front of the camera it was an amazing feeling, we were yelling the I words I had written, and I think it was very exciting because we all were so keen to see how this music video would turn out. It was also stressful because we would shoot all around Moree and Terry Hie Hie.

The feeling you get after you get comfortable with the camera in your face and now your “acting” your song out, does give you an ego. Having to reshoot scenes was a bit annoying because you had to redo what you just did three times, but you still had fun with it. Some of the videos I have of myself are because Mekayla was on the sidelines recording us “acting” which will be the uncut memories from behind the scenes. On our last day shooting, and I think it was a sunset scene on the bridge at the back of the mission, we finally heard our song. Even though it was a rough version, it was so deadly to hear.

It was at least three months we had to wait for the video to come out. It felt like two years. I remember feeling so worried that no one would ever want to see us in a video or like, who would want to even bother watching us, but almost 40K views, a number so big I don’t think I can count that high. People were sharing it and commenting all nice things but one of my biggest highlights was when Kobie Dee and Barkaa reshared the video on Facebook and I was starstruck.

The music video can be viewed here

 *Terry Hie Hie is an important ceremonial and gathering place for the Gomeroi People


Thanks to Desert Pea Media (DPM) for sharing the photographs and being willing for their project to be shared on our website. DPM has been working with Just Reinvest NSW in Moree and Maranguka in Bourke on the Crossroads Project in 2023. CROSSROADS is a community engagement program designed to empower Indigenous communities through impactful workshops and creative media productions. With a focus on young people, cultural connection, mental health/wellbeing, and leadership mentoring/skills development – the project uses cutting-edge media creation (film, music, and digital media), Leadership Camps, Cultural Exchange, Mentoring Processes and Cultural Events to engage and support Indigenous community members to share their stories, build confidence and skills and inspire positive social change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top
Skip to content