The Art House presents

Mission Songs Project by Jessie Lloyd

3 Jun 2020 Showing at The Art House Theatre

Info Cast & Creatives Gallery Reviews


The Art House Presents

Mission Songs Project
by Jessie Lloyd

Produced by Performing Lines

Jessie Lloyd’s profoundly moving and important Mission Songs Project reveals what daily was like for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians on Christian missions and state-run settlements. Through the discovery of rare secular songs that were sung after church, audiences can gain a deeper understanding about the history of elders, families and communities, from cultural identity to love and loss.
Mission Songs Project is an initiative to revive contemporary Australian Indigenous songs from 1900 to 1999, focusing on the Christian missions, state run settlements and native camps where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were relocated. 
Searching for the secular songs that were sung after church, Mission Songs Project looks to explore the day to day life of the mission days, from cultural identity to love and loss. These unique songs performed by an extraordinary trio of Indigenous musicians consist of almost forgotten stories that illuminate the history of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait elders, families and communities.
Presented as an acoustic trio, Jessie Lloyd takes audiences on a musical journey across Australia. She engages through intimate storytelling, moving harmonies and historical insights. Using humour and truth to share the voices of elders as they would around a warm campfire or kitchen table.
Mission Songs Project faithfully explores the musical journey of Indigenous Australian music as Jessie Lloyd connects the traditional with the contemporary, revealing the continuation of cultural practice and song traditions into the 21st Century.
‘Mission Songs Project presents contemporary folk songs that continue the ancient song lines of this country. The songs speak of the daily lives of the First Peoples who were relocated from their traditional homelands to the missions. There are some well known songs and also hidden gems that have been uncovered.’Archie Roach
 ‘The 20th Century songs composed and sung on Aboriginal mission and settlements are records of our history and tell us about the emotions and aspirations of their composers. Jessie Lloyd’s research to find these songs is a profoundly important contribution to our nation and music.’ Prof Marcia Langton



Mission Songs Project is produced by Performing Lines and supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Indigenous Languages and Arts program.


Cast & Creatives

Creator Jessie Lloyd
Produced by Performing Lines

Jessie Lloyd

Originally from tropical North Queensland, Jessie Lloyd is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musician who performs a broad collection of Australian First Nations songs. A vocalist, guitarist, bassist and ukulele player, Jessie earned her formal qualifications at Abmusic in Perth in 2002. 

A musician, producer and creative entrepreneur, Jessie Lloyd is a cultural practitioner dedicated to the continuation of song traditions. Her mission is to produce, perform and progress Australian Indigenous music through innovative, collaborative projects and cultural practice. Maintaining an authenticity that contributes to the rich diversity of Australian arts and its audiences, and working towards positive and progressive social opportunities, values and attitudes.

Dedicated to the continuation of cultural practice through the production of both traditional and contemporary Indigenous music, Jessie has broad experience in the music business and sector development. Jessie was previously CEO of Songlines Aboriginal Music in Melbourne and South West Aboriginal Entertainment in Perth. She has produced projects, performances, albums, a music TV series for NITV and undertaken multiple Artistic and Music Director roles over her career.
Jessie Lloyd is currently based in Melbourne, VIC and working on her Mission Songs Project.
Performing Lines | Producing Transformative Performance
Performing Lines produces provocative contemporary performance by Australia’s most audacious independent artists.
We curate a portfolio of work that is propelled by pressing questions and new ways of seeing the world. We champion the unconventional, the marginal, the rebellious and the new. 
Our purpose is to champion risk and to ensure that the breadth and plurality of Australia’s creative potential is represented and celebrated.
Performing Lines is led by Executive Producer Marion Potts, and manages teams in Sydney, Perth and Hobart, with a network of producers and presenters around the country and the world.
In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of our First Peoples. Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward. 



“…profoundly moving… the entire collection is sublime.” The Australian

 “Islander rhythms, campfire country and defiant humour celebrate simple joys. Melancholy ballads chart a journey of blood, sweat and tears… you’ll almost hear the kettle boil as a closing home recording of the Elders invites us to sit down with these unsung survivors.” Sydney Morning Herald

 “Stand-out artists of the Festival included National Folk Fellow Jessie Lloyd for her Mission Songs Project who, with a line-up of top Indigenous artists, presented a rare collection of early Australian Indigenous contemporary songs that were performed on missions and settlements. All Jessie’s shows were packed out.” Rhythms Magazine 

“Mission Songs Project brings new life to the voices of the Stolen Generation and Indigenous Australians who were splintered from their cultures when they were made to sing in a foreign language. Today, traditional languages are so far removed from their vernacular that singing in English has become the mainstay, the local languages have become the foreign tongue. Yet everything has its resurgence if you can claim it before it achieves vanishing point. The stories are heartfelt and beautifully sung – perhaps not with the campfire instruments of their natural settings, but the end result is one that adapts well to the contemporary stage and travels to a diverse and broad audience – for Mission Songs Project, this is mission accomplished, and accomplished incredibly well.”  Timber & Steel 




The Art House Theatre


Wed 3 Jun 2020 - 8PM

Important Information

Duration: 60 minutes without interval
Recommended for ages 12+


Adult $30
Concession $25
Member $22
Under 30 $20
Schools $15

Buy Tickets