Kerrianne Cox is an internationally renowned independent Original Sovereign Ngombarl performing artist of Australia. Her signature song, “Beagle Bay Dreaming” has brought her beloved home and country - Beagle Bay in the remote North West Kimberley region of Western Australia - into the hearts and minds of people all over the world.
"I'm deeply passionate about my music and the love that is created into form by music. For me, music is about healing and building bridges."
After winning the Next Big Thing Competition in 1996 when she was just 22 years of age, Kerrianne Cox said,
"I am here to inspire people in all I do".
In 1997 Kerrianne Cox was awarded a WAMI (Western Australia Music Industry) Award as Best Indigenous Artist of the Year and in 2000, NAIDOC's (National Aboriginal Independence Day of Celebration) Female Artist of the Year. In 2001 she received the Deadly Vibe Female Artist of the Year at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Awards. In 2003 Kerrianne was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian government for service to her country. Also in 2003, Kerrianne was awarded the ALMA (Australian Live Music Awards) Songlines Indigenous Award, and was again nominated for Deadly Vibe Female Artist of the Year.
In Australia, Kerrianne Cox has performed all over the country including at major events such as 2002 Message Stick at the Sorry Day concert at the Sydney Opera House, WOMADelaide 2003, season 4 of Outback Upfront on ABC TV (Sydney), the Broome Cabaret production of the acclaimed musical Bran Nue Dae, the Sydney Survival Concert '97, opening Perth Artrage in '98, Corroborree 2000, Sydney Mardi Gras 2002 and featured artist at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of the Reconciliation Bridge walk (2000) attended by over 100,000 people, as well as the Western Australia International Music Conference in 2003.
From 2000 to 2003, Kerrianne toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, performing in prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC and the Lincoln Centre in NY as well as touring in Vancouver, Portland, St. Louis and Seattle, and appearing at the Detroit Festival and the NEMO Conference in Boston.
In 2003 and 2004, Kerrianne toured in South Africa where she performed at the Awesome Africa Festival in Durban (2003) and was hosted by the Australian High Commission in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria (2004). She is the subject of a documentary, Trancing in Dreamtime (Fineline Productions) with the San Bushmen from the Kalahari in Botswana that was released to great acclaim at the Durban International Film Festival in June, 2004.
Although she regularly conducts songwriting workshops which heal, inspire and uplift diverse audiences such as participants at the Kungka Conferences at Uluru, Kerrianne Cox is more than a singer/songwriter. She has been the Master of Ceremony at these annual events and is considered to be a leader who draws upon her personal experiences to motivate and encourage participants to heal and develop their self empowerment.
In October 2004, Kerrianne Cox was elected Chairperson of Beagle Bay Community by her people were she took her community into systemic reform in 2005 after a decade of total neglect.
"Now I find myself in a beautiful place where I am the Chairperson of my community and I can travel from time to time to perform select shows that I feel are important for what I stand for."
Her pioneering work in Beagle Bay has received wide recognition including a shortlisting for the National 2005 Human Rights Community (Individual) Award.
In 2005 Kerrianne was named National Artist of the Year (NAIDOC) and awarded the Yvonne Cohen Award for Creative Indigenous Youth. During this year Kerrianne was invited to perform at the National Indigenous Women’s Leadership Program and has become an annual guest, inspiring and empowering Sovereign Women of all age groups from communities throughout Australia.
Kerrianne's CD's include “Just Wanna Move” (1999) and “Opening” (2001). In 2005 she began recording her third CD – “Return to Country” - about what it means to live and work from her home in the Kimberley. The CD was released at the International Dreaming Festival in June 2006 and Kerrianne performed again at this event in 2007.
Throughout 2007 and 2008 Kerrianne has continued her tireless leadership efforts creating change for women of all ages both nationally and internationally. In Australia, Kerrianne performed at the International Sister’s Inside Conference 2007 and as guest speaker at the Free Minds Expo 2007. She spoke of her personal healing journey and the intergenerational trauma that our first people of our nation have experienced. She continues to campaign against the imprisonment of women and the negative impacts of the criminal justice system on our people in this country.
Kerrianne has toured throughout Balgo, Mulan, Billiluna (Western Central Desert) for the Kutjungka Women’s Week conducting healing music workshops and motivating women to reclaim their leadership roles in their life and their communities. In 2007, Kerrianne was invited to the International Femme Funk Festival in New Caledonia for a two weeks tour across the province to empower and inspire women through her music workshops and became a powerful catalyst for change. A Tribal Chief said,
“We knew it was coming we just didn’t know when and Kerrianne help to support that change, giving status to our women, through women having to carry out the customary exchange for the first time in history”.
Kerrianne has performed at The Brilliant Blend Expo in Singapore 2007 and in 2008 she performed at the Launch of “Hai Abut” compilation CD of Female Artists in Brisbane were she donated her song “Barefoot People” to raise funds for the East Timore Medical Centre for training and resources. Kerrianne’s latest CD “Return to Country” has been broadcast throughout Australia and beyond on the new ABC series “The Circuit” 2007 which featured “Whad wrong with you”; “Gotta Grow”; “Dreamtime with you” and was also featured on the series sound track album. She performed at the Chocolate Martini Show in Perth which was recorded by NITV (National Indigenous TV) in 2008 and was screened in 2009. Her unique and compelling vocal style has also been recorded for the movie production “Bran Nue Dae” which was launched in 2010.
During 2007 to 2008 Kerrianne performed at major festivals throughout Australia and abroad such as the 2007 Adelaide International Guitar Festival, 2008 Nannup Music Festival, 2007 and 2008 Blue Mountain Blues and Roots Festival, Sydney Earth Festival 2008 and the 2008 Festival of the Pacific Arts in America Samoa for two weeks which was screened on Message Stick ABC in late 2008.
Throughout 2008 Kerrianne continued to motivate and inspire women into self governance by initiating “Lightning Spirit” Concerts through South East Queensland. These Concerts were held in Brisbane, Maleny and Pomona and gave Sovereign women the opportunity to develop their own dynamic and professional music styles. Lightning Spirit also performed at NAIDOC Family Fun Day in Musgrave Park, Brisbane.
2008 and 2009 has been a great experience of travel and reflection for Kerrianne providing the opportunity to meet with other musicians and people from all over the country and beyond, giving her endless inspiration for song writing for her next album as she travelled across Australia’s vast and beautiful country.
“I write all my songs, my songs have been my greatest friend and I will continue to sing my spirit free and heal my heart to love my life. My music has moved and inspired people all over the world”.
2008 and 2009 has also been a time for powerful and dynamic leadership for Kerrianne, her family and people as they campaign against LNG Plant in North West Kimberley region of Western Australia and to ensure that the sovereignty rights of First People for the region are protected. Kerrianne is a strong advocate for self-determination and believes that small eco-sustainable community owned and controlled businesses offer the only way forward for her people and all communities across Australia.
“Beagle Bay means everything to me. Everything I am doing with the government is for the people, by the people, about the people and with the people. Every day is a great challenge.
"It’s a privilege to work hard in my music, my life, my family, my community and with my people”.
Kerrianne will continue campaigning to protect her country and community against the LNG Plant which is planned for James Prices Point in the North West Kimberley region of Western Australia. As her latest song, “Mother Song” says,
“Stop raping the land, We can’t take what she can’t give no more...Motherland is here for us to love and take care of, Who are we to forget about her...We must make a stand, Work with her to exist, Then we will have a place, to live with her in harmony”!