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Children’s Ground have today launched the music video for Merne Mwerre, a celebration of keeping tyerrtye (body) and utnenge (spirit) strong by eating good food and connecting to Apmere (Country).  

Merne Mwerre, translating to ‘Good Food’ in English, premiered on Tuesday 14 May, at an exclusive showing in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) in the Todd Mall. 

Filmed in Mparntwe at Olive Pink Botanical Gardens with a number of incredibly talented First Nations local community members including Edmond Doolan, Jarrel Williams, Monisha Martin Turner and Carol Turner, the music video portrays two First Nations children learning the power that comes from merne mwerre and how bush tucker can be found on Country.  

Merne Mwerre was written and sung by first-time songwriter Edmond Doolan, an Arrernte man from Anapipe (Sandy Bore) north of Alice Springs and Arrernte leader for Children’s Ground's Men’s and Youth team.

The song is sung in both Eastern/Central Arrernte and English.       

Merne Mwerre is taken from the Arrernte language children’s album Ampe-mape Alyelheme (Kid’s Sing), released in 2023. Ampe-mape Alyelheme (Kid’s Sing) was an undertaking by Children’s Ground to remedy the lack of children’s music available in Arrernte language. Active since 2021, the Children’s Ground music project has been supported by contributions from Harry James Angus (The Cat Empire), Emily Lubitz (Tinpan Orange) and artists, families and educators local to Central Australia.  

The music video was produced in collaboration with, and support from, Lemon Tree Media and Productions, Bill Raby Diabetes Fellowship, Australian Government Indigenous Language and Arts Program and ABC Kids.  

Health and Wellbeing is one of the five key service platforms delivered by Children’s Ground in First Nations communities. This includes health promotion and prevention, nutrition, environmental health and support to access clinical health services, social and emotional wellbeing and traditional healing. The Health and Wellbeing platform aims to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for children, their families, and the broader community. This includes recognising, respecting, and privileging local cultural knowledge systems and practices, and the agency of First Nations people.    

Quotes attributable to Edmond Doolan, lead artist and Arrernte leader for Children’s Ground Men’s and Youth team: 

  • It’s important that First Nations children have educational resources and entertainment that speak to their culture. It helps our next generation grow up strong in their identity and proud of who they are. 
  • I wrote this song to educate our First Nations children on the benefits of our merne (bush tucker) and to show them that the Country surrounding them is filled with the goodness they need to grow up strong and healthy. 
  • I’m proud to be a part of something that gives strength to my culture, to the next generation and that shows the world the Country that we live in.     

Quotes attributable to Carol Turner, Arrernte language custodian and teacher:  

  • Anwerne ampe akweke mape akaltyele antheme merne mwerreke.
    We are teaching the little kids to sing the song about good bush tucker. 
  • This music video brings to life a strong message for our children to connect with their Apmere (Country) and find good health and strength from the land they live on. 
  • It also tells a strong message to other communities about the importance of bush tucker in Arrernte culture.
  • Like it is for Western children, we want First Nations children to have resources that help them learn, respect, speak, read, write and sing in their First Language.
  • I hope everyone enjoys our music video, sings along and joins us to learn our language through our uplifting and catchy music.    

Watch the Merne Mwerre music video 

Download the Merne Mwerre Activity Book