Edward Lampton’s heritage comes from the Aboriginal Bundjalung and Walawarra peoples of New South Wales and also the Yakel tribe of Tanna Island, Tafea Province, Vanuatu.
Much of his musical experience has been within the tradition of Christian worship. At fifteen years of age, he first played bass and then learned keyboards and guitar, eventually becoming his church’s music director.
He also has performed at corporate functions in the Cairns area and gained choral experience in the Dancing the Line musical theatre production, along with singing at the 2012 Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair (CIAF) and performing for National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) events in Cairns. Edward Lampton continues to develop his musical skills such as singing for studio recordings.
The original Aboriginal inhabitants of the north-eastern coastal regions of New South Wales and adjacent areas in south-eastern Queensland are the Bundjalung peoples. They have occupied the region for approximately forty-five thousand years and were widely dispersed across the hills, valleys, rivers and shorelines of ecologically diverse homelands. They would move seasonally as different food resources became available and there were sufficient food resources available to lead semi-sedentary lifestyles based on hunting, fishing and gathering.
Bundjalung people spoke related dialects of the Bandjalang language. The major dialect groups occupied specific territories and also held specific cultural connections to the land and waters of their territories through legends, rituals and art works.
Contact with European colonisers began with Captain James Cook’s exploration of Australia’s east coast in 1770, when he named geographical features with the English names Cape Byron, Mount Warning and Point Danger. By the 1840s increasing agricultural and logging activities disrupted traditional livelihoods and activities and eventually by the early 20th century, as elsewhere in Australia, Aboriginal peoples had been dispossessed of their lands, missionised and subjected to the ‘protection’ of governments. The latter policy of enforced separation and legislated discrimination continued into the 1960s although gradually diminishing. The historic 1992 Australian High Court Decision (the Mabo Decision) finally recognised Native Title for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Subsequently, the Australian Parliament Native Title Act of 1993 was passed and a National Native Title Tribunal established to register, hear and determine native title claims. Since then, Bundjalung peoples have actively worked to reassert their claims for and re-establish connections to their ancestral homelands.
Ballina, Beaudesert, Casino, Gold Coast, Grafton, Lismore, Tweed Heads and Warwick are just some of the modern cities in the historic homelands of the Bundjalung peoples. Some remnants of their region’s ecological diversity are preserved in the Bundjalung National Park.