Rochelle Pitt-Watson has Aboriginal (Butchella Cubbi Cubbu) and Torres Strait Islander (Erub) heritage and has been singing professionally since she was twenty-three, including six years performing in Brisbane.
She has performed for local Indigenous and wider community events whilst also working as a registered nurse and raising a family. She has developed as a songwriter and recording artist and was a contestant on the high profile Australian version of the X-Factor musical television competition.
Her music draws upon Indigenous and contemporary music, and infuses them with Soul, Blues and Jazz flavourings. Rochelle Pitt-Watson continues to write and sing songs that have meaning to her and express her views on life, family, culture and community and on being an Indigenous woman.
Erub (Darnley Island)
Erub (Darnley Island) is in the Eastern islands cluster of the Torres Strait region and is of volcanic origin. It is well watered, fertile and hilly and is located at the north-eastern extremity of Torres Strait near the Great Barrier Reef. The rich surrounding marine environment was historically a centre for maritime industries, which attracted many overseas migrants. The Darnley Deep was one area in particular with abundant pearl shell beds in its deep waters and strong currents.
The first Christian missionaries to Torres Strait arrived at Erub at Kemus in 1871, an event commemorated yearly by Torres Strait Islanders on 1 July as the Coming of the Light. The arrival of members of the London Missionary Society is celebrated through re-enactments, feasts and the singing of traditional hymns.
Today there are approximately 400 residents on Erub (Darnley Island) and a school, health centre, airport, art centre, stores and several Christian demonization and government offices service the community. There is a passionate emphasis on traditional knowledge in the local school.