Indigenous Storyteller & Inspirational Keynote
Jeremy Donovan descends from the Kuku-Yalanji tribe of far Northern Queensland. One of Australia’s most celebrated keynote speakers and performers, his exceptional skill with the didgeridoo, and extensive knowledge of his cultural heritage have earned him the recognition of his peers as a master storyteller and performer.
Jeremy draws on his personal experiences of adversity and his expertise to speak about Indigenous disparity. He is truly passionate about elevating the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. “The culture and the wisdom of this country does not belong to us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, it belongs to US as Australians.”
Jeremy worked as the spokesperson and National Development Director for Generation One and in 2014 was appointed as Chief Executive Officer to lead the campaign and end disparity through employment. In September 2015, he stood down from the role to pursue his own business ‘Walking with Wisdom’ a consultancy that engages with Government, corporates and the community.
More about Jeremy Donovan:
Among the many great influences in his life, were Jeremy’s Grandfather as well as Tribal elders from his community and others across Australia. These influences continue to provide Jeremy with greater ambitions to show the true richness of his amazing Cultural heritage.
Working with youth is one of Jeremy’s great passions. He travels to both remote and urban communities working with youth development. Jeremy’s work with youth is based around building self esteem, self worth and gaining a greater understanding of Identity, the same battle Jeremy once faced. His message is powerful, purpose based and straightforward.
Jeremy is also extremely focused on the development of his music, art and sharing his intimate knowledge of Traditional Healing and Sacred Ceremony. A talented well-recognised artist, his art has been featured in several solo exhibitions and is included in large private collections in California, Seattle and Colorado. He has been described as one of the most collectable young Aboriginal Artists of Australia. For Jeremy, he often describes his artwork as a medicine for his spirit. He see’s his artwork as a gateway to connecting with his ancestors. “Painting is how I meditate”.
Since 2005 Jeremy has spent extended periods of time working throughout the USA, performing at festivals, corporate functions and different spiritual events. A deeply spiritual man, he thrives on spending time with indigenous people from all over the world. He has performed alongside some of the world’s best musicians and composers including the American band – System Of A Down; King Errisson – Neil Diamond’s percussionist; Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also toured extensively throughout USA, Canada, Hawaii, Tahiti, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Asia and the UK playing at both World Music Festivals and cultural centres.
Jeremy has played at many prestigious venues and events including Australia’s Parliament House; The Staple Centre Los Angeles; Queen Elizabeth II, Amsterdam cruise liners; The Grand Opening of ground breaking film “Rabbit Proof Fence” (which shares close similarities to Jeremy’s family history).
Jeremy 'Yongurra' Donovan talks about:
One of Australia’s most celebrated Aboriginal Keynote speakers, Jeremy speaks on a wide range of topics, drawing from personal life experiences to some of the current battles people of today can often face from both sides of his heritage. Full of energy, his words are eloquent, bold and relevant to an audience.
- Overcoming Adversity – Having Jeremy share this story with your clients and staff will allow them the opportunity to see the potential in all the many challenges that present themselves through life. This will empower your clients and staff to see how they can meet the challenges of work life on a day to day basis. This is an insight into the personal life of Jeremy Donovan. Jeremy speaks candidly about the struggles with understanding identity, overcoming drugs and alcohol, and his drive to forge a positive path in life. Jeremy’s stories are moving and inspiring as he reveals the steps to ‘Walking Free’.
- Eyes Of Judgement – This moving keynote is filled with energy and laughs. Using personal stories of judgement, Jeremy allows audiences to realise how the ‘eyes of judgement, are more often eyes of betrayal’. Jeremy reflects on how our society has become so dependent on how we see people opposed to judging individuals on their truths. This topic is an important insight for all your conference attendees in teaching and sharing acceptance of our constantly changing world.
- Traditional Healing and Its importance in Modern Australia – This keynote will give your attendees something to consider and think about. Through this keynote Jeremy Donovan will speak to audiences about the traditional understanding of healing, and how people misinterpret the word healing for ‘Cure’. Jeremy will allow insights into traditional understanding of how the physical body and the spiritual exist together. Through Jeremy’s majestic weaving of words he brings the realisation of the need to experience these traditions to gain a greater understanding to the land we live.
- Healing your Ancestral Wounds – Jeremy Donovan has gained great recognition speaking nationally and internationally on this topic. He reveals how often we only look at pain as a physical form e.g., inflicted from our upbringing, negative relationships. Traditionally The Kuku Yalanji believed that you could inherit pain from genetics that create patterns of behavior that are not taught. These Ancestral wounds are stored memories on a cellular level. Using traditional healing methods of vibration with the Yigi Yigi (Didgeridoo) this vibration can allow us access to the healing of these negative stored wounds.
- Understanding Aboriginal Culture Today – This is a topic Jeremy Donovan speaks powerfully on as he brings to life stories of his own experiences living as an Urban Aboriginal still deeply connected to cultural ways. As you listen to Jeremy speak you can feel the pride that Jeremy has in the ancestral history of Australia.
- Walk With Wisdom – Jeremy shares something that all Australians share, patriotism and an appreciation of how lucky and beautiful Australia is. Jeremy Speaks of the importance of breaking down the walls of separation that exist between non-Indigenous and Indigenous. “Only when we sit together or walk together will be able to re write the wrongs. Constantly reliving the painful past is walking backwards, we should never forget but we should walk free and forward. While listening to Jeremy speak, you will be taken on a journey that will connect you with the true vibration of Australia. Giving all Australians and people alike a true sense of Australian pride.”
After listening to Jeremy Speak, I have a sense of pride about being Australian that I have never felt before. INSPIRATIONAL
Jeremy is very professional and flexible which enables him to easily adapt to local conditions. As a multi-talented solo artist he was able to deliver a great program which touched on a variety of themes, including indigenous art, music, dance, culture and history
-Australian Emabassy Sri Lanka
Without a doubt Jeremy Donovan brings a wonderful and authentic energy in his presentation. We had the privilege of having Jeremy involved with our International Congress where he charmed and mesmerized delegates from all around the globe and also at our National Conference. Jeremy is a delightful person whose creativity, passion and joy has an indelible impact on delegates Jeremy takes his audience collectively and personally on a wonderful journey. He is a genuine storyteller of another level and brings such a depth of beauty and sincerity that is truly spellbinding
-NESA Conference Manager
It was as if I could not hear his words, only feel them, I could not stop the tears. Jeremy's story touches something in Everyone
Hearing Jeremy’s story I have never felt more connected to Australia