Keep The Fire Burning!

As NAIDOC Week approaches, Xavier Catholic College has proudly created their latest Red Dust music video.

The song is inspired by this year's theme, ‘Keep The Fire Burning – Blak, Loud and Proud!’

The Journey

Upon Red Dust’s arrival in Wurrumiyanga, the students got straight into the creative process. They started writing lyrics, crafting beats, and filming the music video, coming together as a team to create something truly special. The lyrics are predominantly in Tiwi language, sharing the Tiwi culture and the student's interpretation of this year's NAIDOC Week theme.

Students recording 'Keep The Fire Burning'

The Song: Keep The Fire Burning


Ngarikirimi Yikwani

Karri Kimirrakinari

Pili waya ngawuriyi kapi

Nginingawula timani

Pili waya kumurrupunari

Lets come together

Keep the fire burning

We’ll stand forever


Ngawulaya-punyanyimi ngini paparluwi

Putuwurupura, Tiwi Ngirramini

Tiwi Ngirramini

One culture

One language

One voice, many song

Keep our people connected and strong!

So come along  

Stand together  

Forever, no matter whats the weather

Ngarlipwariyi Ngarlipwariyi kapi warta

Ngarlipwariyi kapi warta

Jurrumumi ngaymami yikwani, yikwanamini

Kapi nginingawula murrakupuni yuwurrara Tiwi ratuwarti

Ngarikirimi pupuni timani nginingwula murrakupuni

Let’s come together

Keep the fire burning

We’ll stand forever


Ngawulaya-punyanyimi ngini paparluwi

Putuwurupura, Tiwi Ngirramini

Tiwi Ngirramini

Karri ngawuriyi warta

Ngarikirimi milimika

Waya awungarri jilamara yirrinkiripwaja

Kiyi yoyi ngayimami, ngayimami

Lets come together to dance

Traditional ways

Be strong in our culture forever and ever

forever and ever

Yikwani arikirimi pupuni murrakupuni

Karri kimirrakinari ngarukuruwala

Kiyi yoyi ngayimami, ngayimami

Let’s come together

Keep the fire burning

We’ll stand forever


Ngawulaya-punyanyimi ngini paparluwi

Putuwurupura, Tiwi Ngirramini

Tiwi Ngirramini

Ngawulaya-punyanyimi ngini paparluwi

Putuwurupura, Tiwi Ngirramini

Tiwi Ngirramini

Students filming for 'Keep The Fire Burning'

Tiwi Culture

Every Thursday, Xavier Catholic College dedicates a portion of the afternoon to cultural education. During Red Dust's program week, groups went on-Country and participated in traditional ceremonies. At the request of community, footage of this experience has been documented and used in the music video, capturing the essence of ‘Keep The Fire Burning.’

Tammy Kerinaiua, a teacher at Xavier Catholic College, shared insights into the cultural significance of the body paint and colours worn by the students.

“The decorations are particularly striking, in addition to the usual body painting. The striking and painting elaborations protect the initiate from evil spirits. The social and ceremonial life of the Tiwi evolved from stories of creation times. The art of Tiwi and the major ceremonies that features in Tiwi life are a reflection pf the ancestorial laws laid down during creation period.  

The prescribed rituals which were followed (shown above) were given to the Tiwi by the Nyingawi (bush people). Marakati, a spirit watches for offenders during Kulama ceremony and will punish any misdemeanor (wrongdoing in law).  

We paint ourselves with all colours of Ochre.  

JILAMARA YIRRINKIRIPWAJA NGAWA-LAMIYA NGIMPIRIKIMAMIYA (a line is drawn from the centre of the forehead right through to the face).  

The painting tells the story of the dreamtime history such as Purrukupari, the first Tiwi who invented Tiwi ceremonies for his son, Jirnani.  

We also have different styles of the Tiwi face painting on our faces. But the striking patterns (shown above) are a very simple style that we use nowadays with our Tiwi students at school.  

The Ochre paints are:  




(the colours) are used for body painting elaborations to protect the Tiwi people from Mapurtiti (spirits of the dead)."

Cultural education with Xavier Catholic College

Tientebei Beach

The stunning Tientebei Beach, a short drive from Wurrumiyanga, was the perfect backdrop for scenes in the music video.  

Working together, students, teachers, and community members gathered to create a large bonfire. The evening was filled with fun activities, as the kids coaxed crabs from their shells and drew turtles in the sand.  

As the sun went down, the group danced around the fire and on the drive home, it was non stop singing – a truly special way to end the day.  

Tientebei Beach

Premiere Screening

The students celebrated their hard work with a premiere screening of 'Keep The Fire Burning'.  

The song is a beautiful dedication to the NAIDOC Week theme but also captures the heart and soul of community.  

Stay tuned for the song to go live on YouTube in July.  

Are you ready to be a part of the Red Dust story?

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A big thank you goes to:  

  • Xavier Catholic College
  • Agnico Eagle