‘Entertainment that might just change the world.’ For 10 years, Dirtgirl has connected with young children and families across her socials and through her shows Get Grubby TV and dirtgirlworld, inspiring and encouraging them to step outside and experience nature and sustainability in everyday life. She’s also recently released her debut album ‘Gumboot Boogie‘
Check out a week in Dirtgirl’s life, visiting Central Australia and performing at The Lost Lands Festival.
Job description in your own words
I’m a gumboot wearing, food growing musician. I think of myself as a story teller and a change maker. I’m on TV most days in Australia and in 128 countries around the world. I connect with millions of kids worldwide every day. I dig, plant, get grubby, sing, dance, listen, take photos, write, create, hangout, share, communicate, love and hug kids.
Above all, my job is to be me. Be organic and authentic. I work to profoundly connect people to nature, share the facts for deep understanding and inspire actions that brings about permanent behavioural change while having huge fun! I guess it’s more of a lifestyle than a job!
Off to Alice Springs, Arrernte Country. Flying in, the red earth of the desert yellows a little and the escarpments that surround the town of Alice come into view. I’m with my bestie Scrapboy and we’re excited. We have some time before dinner so we hit the Alice Springs Desert Park to explore and connect – this park is dedicated to honouring the diverse ecosystems of Central Australia – the heart of our country. The desert might look dry but it’s JAM PACKED with life – on the ground and in the sky. This is why we love doing what we do – we’re full of awe at the beauty of the landscape! And we’re inspired to help protect this country that we’re visiting.
Fruit salad for breakfast and then I quickly slam my gumboots on… ready for action. We set off early for Titjikala. The bitumen becomes red earth and smooth road turns into corrugations. I notice water droplets on the windscreen and then it’s raining – in the desert! This is special! We arrive in Titji and it’s time to get grubby! We meet the community who are traditional owners of that land and together we plant a garden. Even when your feet hurt, they feel the connection to country when you are standing on it… there is nothing like it. I learn as much as I share on these trips. It’s the kid’s eyes that really bring it home to me. We plant together and talk about the things that thrill our tummies. We speak of the promise of a seed and sing my planting song together to remind ourselves about the care the seed needs to reach its full potential. I still can’t quite believe that kids in the desert know all the words to the song. Together we water the food of their future.
I wake up SO excited to head to a very old, desert community called Apatula/Finke. This is part of the trip that Scrapboy has been looking forward to. He is excited to see how they handle their waste management out there, hours from anywhere. We have heard great stories about what they are up to and we know they are finalist in the National Tidy Town Competition this year. When we connect, understand and act – people do amazing things! And the community in Finke is definitely doing AMAZING things. The men here are literally making history. I often think to myself ‘We have so much knowledge about how to care for our country and the future generations; but what’s it gonna take to be responsible about how we consume in our daily lives and how we deal with our waste?’ We need to sort it out! Finke is so impressive, they KNOW how to sort it out!
Today is a very special day in my heart. I’m heading back to Ltyentye Apurte/Santa Teresa. Two months ago Costa the Garden Gnome and I had visited the preschool and had planted gardens with the WHOLE community. Today we’re back to see how their gardens are growing – and they are flourishing! We take so many photos with the proud kids in front of their sunflowers and citrus trees and veggies. Together we’re all learning how to grow our own food in the desert!
On the way back to town we pull over on the side of the road. We have been waiting for the perfect spot. And here in central Australia… with Ltyentye Apurte behind us… I feel like I am in the heart of this country. Scrapboy and I stand shoulder to shoulder, and heart to heart as we film our message for #kidsoffnauru. This is really important for us. We want to speak up, even though we know doing so may make some people think differently of us. But for me the truth is the truth. In the car I’m quiet, thinking of those kids who haven’t got the freedom to travel like this and I hope they will soon be off Nauru and finding a real home.
Travel day. We’re Melbourne bound. I have days like this each week. As an artist and an eco warrior, I need to stay connected with my community. So today I catch up on my social media – my Facebook @dirtgirlworldTV and my Instagram @dirtgirlworldofficial… Social media is how I connect with people all over the globe but it can be a lot of looking at the screen. So wherever I am, I always take time to connect with nature.
A bit more transit this morning as we head to festival land out at Werribee. This weekend we play at The Lost Lands Festival. A singalong in the car gets us there in no time. It’s a bit of an energy balancing day today. The Lost Lands is a beautifully curated music festival for families that doesn’t cost the earth. It’s commitment to the planet is impressive. It’s right up our alley! I get a sneak peek as we drop in to do some PR photos for the festival socials before we check into our Airbnb, practice my singing and catch an early night.
It’s show time – as Scrapboy and I make our way through the crowd, we are met with huge buzz! So many families are saying they’re here just for us – we are so happy to feel the love! At 3.30 we hit the BIG TOP stage with our show, “Buzz”. Families are crowded all around the stage, the air inside the tent is electric and together we learn why bees do bum dances and how to get our backyards buzzing. After our show, I sit in and listen to Papa John tell a wild tale. He is the Grandad of The Lost Lands, and an impressive storyteller. We talk to Papa John, then Simon and Dave (the festival Co-Founders) about the sustainability story of The Lost Lands. When I hear them speak, my heart jumps because I know we are of the same tribe – we all believe that nature first, is second nature! And that little things do make a big difference.
Gig day! We’re at The Lost Lands again and today I’ll find my place on the Lost Lands Main Stage alongside acts like Clare Bowditch, Tim Finn and Da Baker Boy.
I stand in the tent back stage in a huddle with my band, they are not called Mother Earth for nothing… grounded and solid… I feel supported and loved. They are like the country I visited this week. We’re warming up our voices and I can feel the excitement building in my toes. Those toes always go first.. wriggling in my gumboots, itching to bound onto stage. We finish on a big note and we are ready. Back stage is fun. We have the crew filming the gig (as well as the back story about festival sustainability). The banana pancakes for breakfast are fuelling me nicely… gotta love festival food. We take a quick family photo and then we are on stage. There is nothing better than partying with thousands of families, under an open sky with a ferris wheel in plain sight. Five girls on stage, nailing it and sending so much love and good vibes to the crowd. And the crowd, beaming and dancing and singing right back at us. This is a golden moment in my life. For the rest of the day I film some interviews, dance to Baker Boy, meet heaps of kids, sit up a tree, eat more festival food and hang out with my friends. Sounds corny but I found some stuff I’ll never forget at The Lost Lands.
Challenges and Accomplishments in your week
Getting enough sleep and making sure I eat well and ethically while I am travelling can be challenging.
I love the amount of people I connected with this week and the opportunities to do positive stuff for the planet and be with people who feel the same.
All the rehearsal and work to get everything together for The Lost Lands was totally worth it and I am so proud of the whole team for making this happen and taking it to ‘the place where our dreams come true’ realm.
Highlights of the week
Being in Central Australia, creating the #KidsOfNauru campaign video and performing at The Lost lands…what a week!
Being delivered the hard copies of my new CD – Gumboot boogie… BONUS!
Lowlights of the week
Seeing so many people at airports with single use coffee cups. Those tiny milks on planes. City traffic – not used to it! Missing Costa the Garden Gnome.
Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field
Do it. Mixing creating, with your values and living a connected life where you can make a difference is rewarding, like nothing else! Knowing who you are and being brave enough to be authentic and true is the secret. It is not hard to reflect the values of planet care in how you work, and what is produced and put out into the world from you… and because of you. You are not a nuisance or weird if you ask for a rider that doesn’t include bottled water, or for wanting product packaging that is planet friendly, or for needing offsetting on all your travel, or if you choose to wear second hand clothes, or the same thing over and over. In fact you will be admired for it. Do it with love and joy. Do it for yourself. Do it for the future.