HUGE PASSION: Benjamyn Willson playing his didgeridoo.
HUGE PASSION: Benjamyn Willson playing his didgeridoo.

From a piece of pipe to the world

"I TOOK a minute to take it all in and acknowledge what I was a part of.”

Benjamyn Willson knew he was making history.

The Dalby raised man was front and centre at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, playing his didgeridoo in the Four Winds Orchestra in front of the world.

"Walking out to the 35,000 people at the stadium was amazing, there's no words to describe the emotion that I felt. Every hair on my body was standing up,” Mr Wilson said.

"I was riding that wave the whole night and am still riding that wave now.”

Mr Willson said his heritage means the world to him after falling in love with the didgeridoo at a young age.

"I've been playing since I was about five-years-old, my cousin Chris Appleton started teaching me and I started practising on my Mum's vacuum cleaner. I'd also use anything I could get my hands on like PVC pipe and have a bit of a toot on that,” Mr Willson recalled.

"It meant so much to be a part of something like this (opening ceremony).... to finally be acknowledged in the community...that was the first time the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags have been risen in a Commonwealth Games ceremony.

"I love my culture... non-indigenous and indigenous men were in the group, so to showcase that to the world was amazing.”

Mr Willson, who currently resides in Rockhampton, was thankful to his employer Hertz and family for making it possible to be involved in the games.

"I saw a post on Facebook from the Yugambeh Museum and they were looking for 500 didgeridoo players from around the country.

"I responded to that and sent them a one minute rehearsal video... they said they'd love to have me if I could get down to the Gold Coast for a month of rehearsal.

"My boss organised me a transfer for work and I stayed with my mother and step father.

"Everything just fell into place beautifully.”


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