Award-winning song performed by school choirs will become children’s book too
Australian music icon John Williamson picked up another ARIA award last night alongside creative agency Innocean for Voice of the Sea, an anthem for ocean protection he recorded for the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
Voice of the Sea won the ARIA for Best Use of an Australian Recording in an Advertisement (over two minutes) for an AMCS campaign highlighting the plight of the Great Barrier Reef, our oceans and marine life. The campaign was produced by creative agency, Innocean.
The iconic singer and conservationist launched the new national anthem for our oceans with the Glenmore Road Public School choir in November 2022 and it has now been performed by more than 15,000 school children around the country. Voice of the Sea has evolved into a curriculum-led education program and now the song is being released as a beautifully illustrated storybook for preschool children, published by Penguin Random House (Puffin).
Mr Williamson said: “My affinity with the ocean is as strong as my connection to and love for the bush. When I sat down to write about our love for the oceans, I couldn’t help but think about all the problems we’ve caused our seas and their wildlife, even though we say we love them.
“My lyrics reference global warming, overfishing and the risk of losing some of our incredible marine wildlife. It’s not too late but we need more people to sing out and be the voices of our seas. That’s why I wanted to support the Australian Marine Conservation Society with this song because they provide Australians with a way to speak out for our seas through its important conservation work.”
AMCS Chief Executive Darren Kindleysides said: “Together with John Williamson and our agency partner, Innocean, we are honoured to have been awarded an ARIA for Voice of the Sea. An ARIA is an incredible accolade, and it’s also a powerful platform to educate and inspire a broader audience about marine conservation issues.
“The creativity and beauty of the song and animation has captivated Australians and we hope it inspires them to take a moment to appreciate how lucky we are to have this incredible big blue backyard and all the wondrous wildlife within it.”
Innocean client partner Carolyn Cho said: “We, like all Aussies, love the oceans that surround us, yet our seas and marine life are in desperate need of protection.
“Music has the power and an innate ability to connect with future generations, teaching children to learn about, love and respect our natural environment. Our collaboration for AMCS with the iconic songwriter, John Williamson, Voice of the Sea, is much more than a song; it’s a national anthem for the ocean for the younger generation to literally become voices for the sea, forming a choir to protect it.”
Hear Voice of the Sea at https://WMA.lnk.to/JWVOTS
See the video at https://amcs.org.au/
About John Williamson
John Williamson has sold more than 5 million albums and passed a billion streams in a career spanning 52 years. He has won 27 Golden Guitar awards and now four ARIA awards, and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Williamson’s hit True Blue became an alternative national anthem while Rip Rip Woodchip became a soundtrack to logging protests. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia “for service to Australian country music and in stimulating awareness of conservation issues”.
Voice of the Sea campaign production
Artist: John Williamson
Record company: Warner Music Australia
Creative strategy and production: Innocean
Direction and animation: Dropbear
Illustrations and character designs: Andrea Innocent
Executive Producer: Oliver Lawrance
Production company: Photoplay/Playtime