A show heading to Bendigo will explore what life was like for Indigenous Australians who were forcibly relocated to missions during the 20th century.
The Mission Songs Project, from performer and music director Jessie Lloyd, delves into the secular songs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples created and passed on from the settlements.
"The songs are important," Ms Lloyd said. "They shine a light on Australia's history in a way that hasn't been accepted before.
"The songs gave the old people a voice in a time when they didn't have a voice."
Thousands of Indigenous Australians were forcibly relocated to missions, reserves, and stations during the 1900s.
Ms Lloyd spent more than two years travelling around Australia to speak to elders, and song men and women.
She has gathered more than 40 songs from around the country that were written about life on the missions and settlements.
"The subject matter of the songs vary," she said. "It depends on the area because there were different laws in different states.
"But in general, there has never been a first person account of the Aboriginal people's experience or thoughts and feelings from the missions.
"The only historic references written of that time were from missionaries or the administrators.
"These were times when people believed that Aboriginal people were a dying race," she said. "It was out of sight, out of mind.
"Nobody knew until now what was happening there."
Ms Lloyd said her research was still ongoing and she hoped she would find a song from Bendigo during her visit.
"All of these songs are public songs," she said. "I encourage people to connect and engage with them - that will indirectly encourage people to find more interest in the history."
Ms Lloyd will perform at the Ulumbarra Theatre on Thursday at 8pm. Tickets can still be purchased here.
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