About Island Stars
Island Stars is centred around strengthening the presence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture at a national level. To contribute to historical acceptance, equality, institutional integrity and unity. It aims at providing a platform for young Torres Strait Islanders to express their culture and traditions as well as providing an insight for non-indigenous Australians to watch, learn, listen and discuss to gain a better understanding of Island culture. Island Stars creates educational outcomes for children that provides employment opportunities in the future through performing and visual arts. It also promotes the Torres Straits as a tourism destination.
A proud Kala Lagaw Ya person from Badu, Joey has had a long career in both visual and performing arts. His performing art skills in traditional Island Dancing has enabled him to travel nationally and internationally, he has performed at some of the world’s biggest events including the Commonwealth Games. His visual art has been sold all over the world, he was a featured artist at the 2001 Brisbane exhibition “Gatherings, Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art from Queensland’ and his work is in catalogue at the National Gallery of Australia. He has been fortunate to use his art as strong connection to his country, people and culture – he has used this connection to draw strength and overcome challenges in both his personal and professional life. His vision for the Island Stars Academy is to transfer this knowledge and experience to ensure the next generation of Torres Strait youth can do the same.
‘My name is Joey Laifoo, I’m an Artist, dancer and love my culture.
My blood line comes from Badu, Moa (Kubin), Mabuiag, and Saibai Islands. My Badu clan is Argun, totem the stingray and my Badu wind is the north west wind. My clan Moa (Kubin) , my totem is the hammer head shark.My Mabuiag Island clan is Wagadagam, my totem is the crocodile and my wind is north west. My Saibai Island , my totem is the snake.
To me art, dancing, storytelling, songs and passing down knowledge to the next generation is very important as this practice has been part of my cultures way of life for many years right back to the head hunting warrior days and before that. It was a very important survival skill for live up in the Torres Strait Islands.
From a very young age, my family members always shared their stories about growing up on the islands, of the sea, land , wind, tide, stars, sky and their experience in dancing, art, hunting and reading the weather. I wanted to capture this these stories and knowledge in my art to share with my people so that our culture remains strong and knowledge is not lost and share with different cultures around the world.
My recent visit to Egypt showed me Ancient art is still telling stories Thousands of years later and teaching people so that has inspired me to continue documenting my peoples’ stories and events to hopefully share for thousands of years to come.
My goal in life is to love my family and teach our culture on to my son, two daughters, nephews, nieces and all my family members and my people. I love my family and my culture.’