Find the Way Home

Find the Way Home is part two from the song cycle ‘Island Heroes’ composed in 2005 for the Nona children of Badu Island in the Torres Strait, commissioned by George Torbay and Ian Jefferson for the Department of Education Primary Choral Concert series at the Sydney Opera House.

In 2004 the Nona’s were on a trip in their small ‘tinny’ to visit family on a neighbouring island. Their trip turned to disaster when the boat was swamped, capsising the whole family. Incredibly, the three children swam for 2 days, navigating their way through the ocean from open water, to a reef, and finally to an island where they were rescued. It is considered one of the great modern survival stories of the sea.

“Halfway through their seven-day ordeal, 12-year-old Stephen Nona stood on a barren outcrop of rocks in the Torres Strait and told his two sisters: “We have to swim or we’ll die.” The sea had already taken their parents and a four-year-old nephew after their boat overturned. On the horizon, they could barely see the top of a single palm tree. It promised survival, yet seemed impossibly far away. The three children joined hands and said “with one heart one mind, we can make it there”. The Age Newspaper

Sample recording courtesy of the Hillcrest Christian College Choirs, Directed by Jenny Moon


Sing a choir favourite Sing a Jarman classic Sing a message Sing an Australian story Sing for an eisteddfodd Sing the adventure
Duration 3:30
Key G Major
Range B3 to E5
More info Also available with strings. Well suited to ocean drums and percussion. Contact Paul for parts and scores.


F I N D   T H E   W A Y   H O M E                        
A song for the Nona children of Badu Island

By Paul Jarman

With one heart, one mind we can make it there
With the will to survive we can make it there.

Look into the sky, listen to the wind.
Swim or die, must survive
Island spirits call

We can make it there
At the turning of the tide

Brother, sister, swim like a dolphin 
Into the wind, chasing the sun
Brother, sister, we must survive
One heart, one mind
Find the way home

Mother, father, always beside us
Never a final goodbye
Mother, father, don’t give up hope
There’s always a way back home

We can make it there
At the turning of the tide

© Paul Jarman 2005