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