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The answer is the ukulele.

Queensland tourism campaigns are notoriously all over the place. From the brilliant “Beautiful one day. Perfect the next” to the truly awful “Where the bloody hell are you?”. With the scenery that’s available it shouldn’t be surprising that the pictures are usually stunning. However, there is something that has always been missing.

Queensland has no sound track.

I come from a fourth generation in the Fiji Islands, where I grew up. Today I live on a Queensland beach. Apart from a much colder climate in winter there are a great many features here that are constant reminders of my Fiji childhood. There are coconut trees and they bear fruit. There are frangipanis and hibiscus and paw paws, which we called mummy apples, and there are guavas and mangoes.

So what do I miss? I miss the music of untrained voices in perfect harmony. I miss the infectious sound of laughter from people passing by. Most of all I miss the background to all those memories of my early days. I miss the sound of ukuleles.

Queensland needs a sound track. Not another “C’mon Aussie” or “Hey True Blue”. Those are just songs. In that area I have always thought that Graeme Connors comes closest to having a Queensland sound but Queensland remains short of a sound track.

My solution? Give everyone in Queensland a ukulele. Everyone, or at least the kids.

Much cheaper than those lap tops that our children were promised but are still waiting for. And even if they get no further than “Little Brown Jug” most will soon  be able to strum a “uke”. Before you know it Queensland will have a sound track.

It is interesting that while I was pondering this question I received a newsletter from my friend the maestro “muso”  Garry Smith who heads up a creative group called Jamhouse. In the newsletter he points to the fact that the ukulele has recently come into its own. There are a number of ukulele bands being formed and more and more this instrument is in demand for commercials and other sound tracks. When I mentioned this to my son Dan who is a camera operator working out of Melbourne he told me that an acquaintance of his, a professional guitarist, has put down his guitar and picked up a ukulele.

So the move is on and it’s time for Queensland to lay claim to the instrument. Then all I’ll miss is the music of untrained voices in perfect harmony and the infectious laughter of passers by.

For now, I’m off to polish up my rendition of “Little Brown Jug”.

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