David Clarke is an incredibly talented musician! As a current resident at University Hall (UniHall) he is involved with the Humans of UniHall project by sharing his journey from living in Port Hedland and making the decision to pursue his dream of a music career by studying at The University of Western Australia. Hear his story below…
I was born and raised in Port Headland in 1997. My Dad was born in Port Headland as well, but his parents migrated from the Kimberly. My mother came from Carnarvon. I really loved Port Headland. It was such a good community.
I have been involved in music since I was young. When I was a child I hummed and sang before I spoke. I didn’t know how to speak until I was about seven, but I could sing with perfect pitch from when I was three or four. When I was four I would tune my ukulele to the key of a song playing on the radio and would start playing and singing along. Now I teach myself classical guitar and violin. Although I love playing these instruments, I think the mandolin is my favourite instrument. I’ve played it since I was seven.
Back home there was a Pilbara Music Festival involving musicians from all over the Pilbara and Australia. Professional musicians would attend as an adjudicator for the competition. I first attended as a guitar and choir student when I was ten. When I was in eighth grade, in 2011, I decided to attend as a solo artist. That year I won seven awards including the Outstanding Award.
My family are so proud that I’m here at university. Not many of my family has attended university, except my Dad’s two sisters, who studied at Curtin in the early 1980s. They are so proud because I am here and this is where I can find opportunities. I never thought about coming to university until I was in year eleven and my sister was doing the orientation course here at UWA. She is now doing a Bachelor of Design. I am currently doing the orientation course so that I can do Music.
UniHall has opened so many doors for me because you meet people from all over Australia and the world. It’s such a diverse place and you get to know people culturally and socially. It has given me good opportunities I would never have had back in my home town of Port headland. Events like Battle of the Bands are such a good experiences! Every Wednesday I go to Fremantle and rehearse with the West Australian Mandolin Orchestra, playing in the Mandola section.
Music is my happiness and my medicine. It’s such an important way of communicating. I used to think that I wanted to become a music teacher to share my knowledge. I want to inspire people. No matter what circumstances people come from, or what obstacles or difficulties they face, they can achieve what they want. Believe in yourself and stay strong. Education is very important, because with it, with any talent, it can take you anywhere.