Coloured Stone

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Coloured Stone
Origin Koonibba, Australia
Genres rock, ska, reggae & funk influence
Years active 1977–current
Members Bunna Lawrie and guest musicians.
Past members Selwyn Burns
Cee Cee Honey Bee
Tjimba Possum-Burns
Russell (Rusty) Pinky
Duane Lawrie
Neil Coaby
Mackie Coaby
Bart Willoughby
Selwyn Burns
Jason Scott
Bruce 'Bunny' Mundy
John John Miller
Joseph Williams
Ash Dargan
Robby Fletcher
Jojo Coleman
Corey Noll
Ash Dargan
Nicky Moffat, Lionel Sarmardin.

Coloured Stone is a band from the Koonibba Mission, west of Ceduna, South Australia. Their sound has been described as having a unique feel and Aboriginal (Indigenous Australian) qualities. The band performs using guitar, bass, drums, and Aboriginal instruments – didjeridu, bundawuthada (gong stone) and clap sticks – to play traditional music such as the haunting "Mouydjengara", a whale-dreaming song of the Mirning people.

Background and members[edit]

Bunna Lawrie (Feb 2012)

The original Coloured Stone band members were three brothers, Bunna Lawrie (drums & lead vocals), and Neil Coaby (rhythm guitar & backing vocals) and Mackie Coaby (bass & backing vocals), and their nephew, Bruce (aka Bunny) Mundy (lead guitar & backing vocals). All are from the mission settlement of Koonibba, South Australia. Bunna Lawrie is the leader and singer of the band and he was also their original drummer.

Bunna Lawrie is also a member and respected elder of the Mirning Aboriginal tribe from the Coastal Nullabor, South Australia. He is a Mirning whaledreamer and songman, medicine man and story teller of his tribe. He is Coloured Stone's founding member and chief songwriter.

The band's single, "Black Boy" was a success when first released in 1984 -it became the number one song in Fiji and it sold 120,000 copies. It was followed by "When You Gonna Learn" and "Dancin' in the Moonlight". The lyrics of "Black Boy" included the line "Black boy, black boy, the colour of your skin is your pride and joy," which was a somewhat revolutionary sentiment for Aboriginals of Australia in the 1980s. It moved black audiences to increase their dancing each time it was played at an early gig in Alice Springs.

Bunna Lawrie's son, Jason Scott played guitar, bass, drums and didgeridu for Coloured Stone from the age of 13 years. His first major gig was "Rock Against Racism" in Adelaide. Jason has also performed at the Sydney Opera House and he toured the US in 1994 with the Wirrangu Band as part of a cultural exchange program. With his band 'Desert Sea', Jason released an album in 2002 titled 'From the Desert to the Sea'.

The current members of Coloured Stone are: Bunna Lawrie (vocals, rhythm guitar, didgeridu, gong stone), Selwyn Burns (lead guitar, vocals), Peter Hood (drums), Cee Cee Honeybee (backing vocals) and guest musicians (bass guitarist, didgeridu player, keyboard player.

Support for Aboriginal causes[edit]

Peter Dawson reported on Coloured Stone's April 1998 outdoor gig; the first day Wild Water opened for Coloured Stone and Regurgitator at Brown's Mart Community Arts Centre, to an enthusiastic audience, both black and white, which danced til three in the morning. On the third day the band went to Jabiru, Northern Territory, to play at the Sports and Social Club. At dawn on day four, Coloured Stone travelled to Jabiluka to play on a makeshift stage in support of the Mirrar tribe's protest blockade of the road to a uranium mine on Mirrar land.

From March to August 2001, Bunna Lawrie and fellow Aboriginal musician Barry Cedric took part in a songwriting workshop for Aboriginal youth at Yarrabah. The young people learned to play musical instruments, compose a song and set it to music. At the end, six youths went to Cairns to record their song, "One Fire", in a recording studio.


Bunna Lawrie and his band Coloured Stone have won the following prestigious awards for their contribution to Australian Aboriginal music and Australian non-indigenous music:

  • 2012: National NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award (Australia) to Bunna Lawrie
  • 2011: National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame for Special Recognition (Australia) to Bunna Lawrie & Coloured Stone
  • 2000: Don Banks Music Award for Composers (Australia) to Bunna Lawrie
  • 1999: Deadly Vibe Awards for Outstanding Achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Australia) – National Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal music Award to Bunna Lawrie Coloured Stone
  • 1995: Brian Syron Scholarship Award (Australia) – Contribution to Aboriginal music
  • 1993: ARIA Award for Best Indigenous Record (nomination) for Inma Juju
  • 1990: ARIA Award for Best Indigenous Record (nomination) for Crazy Mind
  • 1989: ARIA Award for Best Cover Art (nomination) for Wild Desert Rose
  • 1987: ARIA Award for Best Indigenous Album for Human Love
  • 1978: Perth’s 3rd National Aboriginal Country Music Festival Talent (West Australia) – First Prize for Best Band
  • 1978: Perth’s 3rd National Aboriginal Country Music Festival Talent (West Australia) – Best Original Song for “Dancing in the Moonlight”



  • Dance to the Sun (2013)
  • Bunna Lawrie's ‘’Beautiful World’’ - solo album (2010)
  • Bunna Lawrie's Best of Coloured Stone II (2008)
  • Rhythm of Nature (1998)
  • Bunna Lawrie's Best Of Coloured Stone (1997)
  • Songs from the Nullarbor (1995)
  • Barefeet Dancing (1995)
  • Inma Juju (1991)
  • Crazy Mind (1989)
  • Wild Desert Rose (1988)
  • Human Love (1986)
  • Black Rock from the Red Centre (1986)
  • Koonibba Rock (1985)


  • "Australia" (2000)
  • "Love is the Medicine" (1992)
  • "Wild Desert Rose" (1988)
  • "Stay Young" (1988)
  • "Dancing in the Moonlight" (1986)
  • "Island Of Greed" (1985)
  • "Black Boy" (1984)