During the 2019/20 Kangaroo Island Bushfires, on the first night when families and holidaymakers were being evacuated from the western end of the Island to the township of Kingscote, Christine Rourke’s street and home were teaming with people.
As the night progressed, while listening to the stories of the evacuees, the words of The Island started to form in Christine’s head.
“In the afternoon of the following day, I sat down in a quiet corner and the words poured out of my head onto paper, and the melody started to form in my head.”
A few weeks after the worst of the fires had hit, Christine was back jamming with her local Uke group, The Rogues, and she shared her song with them.
A few months passed, and while working a shift at Amadio’s Wine Bar, Christine spied Aussie music legend John Paul Young unobtrusively enjoying a meal at the Kingscote venue. Slightly starstruck, she approached him to invite him to jam with The Rogues, with the goal of boosting morale, particularly as one of the members had lost their farm in the fires. JPY agreed to spend 15 minutes with them, which turned into a 2½ hour session that naturally included a rendition of his hit song, Love Is In The Air. As he was about to leave, members of The Rogues encouraged Christine to perform The Island for him.