John Wayne Parsons is a proud Yuggerabul Meriam Le man based in Melbourne, and he is a proud father, husband, son, brother, cousin, nephew and uncle. John Wayne is the eldest of two children born to John Horatio and Avanel Joyce Parsons (nee Williams). John Wayne's father is Yuggerabul from south east Queensland and mother is Meriam Le with ancestral ties to other Island nations in the Torres Strait.
John Wayne prides himself on his culture and his singing practice, which is deeply embedded within his cultural identity and ancestral ties to cultural warriors and knowledge holders from both sides of his Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. John Wayne’s family are highly skilled men and women who have kept culture alive through ongoing practices that include story-telling, observing and keeping Lore, singing, dancing, gardening, spiritual guidance and practice, land management and using knowledge to navigate sea and read stars. John Wayne incorporates these important cultural perspectives into his music practice.
John Wayne has worked in the music industry for over 20 years as a composer, producer and performer. John Wayne's most notable performances include appearing in Uncle Archie Roach's film clip "Into The Blood Stream", performing with Deborah Cheetham in Australia's Opera Pecan Summer and performing "Mission Songs" with Jesse Lloyd, and singing at festivals including Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee and Womin Djeka Balnarring Ngargee.
John Wayne's work has been recognised at the Deadly Awards and at the BroadwayWorld Sydney Awards where he won Best Actor in an Opera.