Donna Dyson Nominated For Air Awards 2021

There are people in this world who have chosen to rise above their disability and go on to achieve amazing things in life. One of them is Brisbane’s Donna Dyson, the genius behind Spotty Kites, which has been nominated for Best Independent Children’s Album at Australian Independent Record (AIR) Awards of 2021.

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Ms Dyson was not born blind. When she was two years old, she tripped over and fell onto a cacti, with the thorn going into her left eye giving her a traumatic cataract.  That incident left her completely blind in that eye. However, she grew up with her other eye functioning just fine and she was able to do everything that anyone else could, including driving a car.

Then in 2012, whilst she was wrapping presents, everything just went black.  It turned out she had a stroke and that left her with legal blindness. Around ten months later, her doctors found an inoperable brain tumour, which has been the cause of her sight loss.

But suffering from legal blindness did not stop Ms Dyson from doing what she loves, which is writing children’s songs. This passion led her to become an international award-winning composer and songwriter. Ms Dyson has written almost 90 music singles with 41 going straight to number one. She has two music labels: Spotty Kites and Dyson & Young, which are both signed globally to MGM distribution. 

“After the first stroke I realised I couldn’t speak straight away, but I could sing, create and compose. It just connected me even more with the people for who I write music – kids,” Ms Dyson said.

Her success and talent come from her research-based knowledge and deep understanding that children sing before they speak or read.

Many people may not know it, but Ms Dyson spent the first two decades of her life as a teacher, educator, university academic and lecturer and significantly published author. Specialising in pedagogy, literacy, literature and the arts, she has worked with many organisations as both advisor and advocate.  

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Her label Spotty Kites, one of the most popular children’s music labels in Australia is one of the five finalists for the Independent Children’s Album category at 2021 Air Awards. 

“The songs are much more than fun tunes. Spotty Kites’ is composed to focus upon LITERACY THROUGH MUSIC and STORIES THROUGH SONGS. Every track is developing language, forging neuro links and bringing extensive learning, early childhood literacy development and joy,” she said.

The AIR Awards is known as the Golden Globes of the Australian music industry. This year’s awards night was held virtually, streamed live from AIR’s YouTube channel on 5 August 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Adelaide time. See the results from AIR’s website.