Travels with Charlie

John B Best
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00916
Published online: 2 November 2015

Playing woodwind instruments has long been shown to assist those with asthma; now playing the didgeridoo is also found to help

I first met Charlie McMahon in Australia’s bicentennial year when he played at a dinner I was hosting. Charlie is a “whitefella” who, ironically, lived most of his early life around Blacktown in New South Wales. His virtuosity on the didgeridoo gained him international attention both playing with his own band, Gondwanaland, and with Midnight Oil in the 1980s and 1990s. After the dinner, a memorable moment was captured when he was jamming with Galarrwuy Yunupingu — two didgeridoo exponents at the height of their musical powers.

  • University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Eley R. The potential effects of the didgeridoo as an Indigenous intervention for Australian Aborigines: a post analysis. Music Med 2013; 5: 84-92.
  • 2. Marks M. Musical and wind instruments in rehabilitation of asthmatic children. Ann Allergy 1974; 33: 313-319.
  • 3. Garde M, Danaja P, Djelkwarrngi Wood T. That didjeridu has sent them mad. In Chance I, editor. Kaltja Now: Indigenous Arts Australia. Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press, 2000: 12-25.


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