It’s the greatest honour to be able to represent and give back to the country that I now love and cherish as my home.
Lawyer by day, rock star by night, Daniel Estrin replaces the courtroom for the stage, and case files for a keytar, to represent Australia in the largest musical event in Europe.
On the evening of 11 May, Perth-based solicitor Daniel Estrin is stepping onto a stage in the M&S Arena in Liverpool, England.
He’s not hosting a presentation about migration law in Australia, nor is he receiving an award from the Merseyside Law Centre. On this night (5am on Friday 12 May AEST), Estrin is representing Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest as the lead singer of the band Voyager.
Sef-described as a “lawyer by day, rockstar by night”, Estrin is a partner at the Estrin Saul firm in Perth, specialists in migration law. When he’s at home, his long hair is properly combed back, with a suit to match his composed appearance. But on the stage, the do comes down in the majesty of a wavy metal hairdo, perfect for headbanging. The suit is now laden with sequins, and, instead of closing statements, he belts into a microphone with a perfect 80s vocal timbre.
Born and raised in Germany, Estrin migrated to Australia when he was 11. He brought with him that European obsession with Eurovision. A mix of national pride and camp fascination, the contest gave the world Abba, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias, Enya, and a young Olivia Newtown-John representing the United Kingdom (she finished fourth behind a certain Swedish quartet).
Estrin started Estrin Saul with partner Reuben Saul as a way to help new migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to navigate the complex Australian immigration system. But the calling to perform never left, and in 2009 he was one of the founding members of Voyager, a synth-metal outfit described by Estrin as “System of a Down meets A-HA” or “pop on top, metal at the bottom”.
Since 2009 the band has seen members come and go. “Fact 1: I was the youngest in the band and now I’m the oldest”, Estrin says. Now, seven albums later, Voyager is comprised of Estrin on vocals and keytar, Simone Dow and Scott Kay on guitar, Alex Canion on bass, and Ash Doodkorte on drums.
But what does it mean for them to represent Australia in what Estrin calls “the greatest show on Earth”?
“This country has given me so many opportunities – after a tough “migrant story” start, not speaking any English and finally becoming an Australian”, says Estrin.
“It’s the greatest honour to be able to represent and give back to the country that I now love and cherish as my home.”
Metal isn’t alien to the Eurovision audience. In 2002 the Finnish heavy metal outfit Lordi was first place with their audacious “hard rock hallelujah”, and in 2021 Italian glam rock band Måneskin beat the bookies’ predictions to land on first place.
Until the big day, Voyager are touring Europe, with sell-out shows in England and Amsterdam. Australian viewers can watch the semi-final 2 live on Friday 12 May at 5am, and the Grand Final on Sunday 14 May at 5am on SBS. Prime time broadcast will be on Saturday 13 for the semi-final and Sunday 14 at 7.30pm for the Grand Final.
Australians who watch the show live can vote for any country except Australia, but nothing stops you from calling friends and family in Europe to cast a vote for the Australian rockers.
Estrin has been a guest on the Law Society’s podcast “Lawfully Explained”, in the episode “What rights do temporary visas holders have?” Click here to listen.
Listen here to Promise, the song Voyager will represent Australia in the song contest.