Music: It’s a Powerful Teacher.

‘It doesn’t matter what your colour, so long as you, a true fella.’ Warumpi Band released the song Black Fella White Fella long before Reconciliation between Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people was ever discussed in our schools. Released in 1985, the song hit the nation’s radio waves a year later when Midnight Oil joined with Warumpi Band for the Black Fella White Fella Tour. This powerful song was written with the intention of opening pathways of understanding towards Reconciliation and speaks as an anthem for Reconciliation in Australia, and to communities the world over. Thirty nine years later, our students are ignited by this song, empowered by it’s simple message and pumped by the energy of it’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. We are thrilled to to be presenting Black Fella White Fella, the official song for this year’s Reconciliation Week, at our Reconciliation Week Assembly this Friday. Over the past 3 weeks our students have been reflecting on the theme for Reconciliation Week 2024, Now More Than Ever, and making connections between the recent referendum and the themes expressed in this song.

The Preps sing along with the Warumpi Band.

Inspired by the musical energy and vital message of Black Fella White Fella we are launching an Instrumental Music Program first. We say a massive thank you to our IM teachers and senior woodwind students for agreeing to form a rock band to accompany our singing. The line up features Marcos on lead guitar who is better known locally for his intricate jazz guitar performances with a Brazilian flare. On bass guitar is one of the ‘pillars’ of our IM program, Mark, who is also a fine composer. Mitchell, another ‘pillar’, is leading our, now rockin’ student woodwinds. He has been a formative teacher and performer at many community festivals. We have welcomed our new violin teacher Xani Kolac to our program. Hot off the plane from gigging in Berlin she is blasting away at the traditional ideas of stylistic parameters for violinists, and as such Xani will take the role of rhythm guitar on her violin, which, she could equally perform on a guitar! We have also welcomed our new flute teacher Stephanie Lai.

Whilst we are sad to farewell Jennifer Timming, after her incredibly kind and outstanding teaching years with us, her recommendation of Steph is a perfect fit. When Stephanie is not playing and teaching flute, and exploring flute as a potential rock instrument, she is a councillor for children. We are extremely fortunate to have the passion and talents of Xani and Stephanie join our IM program, and we look forward to growing in inspiration and skill.

It is a great ‘blast’ of excitement for our senior students to play alongside professional musicians, and I thank Claudia, Oscar, Huey, Sotir and Felix for their time and commitment to learning their parts for the band accompanying Black Fella White Fella. We are honoured and excited to respond to Reconciliation through music and Neighbourhood reflections, and to offer our community an opportunity to contribute their voices to the Reconciliation movement. Thank you to all involved, and, please come back to school to support our Instrumental Music students in their Mid-Year Concert on Friday night.

It has been an uplifting couple of weeks of music making and of making connections to what matters most for community. Thank you everyone, Deb.

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