HAL embraces diversity in wider community

first_imgAs part of its goal of embracing and promoting cultural diversity within the broader community, the Queensland Chapter of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association (HAL) hosted a fundraiser for the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre.Located at the Banco Court Foyer at the QEII Courts of Law on Friday 9 December, the event focused on the importance of Indigenous language with particular regard to culture and identity, whilst also highlighting the broader work of the Yugambeh Museum in recording and revitalising Australia’s first languages.L-R: Patricia O’Connor, Justice Anthe Philippides and Candace Kruger (Choirmaster) with members of the Yugambeh Youth Choir.Yugambeh’s CEO, Rory O’Connor addressed those gathered on the night and spoke about the work being carried out by the Museum, including a pilot Yugambeh language program for schools and the development of a 500 piece didgeridoo orchestra for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.“To learn a language you have to walk on country. To name the animals you have to spend time learning about them, with senior community person. You have to learn to respect their knowledge. You in turn have to share your knowledge with those younger. You become a trainee and a teacher all at once. Your own self-esteem increases. Your self-worth increases. Your expectations of yourself increase,” Mr O’Connor said. “And that’s why we at the Yugambeh Museum say: what better gift can we give our children, than the chance to learn language and culture.”Guests at the event.The highlight of the evening was a performance by the Yugambeh Youth Choir, a group of Indigenous youth under the age of 25 who sing in the Indigenous language of the Yugambeh region. Established in March 2014, the Choir are trained by the highly accomplished Choirmaster and Kombumerri woman Candace Kruger, who spoke about the benefits being experienced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their participation in the Choir.“I have personally witnessed the connection to culture, understanding of identity, development in self-efficacy and well-being and acquisition of language skill that is benefiting the youth and families who are members of the Yugambeh Museum Youth Choir,” Ms Kruger said.“The concept of choral singing – singing as a group, is a shared process. Participants … are at different stages in their life, they are from different socio-economic backgrounds and some have had a difficult start. However in choir none of this matters, we are a united team. We help each other, we support each other, we are now invested in each other’s lives. We have built a community.”L-R: Ian Levinge, Aunty Delmae Barton, William Barton, members of the Yugambeh Youth Choir, Justice Anthe Philippides, Patricia O’Connor, Gaye Levinge, and Rory O’Connor (Yugambeh CEO). The Choir were accompanied in part of their performance by Indigenous musician William Barton, who has performed with many of the great orchestras of the world. Together they performed a number of pieces, including ‘Wanda Jageejan Jagun’, a tribute in the Yugambeh language to the National Anthem. One of the pieces performed by the Choir, the ‘Call to Corroboree’, was performed for only the third time in over 110 years and for the first time since its revival in a public community space. William Barton concluded the musical component of the night with a solo performance.William Barton and Mal Varitimos CBE QC.The Honourable Justice Anthe Philippides, Queensland Patron of the HAL Association, spoke after the performances on the topic of ‘Why Indigenous Languages Matter’. “By promoting the preservation of indigenous language and culture, we all benefit. We all have an opportunity to see what is around us through a different prism. Seeing through that prism adds a new layer of understanding, a new appreciation, and connects us more deeply to each other.”The Hon Jeffrey Spender, Glenice Spender, The Hon Marshall Irwin, and Sylvia Varitimos.The event was the fifth to be held by the Queensland Chapter of the HAL Association since its launch in January 2015. Over a thousand people have now attended HAL events at the Supreme Court of Queensland, which have focused on varied topics, but all carrying a unified theme centred around the diverse influences on our legal system and the importance for our legal system to embrace and understand the cultural diversity present in Australian society. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img