Local, Independant and Effective

Short Black Opera "astounding"

Posted November 14, 2016


Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (13:36): Colleagues, I would like to tell you about a wonderful initiative called Short Black Opera for Kids. It is a program designed for Indigenous kids who love to sing, act, tell stories or all three. With the aim of inspiring confidence, leadership and excellence, Short Black Opera's artistic director, the amazing Deborah Cheetham, works with local Indigenous students in grades 4 to 6 in regional workshops. 

I had the enormous pleasure on Friday, 28 October in Benalla, at our Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre, of hearing the results of her work. So today I would like to publicly acknowledge, honour and thank Anita, the organiser from Multicultural Arts Victoria, Ashley at BPACC and the 20 kids in years 4, 5 and 6 at Benalla P-12. I thank Louise, Lyn, Donna and June from Living Culture Together for the terrific job you did. I would particularly like to acknowledge and honour the work of Deborah Cheetham and her team—Toni on piano and singer Jacinta—for all the amazing work you did with those young people.

I say to colleagues: if you get a chance, see the Short Black Opera. They came to Benalla and worked with these young Indigenous people for a week, and the result was astounding. The kids worked with local Indigenous language and Italian and songs that they had made up and songs that they sang together. The BPACC was full, as families and the community really appreciated— (Time expired)

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