PALS Projects 2019

Following on from the success of the PALS Project in 2018, in which Newman College was awarded the winner of the Arts and Culture category and the Troy Cook overall state award for the Best Overall Reconciliation Project, we are again working this year on equally significant reconciliation projects in both the Primary and Secondary School settings of Newman College.

The Junior PALS Project performed by the Lavalla Dance Troupe, involved a stunning performance of The Carers of Everything, a creation story by Dr Noel Nannup, using movement and dance. The students also performed this piece in the Wakakirri Competition to a packed and most appreciative audience at the Perth Concert Hall on August 8. The Lavalla Dance Troupe students were awarded excellent comments from the judge on the night, and were also presented with the Best Lighting, Calls and Design Award, and the Best Public Speaking Award.

The Artist in Residence Program for 2019, including workshops with Andy Quilty and Contemporary Noongar Artists, Bradly and Rohin Kickett, will work towards creating and celebrating a visual representation of this creation story through student workshops that work towards the completion of a collaborative mural project. This mural The Carers of Everything will be presented by the artists, on behalf of the students, to the College community on Wednesday 16 October at the opening of the Student Art Exhibition.

The Senior PALS Project is a massed student choir collaboration with the Madjitil Moorna Choir to professionally record the Newman College Sung Acknowledgement of Country – Koort Doodjarak Yewool – Heart Song. This beautiful heart felt sung Acknowledgement of Country was written by Mrs Nicole Boddy, and featured in the 2018 PALS Project.

The PALS Project and Catholic Education WA, Aboriginal Education Improvement Team led by Ms Sharon Davis have provided the resources to support this project, enabling our students to work with industry professionals and artists in singing and recording this beautiful song, sung in part in Noongar language.

One hundred selected Newman College students will join with Madjitil Moorna community choir members this Friday afternoon, 3pm – 7.30pm, in the Auditorium studios to participate in a language workshop and then to record the song. This song will be promoted to all CEWA Whadjuk schools, as a hope for reconciliation.

Mr James Web (didgeridoo player), Mrs Susan Bluck (piano accompanist and Music Director), Mr Kobi Morrison (guitarist and Choir Music Director) and Mrs Della Rae Morrison (Choir Music Director) will collaborate with Mrs Boddy (song writer and Choir Director) and the massed choir of Newman College (singers in Years 4 -12) and Madjitil Moorna choir members to perform this sung acknowledgement live on stage at the closing concert of the Catholic Performing Arts Festival on Monday 16 September at the Perth Concert Hall.

We are so proud of the students invited to be involved in this recording of Koort Doodjarak Yewool and thank Mrs Nicole Boddy for her beautiful words, music, passion for reconciliation and excellent musical ability that has inspired us to reach out the wider community to share our hope for reconciliation. It is our ongoing hope that this project serves to encourage and inspire other school communities to do the same within their own school settings.

The challenge to learn the Noongar language has been embraced by all of our choir students, as we strive to show our respect for the beautiful Noongar language. I wish our PALS Project team well for their collaboration and creation of the recording on Monday 2 September and the live performance on Monday 16 September. What a wonderful celebration of our Newman College ‘walk towards reconciliation’ between Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal people.

Maree Grayden, Leader of Learning Arts PK-12