Last week marked an historic moment as members of the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and Sydney Children’s Choir were the first to sing the Australian Anthem in the ACT’s local Ngunawal language. The venue was no less than the Great Hall of Parliament House for the Minerals Council of Australia Parliamentary dinner, supported by GICC’s Principal Partner, Rio Tinto. The translation was created in consultation with local language custodian Tyronne Bell and linguist Dr Doug Marmion, and performed to 500 guests including the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and politicians and business leaders from across the country.
The choristers also performed This Is My Home from Paul Stanhope’s Jandamarra: Sing for the Country (Ngalanybarra Muwayi), in Bunuba language of the Kimberley.
The group had a busy two days around the performance. Prior to the dinner, the choristers met many of the Members of Parliament who represent their electorates, including Ms Tanya Plibersek, Member for Sydney, The Hon Warren Entsch, Member for Leichhardt, The Hon Linda Burney, Member for Barton – the first Indigenous woman to be elected to the House of Representatives. Before returning to Sydney the next morning choristers headed to the lookout at Mount Ainsley and learned about Australia’s science history at the CSIRO Discovery Center.