Gill Family Gives New School their Blessing

With the blessing of family and friends, the Richard Gill School in Muswellbrook has celebrated its official opening.

Maureen Gill, Richard’s widow, along with the couple’s children, Claire and Anthony and their children, attended the event on Saturday, March 13.

“It’s amazing, and he would have been so thrilled,” Maureen told The Hunter River Times.

“It is a great privilege to be able to set up a school in such a peaceful environment where you can have a community that is going to get behind you and wants the best for their kids,” Anthony said.

Richard’s vision was not focused on the school creating musicians, but rather to use music and movement to engage the children to learn in any subject they are studying.

“Firing the imagination, he believed, is why music was at the top of the apex or the tree because it is so abstract and so intangible that it can’t but fire the imagination – no rights or wrongs, just an amazingly abstract thing that you listen to and you are amazed by or repulsed by,” Maureen explained.

Kim Williams AM, chairman of the school board, is a former student and life-long friend of Richard and documented his vision, values and mission for a school which has music as a core tool to help children learn.

“I think the important thing about creativity is it doesn’t just apply to the arts, creativity is also a very central component in business decision making, in being able to think laterally in an agricultural environment, being able to think laterally in an environment which is service-based and technology-based,” he said.

“Creativity in all of these new 21st century industry strands is fundamental to the way they operate and so our kids are going to be properly empowered to be citizens of a very, very different and changing world.”