June 16, 2024 10:40 PM

Music Marks Reconciliation Celebration


Members of the Scone Public School didgeridoo group, Yidaki Barray, who performed at the Upper Hunter Shire Council Reconciliation Week flag raising ceremony were Daniel Ostara, Toby Stutsel, Bailey Nester, teacher Richie Lawton, Kobi Harrington, Xavier Whitehen, Corey Spokes and Joshua Bates.

By Jem Anshaw

Thursday, May 27, marked the start of Reconciliation Week in Australia, and the Upper Hunter Shire Council flag raising ceremony had an extra special element to proceedings.

For the first time students from Scone Public School’s Yidaki Birray group, which translates to Didgeridoo Warriors, performed as a key part of the ceremony.

Local Richie Lawton has been taking groups of the year 5 and 6 boys for hour long sessions each week for around three years and was proud of how the performance went.

“We get them focused and try and build their self-esteem and confidence,” he said.

“Music brings people together all over the world and this is the oldest wind instrument in the world – it’s about people coming together.”

After the performance at Upper Hunter Shire Council chambers Richie reflected on how important connecting to country is for the Aboriginal and wider community alike.

“It was a great achievement for the young fellas to come here today and I hope there is many more opportunities like this to come,” Richie said.

“That is the aim at Scone Public, we are building something by doing the program.”

The theme for Reconciliation Week 2021 is ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action’ which saw students from local schools: Scone Public, Scone High, Scone Grammar, St Marys and St Joseph’s Aberdeen speaking about what reconciliation and their culture means to them.

There was a lot of positivity about what the future holds and understanding that the past cannot be changed – but the future can.

This was just one of a number of events that has taken place across the region for Reconciliation Week, including one held yesterday (Thursday) at Simpson Park in Muswellbrook by the Muswellbrook Shire Council Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee.