Invite caps off good year
Boonderu Music Academy in Roebourne may only have started this year, but it has had a huge gain with an invitation to perform at one of Australia’s most significant indigenous festivals.
The academy program, which is run through Roebourne District High School, will take about 20 of its students to the Garma Festival next year after the festival chief executive personally invited them to attend.
Academy chief executive Qynn Beardman, who runs the academy with his wife, Susie, said it happened as a stroke of luck.
“We were asked to look at going to a festival in Sydney, and the timing just didn’t work,” he said. “And when I was looking at the Sydney festival I saw the link to Garma.”
“I happened to speak to the CEO and told her about Boonderu … and she said we’d like to extend an invitation to you.”
The Garma Festival is Australia’s major indigenous affairs discussion forum and attracts more than 2500 people from all over the world to traditional Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory each year.
Boonderu students will perform at either its general or youth forum mid next year.
Mr Beardman said Boonderu has had a busy, successful year with about 70 students involved and four more teachers hired for 2016. He attributed their popularity to their universal appeal of music which is especially central to Aboriginal culture.
“(The Garma Festival invite) is a really great thing for us,” he said. “It’s been such a positive year at the school and this just caps it off. This is our foundation year and we’ve achieved so much more than we could ever have hoped for.”
He said students would prepare a special piece for the festival that fuses traditional indigenous song and dance with modern elements.
Boonderu Music Academy drum star Latrell Moody, 12.