ON Friday night, July 21, I had the privilege of attending the Townsville Catholic Education Youth Arts Festival Mulkadee and the theme this year was “Journey”.
Selected students from every Catholic School in the Townsville Diocese participated in this truly amazing performance.
The new Townsville Diocese Bishop, Tim Harris, and executive director Dr Cathy Day welcomed the audience. Mulkadee was opened by students from Abergowrie College who performed a wonderful contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance after the acknowledgment to country and the elders of the Bindal and Wulgurukaba people. Both Bish- op Harris and Dr Day spoke of the importance of a holistic education, an education that focuses on the elements of academic, spiritual, cultural and the creative arts. Mulkadee is the only event of its kind in Australia.
Mulkadee was an amazing performance of band presented by Ben Crocker, The King’s School Sydney, drama presented by National Institute of Dramatic Art ( NIDA), strings presented by Antoni Benetti Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, choir presented by David Lawrence Royal Academy of Music London, guitar presented by Paul Svoboda Loretto College/ Aurora Guitar Music Ensemble, and dance presented by the Sydney Dance Company.
More than a 1000 primary and secondary school students in the diocese from the remote locations of Mt Isa in the west to Palm Island off the coast from Townsville and the many communities in between participated. My sincere congratulations go to the students, artistic professionals, Sandra Neal Mulkadee co- ordinator, parents, principals, teachers, volunteers and the Catholic Education Office for an outstanding performance.
My congratulations also go to the behind the scenes crew that included many students, who ensured the lighting, sound, costumes, makeup and sets enhanced each and every performance. Congratulations also to the Master of Ceremonies, Ms Court- ney Dibbin, who kept the performance flowing beautifully.
Mulkadee is an opportunity to showcase the wonderful young people, including Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and the many culturally and linguistically diverse youth who go to school in the Townsville diocese.
We must not sell our youth short but acknowledge their successes and work with them to address their challenges so they can grow into the very best leaders, because they will influence our nation’s direction.
Once again congratulations to everyone involved in 2017 Mulkadee. CATHY O’TOOLE,