All posts filed under: Community

Earth Oven Food Feast at NAIDOC

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—What a bonus to sample the aromatic pleasures of an Aboriginal earth oven feast in Sydney’s Hyde Park last week. The earth oven food was part of Naidoc in the City, where visitors could enjoy a taste of Indigenous food and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures while listening to live performances from artist such as Radical Son, Green Hand Band, Jessie Lloyd and Mi’Kaisha. Apart from a host of activities such as storytelling, language workshops, bush tucker talks, weaving and demonstrations by Aboriginal chef, Mark Olive, the food sampling seemed to be of particular interest, judging by the long queues. Lamb, beef and pork were slow cooked from pre-dawn using a traditionally styled ‘earth oven’. The oven is created by digging out a shallow pit and lining it with native Gymea Lily stems – the heating comes from the addition of burning hot rocks. Wet hessian bags and sand seal in the heat and the result is a rich smoky cuisine – a method that ‘steams, roasts and barbeques’ the native herb-infused meat …

Introducing a community choral project: Voxi

Over the past three years Cape Town-based Nic Paton has been hard at work on a community choral collective entitled Voxi – an intriguing, warm, spacious set of songs exploring ancient and contemporary spiritual traditions with ‘awe, yearning, and gratitude’. Voxi’s tagline is ‘exploring sacred song spaces’. So perhaps this comforting album is something timely, given this week of mourning for Nelson Mandela. The album has a number of fascinating and moving back stories. For example ‘Fully Grey’ (featuring the exciting, angelic voice of his daughter Gemma) was penned by Alison MacPhail who died at 28 but whose dearest goal was to become old, wrinkled and grey. And ‘Abwoon‘, the Aramaic ‘Our Father‘ might unintentionally be a reverent tribute to Madiba, ‘Tata, Father of the Nation.‘ Out of a sense of artistic and spiritual journey, they have developed a unique sacred music referencing varied traditions from the Psalmists to the Post/Modern, using six languages. Now available on iTunes and other outlets, it’s a veritable gift for Christmas 2013. Visit to hear, see and read more.

Australian Ultra Cycle Event supporting underprivileged Kenyan children

Calling intrepid cyclists! The Grand Tour of Hope 2013 charity cycling event leaves Brisbane’s Rocks River Park for Crow’s Nest on a challenging 600km route on May 24, 2013 with cyclists returning to Brisbane on May 27, 2013. While the event attracts experienced cyclists, it’s not all about endurance. The aim is to raise much needed funds for orphaned or heavily disadvantaged children in Kenya. In the past three years, a total of $180,000 has been raised from proceeds from the Grand Tour and its sister event, the family-friendly Tour of Hope held in September. The Grand Tour is limited to 30 entrants and the $500 entry fee includes a cycling jersey, accommodation, meals, transport and the support of a full crew during the four-day event.  While there is a basic entry fee, participants are also encouraged to attempt a fund raising target of $1,000. Ten acres of prime land bordering Lake Victoria in Western Kenya has already been purchased with funds from both Tour of Hope events in the past three years. The land …

Making Music from Recycled Garbage

Each day in the town of Cateura, Paraguay, garbage collectors swarm like flies around fresh loads of dumped trash looking for goods to sell. Established on landfill, the town is a dangerous place to raise children who are at risk of being enticed into dealing in drugs and joining gangs. As a deterrent, orchestra director Szaran and music teacher Fabio decided to set up a music program. However, the number of children who wanted to join the program far outnumbered the available instruments. That soon changed when Szaran and Fabio were brought a violin made out of discarded materials. As time passed and the idea of making instruments from trash caught on, The Recycled Orchestra was formed. An upcoming film, ‘Landfill Harmonic’, to be released in 2014, captures the creativity of the human soul and the determination to transform other people’s trash into beautiful sounding musical instruments played by children. Like Landfill Harmonic on Facebook    

International jazz singer to perform at Fig Tree Pocket flood relief concert

A COMMUNITY JAZZ CONCERT flood fund-raiser featuring a host of talented jazz musicians including international jazz singer, Amanda Carr who sings for the famous Boston Pops Orchestra, will be held at Fig Tree Pocket State School oval, Cubberla Street, Fig Tree Pocket in Brisbane, Australia on September 17 from 4pm to 6.30pm. The event will raise funds for families still struggling to get back on their feet after January’s devastating floods. Fig Tree Pocket was one of the areas significantly affected by floodwater and long-time resident and sponsor, Joanne Bullock-Saxton has organised the event to help those still battling to regain their lives and rebuild their homes. She hopes the concert will provide a boost in spirit and finances for locals affected by the flood. “Like so many other flood-affected suburbs, we still have many who have not yet returned home and who have been hit hard by the cost of rebuilding, but we are resilient and wherever possible help each-other out and I think that quality is what has drawn such support and interest …

Glenda Condon, Pastoral Assistant, Integration, Brisbane

What do you love about your job? I love meeting new people and hearing their journey in life, where they come from and who they are, their families etc. I find people incredibly interesting. Dislike? There is absolutely nothing I dislike about my job – it’s a perfect fit. You have an accounting background, why the switch? All my clients were always telling me I was in the wrong business – I was just too much of a people person to be an accountant and I always knew there was something else out there for me. Where did you grow up and what countries have you lived in? I’m a country girl and grew up on a big sheep farm in Maldon, Victoria, Australia. I lived in New Zealand for 20 years and managed to pick up a Kiwi husband! I think NZ is as stunning as parts of Europe but a lot cheaper to live. And of course, there are lots of sheep! My favourite part is the South Island – mainly Queenstown. I …

Wheels for Jana

Brisbane-based Jana Wilson, then aged 27, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in September 2000. Since the diagnosis Jana has lost the ability to perform daily tasks that we take for granted such as having a shower, running the kids around or a walk in the park. However she has not lost her sense of humour or her love for life, family and friends.