In a surprise appearance, Christine Anu performed for Quirindi High School students at the Royal Theatre in Quirindi on Monday.
The award-winning singer, dancer, actress, radio announcer came to Quirindi for the school’s NAIDOC celebration with students and teachers, on a day they will never forget.
Organised by Aboriginal Liaison Officer from Quirindi High School, Megan Outerbridge, the event was held as a school assembly with Christine the ‘Surprise Guest’.
Emceed by teacher, Mr Owen, the event kicked off with students, Liam Faulkner and Lillie Clarke performing the traditional Welcome to Country, followed by student Indiah Nean presenting on her personal interpretation of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme ‘Because of Her, We Can’.
During her visit to Quirindi, Christine told pupils about her life growing up in the Torres Strait Islands, where she could speak four languages by the age of four.
She spoke about the influence of her mother whose stories and nursery rhymes inspired her, including how her mother inspired her not to listen the negative opinions of others.
Christine told how her father’s home Mabuiag Island is only 150km’s long, outlining she enjoyed her time there spent listening to stories and learning music and dance from her community.
“If you cannot speak your language, you cannot communicate. You need your words. In today’s world, children are very fortunate to be able to and encouraged to learn their cultural language,” Ms Anu said.
As part of the conversation and song tour, Christine performed ‘I’m Free’ ‘Sunshine on a Rainy Day’ – which included group performances of all students and teachers, which was especially enthusiastic for her well-known hit ‘My Island Home’.
“Quirindi High School is known to unite to celebrate NAIDOC in different ways, today it was terrific to experience another unique way to celebrate our Aboriginal and Torres Straight people and to celebrate together. Our school celebrates culture every day and we very proud to be an inclusive school,” said Ms Outerbridge.
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