As we now commence another year in the Council, I would like to wish you all a Happy New year and may it bring many new facets for you all.
Since October my time has been full and I have had quality time with my family.
I would also like to take this opportunity to send greetings and a welcome to our new Advisers.
It is some time since I brought you news of Megan Scougall and her progress at the Conservatorium of Music
My report is all about Megan and centres on a small insight into her activities at the Conservatorium and University.
Megan is progressing well and finished her second year with a High Distinction for Advanced Performance in Clarinet She is very passionate about her music studies and always remembers the help and encouragement the NCWQ gave her as she embarked on her musical journey.
Megan has formed a saxophone quartet along with three of her friends from the Conservatorium. It is very quaintly named “ Stitched “. They travelled to Sydney in January for the Saxophone Summer School, and they will be the opening act for a concert by Silvie Paladino in Beaudesert on the 14 Mach 2014.
I am hoping to attend and give greetings from NCWQ.
This year is promising to be another full one, as apart from her studies Megan will be playing in Conservatorium Ensembles. Megan is playing Bass Clarinet with the Queensland Youth Symphony and the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, Clarinet with the Orchestra Corda Spiritus of St Andrew’s , and will be playing in the pit orchestra for Ignation’s production of the musical “ Company “
As you can see by all of her activity this far, Megan is progressing with leaps and bounds on a pursuit of excellence.
This also marks the halfway mark for Megan’s Bachelor of Music.
We wish her every success and continue to watch her grow.
“ The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best! “
National Youth Week 2014 will be held from Friday 4 April to Sunday 13 April and the theme is: Our Voice. Our Impact. Youth Week is coordinated by Queensland Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association (PCYC), which receives Queensland Government funding to collaboratively plan, run and subsidise Youth Week events and activities in partnership with community organisations. This year PCYC will be running a Small Grants Program to provide funding to support organisations to deliver events in National Youth Week.
GoGetta Job – Jobs for YOUth (http://www.gogettajob.com.au/)
GoGetta Job’s Vision is to be a one stop portal for teenagers, their parents, schools and employers in providing access to job opportunities, information and support that assists youth gain employment. Employers have been especially catered for. In making it easy for them to list jobs and access relevant information. Never before has it been more simple to employ Australia’s youth.
Their aim is to be the No. 1 website in Australia for jobs and information specifically designed for youth between the ages of 14 and 20. Support and feedback will help them achieve this. ‘Together we can change the lives of young people – One Youth at a Time.’
The Sunshine Coast Youth Partnership (SCYP) is designed to reduce disadvantage and cyclical poverty by maximising the potential of young people on the Sunshine Coast and the capacity of organisations to support them. The SCYP focuses on partnering with community services, business, Government, schools and the general community to facilitate Capacity Development of a comprehensive and cooperative community based approach to support young people in all areas of community life, learning, development, employment, culture and recreation. The SCYP receives base funding from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and secures grants and sponsorship to fund its activities in the community.
Youth Arts Queensland – Young People Creating Queensland (http://www.youngpeoplecreatingqld.org.au/)
Every day young people across Queensland are tirelessly creating, facilitating and supporting countless events, festivals, exhibitions, performances, shows, workshops, venues, companies, organisations, projects and initiatives. Although these things are happening every single day, the effort, time and resources young people pour into their creative ideas and artistic visions often go unnoticed by the wider community. Young People Creating Queensland is setting out to change that.
Young People Creating Queensland was launched in November 2009 with an overwhelming response and support. This unique profiling website is continuously gaining members who have connected with other artists and organisations, been involved in amazing projects and have gained incredible experience within the industry. This project is dedicated to raising awareness of the work young people do around the state and crediting the effort they put into shaping the arts and creative industries in the state. Young People Creating Queensland functions as a directory of young creative Queensland. It’s the best place for community members, industry representatives and young artists to look for local talent!
Brisbane City Council have released their Youth Strategy 2014-2019: Delivering a youth-friendly city
This Youth Strategy 2014-2019 is an integrated whole-of-Council approach to ensure they continue to be an organisation that values and includes young people in the life of Brisbane. Their vision is for a city where young people are healthy, resilient and confident young citizens who actively contribute to a better Brisbane. They are committed to working with young people, the community and other levels of government to ensure all young people who live, work, play and/or study in Brisbane are engaged, empowered, included and celebrated.
The Centre for Volunteering (http://www.youthvolunteering.com.au/)
The Centre is able to put organisations in touch with individual or groups of young people who are very keen to get involved and contribute to their community in a volunteer capacity. Some will be doing so as part of a school/university community involvement program which means that key insurance requirements are possibly covered by the educational facility. Research shows that young volunteers can benefit an organisation in numerous ways, including:
Develop a base of future supporters
Increase awareness about sector issues and the organisation
Develop a giving mentality/philanthropy
Build inter-generational connections
Youth volunteers are pro-active and have a positive attitude
Bring new talents/fresh ideas to the organisation
Connect you with new communication technologies
Queensland Government Statements
Next round of road safety grants open – Friday, January 31, 2014
YWAM is an international movement that has over 50 years experience in more than 150 countries worldwide. YWAM is a Christian charity that offers global opportunities for volunteers from diverse backgrounds to serve, care, build, and connect with individuals and communities. YWAM is decentralised in structure and financially autonomous. This allows each centre to adapt and to serve the specific needs of the community. YWAM Townsville has operated for over 20 years with an aim to build capacity in young people and to develop the community through four focus areas: Training, Medical Ships, Youth Teams, and Operations. YWAM values individuals’ rights to quality of life. The shared motivation is to provide people with:
Access to good health care
Food, drinking water, and shelter
Opportunity for education
Expression of culture, arts, and entertainment
Exposure to Christian faith and values
Fair and productive government
Opportunity to work and develop
Australian Youth Against Cancer (http://www.australianyouthagainstcancer.org.au/)
Australian Youth Against Cancer is a group of passionate and dynamic individuals brought together to change the fate of young adults with cancer (18-35). It was established as a not-for-profit organisation in January 2010 with a shared vision for a better world for young adults with cancer and is a fully registered charity with DGR status. Australian Youth Against Cancer was founded by Chris Boyd following his own personal experience with a rare form of head and neck cancer in 2009. Throughout his short time receiving treatment at Sydney’s RPA hospital, Chris observed the distinct lack of support available for young adult cancer sufferers and set about to create an organisation which created awareness and practical solutions to this problem.
AYAC’s connection with youth is an important aspect of the charity. Cancer is not a disease that just affects older Australians. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare article Young Australians: Their Health & Wellbeing 2007 reported that between 1993 and 2002, the annual cancer incidence rate increased by 10 per cent in the 12-24 year old category. AYAC has since grown into an exciting and dynamic fundraising engine for lifesaving national cancer treatment and research projects. In 2010/11 AYAC has been proud to support the remarkable work being undertaken in pursuit of the vision of the late Professor Chris O’Brien – The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA. Lifehouse will be a world-class comprehensive cancer centre, bringing together treatment, research, education and support in one incredible new facility.
Youth Advocacy Centre (http://www.yac.net.au/)
YAC can assist young people with legal hassles including being charged with breaking the law or child protection issues, problems at home or school, lack of accommodation and/or income, being the victim of a crime, discrimination issues and general hassles. All services offered are VOLUNTARY AND CONFIDENTIAL. This means that YAC only works with a young person if they want to work with YAC staff and no contact is made with anyone (e.g. families, teachers, police, other adults) without the young person’s permission. YAC also tries to link young people up with other services in the community that can assist them.
Human Rights groups and the Australian Human Rights Commission headed by Professor Gillian Triggs, has called for an a second inquiry as to why 1000 children are being held in detention, including 700 at Christmas Island and 100 in the Nauru facility. While the surrounding fences and facilities may not be ‘child friendly’ the dangerous environments, refugee camps or other places certainly would have been worse. The last report was in 2004. Since then measures including community detention and bridging visas have improved the situation the previous Federal government also failed these children.
Many were sent unaccompanied in the hope that Human Rights conventions would oblige Australia to treat them with more sympathy and speedy entry. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, states the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in “all actions regarding children”. It also states that a child may be detained “only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time”. This is an international human rights convention to which Australia is a signatory.
According to the UNHCR 2012 Yearbook there were estimated to be approximately 15.4 million Refugees worldwide. There were some 928,200 asylum seekers. With on-going and escalating conflicts this figure has no doubt increased. Australia, with its’ many assets, generous social welfare system (compared to developing countries) will be a magnet to the hundreds of thousands of refugees, escaping from physical harm, bad governance and or simply economic circumstance. In the future how Australia accommodates and provides new arrivals with employment will require the ‘wisdom of Solomon’.
The “stop the Boats” strategy of the Abbot government appeared to have had positive results. The confidentiality of the operation has raised the ire of media and human rights groups but the compelling reality is that the risky undertaking due to the lucrative exploitation by people smugglers is declining.
Acts of rape and extreme violence against women in India and Pakistan continues to attract world media attention. The culture of these countries is used as an excuse for on-going behaviour. Many countries, including Australia may have underlying sexist attitudes towards women, but in a minority and not in the society. The negative image, damage to tourism, disgust and loss of respect increases when the modern World is watching.
Attorney General George Brandis has flagged intentions to amalgamate the human rights bureaucracy. Currently there are eight positions including the President, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice, Disability Discrimination, Age Discrimination, Children, Race, Sex and Freedom Commissioners. Members of the Human Rights commission are due to retire this year.
It is distressing to know that underage girls are being forced into arranged marriages in Australia today. Prue Goward, the NSW Minister for Community services, commented that it might be commonplace in certain communities in Sydney, however evidence is difficult to obtain unless coming to the direct attention of government services or the law. Practices that allow for the denial of the rights of children, be they religious or cultural, have no place in any state or territory under Australian law. An education program is necessary for new-immigrants often ignorant of local laws and customs. Current laws may need to be reviewed to ensure this protection.
Australia gained the annual Presidency of the Group of 20 (G20) from Russia in 2013. Significantly Queensland’s capital Brisbane will host the 2014 G20 Summit in November 2014.
Several thousand delegates and media are expected. While the media hype warns of extreme security measures, these will, if by necessity, impact on locals living in or within nearby precincts. How restrictive they will be, remains unknown.
The Queensland government and Australia has come under international scrutiny by international environmental experts and organisations as to the health and future of the Great Barrier Reef. Factors such as the dispersal of dredging spoils and development of the Abbott Point and Gladstone export infrastructure are worrying as to the long term health of this World Heritage listed icon surrounded by Marine Parks. While development is essential to the economic development and future health of the State the scale of these projects surely has negative impact to inshore reefs, sea grass beds and the species whose very existence depends on them.
The recently introduced Queensland “Bikie Laws” while on one hand have made inroads into the activities of motor cycle gangs – most driven over the Qld. NSW border, have alienated those who choose to ride a motor cycle and have no association with gangs. A social gathering, or riding in small groups on the street, without ‘gang colours’ now attracts police attention. While evidence supports these groups have undertaken unlawful activities, showing no respect of authority, it is unfortunate that the majority of the motor cycle community who wear leather are regarded as suspicious or somehow ‘guilty by association’
Queensland presents a vulnerable ‘back door’ as a potential illegal entry point into Australia. The huge sea areas of the Torres Straits containing numerous islands and proximity to PNG surely offers people smuggling opportunities. If not now but in the future.
Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AM, former Senator of South Australia (1995-2008) has been appointed Australian Ambassador – Women & Girls. Ms Stott is particularly focusing on violence against women and empowerment of women in the Indo-Pacific area.
A new Colombo Plan was announced by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. The plan will allocate $100 million over 5 years. A pilot program will bring 40 undergraduates from Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Hong Kong on scholarships up to a year of study. More than 700 Aussie undergraduate students will benefit from a range of study experiences overseas, returning home ‘Asia-literate’
Australia has allocated $43 million dollars to aid South Sudan, following renewal of that country’s internal conflict. Five billion dollars in aid has been budgeted for the Middle East region, including 12 million in aid for the flow-on effects of the Syrian civil war.
World Aids day was observed on December 1st. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joined UN Aids Ambassador, Aung San Suu Kyi in urging the removal of stigma and discrimination faced by those living with HIV.
Many people in Australia, including members of Queensland’s African community mourned the passing on December 6th, 2013 of Nelson Mandela. His forgiveness, love, conciliation and human touch leaves an enduring legacy as an example to us all.
NCWQ ARTS & LETTERS ADVISER REPORT – February 2014
A very Happy New Year to Everyone!
This is becoming, I believe, an era in which Women are not only producing, performing, promoting and presenting ideas, issues, Beauty itself and action; but also one in which Women have all but become curators of the productions, the performances, the promotions and presentations of ideas, issues, actions and Beauty itself, through Arts and Letters! In symbiosis with the boldness, open-ness and importance of content, the curatorship and preservation of all that IS Beautiful, seems, to me, to be global, national and regional. In the historicity of the Arts, this, then, is a WONDERFUL and interesting era for Arts and Letters!
WALES! “The Davies Collection” – National Museum CARDIFF
One of the largest, and perhaps the best collection of Impressionist art works outside Paris was bequeathed to the nation of Wales by the Davies sisters. Their father, David Davies, was the great rival of the Marquess of Bute – an unusual man, who built railways and Barry docks in the 19th century! Art lover, conservator, former First Minister of Wales, Rhodri Morgan, promotes Cardiff as a ‘…modern city of Europe…’. Rhodri met the younger sister, Margaret, in 1963 – This was not long before Margaret’s death, and they had met to confirm details of the bequest of the art collection to the city of Cardiff. Rhodri described the willowy Miss Davies as being “…almost a throwback to the characters of a Jane Austen novel…”. CARDIFF The Essential Guide: Cardiff Council p.8 The wonderful Davies collection is now housed in what was an old abandoned High School, and has now become the Chapter Arts centre. Rhodri effusively states: “…I don’t believe there is a better community arts centre anywhere in the UK!” CARDIFF The Essential Guide: p.7
Global Literature: “The Art of Learning by Doing”……… true life experiences of children in East Balinese villages, who have been given the opportunity to help improve community life in some of the most primitive and isolated parts of Bali. These children have been supported in this by the East Bali Poverty Project.
This delightful book is illustrated by children in four villages, published by Saritaksu Editions, Bali, and translated into English by Kadek Krishna Adidharma, in 2005.
Trying to encourage increasing numbers of Australian children to come to school, listen, follow rules and instructions, occasionally learn, and equally occasionally, submit required assignments, is a challenge, a chore and contestably, a very sad-making nonsense!!
Being able to travel after the years of child rearing; experiencing the sheer joy of new people, places, pastimes, politics and the past, it was with the grandest pleasure that I was able to purchase, for a minimal, forgotten price, this indelibly interesting book, which Sarita Newson introduces with these unforgettable words: – “…The miracle of learning brings light and opens up worlds to young lives…..retelling these stories from families… (who had)…never had the privilege of education…..the wonder of this, above all things, shines….”!
Poverty and a high incidence of mental retardation, alleged to be due to iodine deficiency disorders, challenged survival, created struggle and simultaneously, open a door for change!
One door opened in 1999, and a new atmosphere of excitement and hope permeated the villages! New possibilities presented, for the children could now have opportunities to be educated; for a promising curriculum; practical training; reading, writing and arithmetic!!!!!!
This blend was planned to forge a pathway out of poverty, so it also included a range of life skills, nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, creative arts and organic farming.
If anyone would like to borrow this publication, please contact me on: –
email@example.com – You are most welcome to borrow “The Art of Learning by Doing”!
Whilst we are reading about children, a slight shift away from the seriousness, intricacies and burdensome and unpalatable politics and philosophies of our adult worlds, is possible, created by children’s author, Kym Lardner. One of Australia’s most popular story tellers, Kym performs live in schools and festivals all around Australia!
Kym’s delightful fantasy, “The Sad Little Monster & The Jelly Bean Queen” is illustrated with stunningly original pictures, in glowing colours, and is about a sad little monster, who sits alone, unloved and unloving, until visited by the fair princess, looking for someone to share her jelly beans!!!!
First the little monster learns to smile – then to laugh!….Ultimately, his dark house wills with light and friendship!This delightful fantasy is published for the ABC, under licence by Harper Collins Publishers Australia.
LA BOITE! – Dynamic creative institutions like LA BOITE and the North’s JUTE, provide grand encouragement for Australian playwrights and actors! The 2014 season in Brisbane, at La Boite, will include PALE BLUE DOT – a play by Brisbane’s Kathryn MARQUET, about an alien abduction, set in Toowoomba!
“…Toowoomba,” says Marquet, “…is a real hot spot for UFO sightings….(They) have a very active UFO society…” Courier Mail Wed Jan 1 2014:p52
Artistic Director, David BERTHOLD, promises the public an unusual season, with a symbiosis of national artists and interesting themes!
Productions you may enjoy as the new year unfolds: –
COSI – Jessica Marais and James Stewart
COCK – Set to ARIA award winning music by Missy HIGGINS
A DOLL’S HOUSE: Henrik Ibsen – retold by gifted playwright and theatre lover, Australia’s Lally KATZ
MACHINA by local playwright, Richard JORDAN
And….to begin the new year – Roald DAHL’S “ Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts” – for the whole family. This production will have been performed by the time this Report is released – however, I thought this was worth reporting.
Live Theatre is the ‘place’ where Women not only reveal, promote and discuss huge issues, but it is also the ‘place’ where Women writers and performers in particular, demonstrate their high levels of Intelligence, Linguistic skills and Literacies! – As these elements of humanity become more and more relevant because of their sheer diminishing in our society, the Theatre then, primarily and Women’s voices and issues are being taken very, very seriously, facilitating some extraordinary mixes and sometimes odd symbiosis between subject matter, performers and audience. This, then, is an arena, where Women’s voices are vital and welcomed!
As the effectiveness of high stakes testing is explored and debated, concerns continue to be expressed over “…growing political emphasis on high stakes testing as a key tool in education reform…” Independent Education Issue 3/Vol 43/2013 Internationally, the legitimacy and the accuracy of the USE of core skills tests, such as NAPLAN and PISA, is being questioned.
England reports “…inherent problems in ….testing…reporting and interpretation of data…” Independent Education Issue 3/Vol 43/2013: pp.10-11. Professor Harvey GOLDSTEIN, Social Statistics of Bristol University, has, for many years, recommended to the OECD, that longitudinal data should be integrated with existing captured data; however, to date, this has not occurred.
High performance education, such as that in Finland, does NOT use literacy and numeracy testing in high stakes ways – however, for all those interested in Language today, there is information available on material submitted to the Senate Inquiry into the Effectiveness of NAPLAN, in our schools.
As a lifelong lover of Language, I grieve over the loss of Language and the continued dilution or abortion of the skills necessary to become literate in the basic elements of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
I have noticed an increase, however, in the incidence of children of many ages, looking at, loving, reading and asking for BOOKS!!! Contemporary research also begins to indicate that the genuine, hard-copy, non-electronic, ‘old-time’, language-rich BOOK is much kinder to children’s EYES than electronic media!
At a local Op Shoppe, I became known as ‘The Book Angel’, for I would buy a minimum of 50 books per visit, to give to kids who have NEVER had a book at home! Often a child would come to me to ask for another book for a brother or sister…..sometimes kids will let me know about a new word, or an old one, now understood, as it now has a context……sometimes, kids will posit a new idea…..generated from a book or story….
Perhaps it has been forgotten that handling, touching, seeing, smelling and reading a book, is a fully sensual experience, directly connected to many necessary (developmental) stimulating results….and assuredly, directly connected to the deep engagement, critical thinking and creativity that is missing in the overemphasis on testing underdeveloped ‘cornerstone skills’???
We don’t have books at home, she said….
but, please, can I take this home, to bed?
….and later, I’ll read it to my brother…
then, please, can I have another?
Jennifer Ann Davies 2014
FILM – Based on an original novel by Australian author, Markus Zusak – THE BOOK THIEF!!
Another time; another place; another Child, hungering for a book!….for learning, for knowledge of Language and for the literacies derived from this Language learning – ‘THE BOOK THIEF’ is based on the novel written by Australian author, Markus Zusak, and is a stunning revisit to Nazi Germany, with an extraordinary, courageous, alive and humane heroine, interacting with the illustrious Geoffrey RUSH. “The Book Thief” includes in its ‘weave’ of themes, the quintessential power and magick of words and imagination, in overcoming chaos, loss and grief. Simultaneously, it celebrates not only the life-affirming traits of these two elements of humanity, but most deftly, beautifully and simply, celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.
I have not had recent contact with the author – however, I have noted that reviews, comments and publicity, here in the Far North, rarely mention the author of this international bestseller. I trust this is not so further South!
I am going to apologise right here for these lines – I am typing at home and had inserted 3 dot points, which became the lines and I have not been able to delete same! – Sorry!
WOMEN IN ACADEMIA! –The University of Queensland: Summer 2013
I am sure that many members may have enjoyed this publication, however, for those who have not, there are a number of celebratory snippets and articles about wonderful, wonderful Queensland women, who, again, like those in theatre, actively promote important issues and Women’s Rights!
Amongst the ‘Distinguished Young Alumni Aware’ recipients, is Julie McKAY, who is the Executive Director of United Nations Women Australia – Julie works to promote Women’s Rights and states that she is “…inspired by women who, despite facing poverty, violence and lack of access to opportunities, continue to want to play an active role in making….societies stronger for future generations…..” UQ Contact: Summer 2013, p.22
Author and Alumna, Madonna KING, provides an intriguing ‘cameo’ of bonny, contemporary Scottish-born Australian immunologist, Professor Ian FRAZER, promising an extraordinary story, in her new biography: “IAN FRAZER: The man who saves a million lives!” For information or purchase: uqp.com.au
The UQ Art Museum, open daily from 10am to 4pm is hosting two important exhibitions of contemporary ART during this summer break.
HISTORY FOR KIDS! Throughout the early part of 2014 there will be a series of workshops for kids in the RD Milns Antiquities Museum, on Greek, Egyptian and Roman History! Kids will be able to handle ancient objects and learn some of the secrets of the ancient world. uq.edu.au/antiquities