By Jennifer Ann Davies, NCWQ Arts and Letters Adviser

Wonderful wise women, working well and willingly, continuing to support our overarching humanitarian and educational goals. The goals, warmth and willingness have been embedded in our service since 1905 and have not ‘shape-shifted’, even in a brittle, mercenary era, where fiscal policy can often subsume the humane, and the warmth. Grandest CONGRATULATIONS on the stunning response to the Bursary Programme! Huge efforts have been invested in this wonderful initiative carried out by Kathy, Noela, Avril and a team of 30 members!  The response has been startling because of the interference by COVID-19, demanding greater creativity than ever, to promote the possibilities offered. Deepest thanks, also, to our ‘respectable radicals’; our ‘stirrers with style’; who “…changed the course of politics, altered the attitudes of many….made sure we could have careers….and ensured we could have an education…”! Foreword by Annette M. Lourigan in ‘Respectable Radicals’, authored by Marian Quartly and Judith Smart. Monash University Publishing 2015.                                                                      SDGs4/5/8/10/12/17

 

MUSIC OVERVIEW:

The corona virus pandemic has forced musicians to cancel hundreds and thousands of concerts around Australia. www.abc.net.au/classic

Many musicians face months without income. Some public support may be provided by donations to SUPPORT ACT, a music charity, providing crisis relief to artists, roadies and music workers who are directly affected. Some of the suggestions to help are listed here and are available on the ABC websites.

  • Hang on to your tickets for rescheduled dates! (Saves a lot of reorganising later).
  • Keep streaming and buying Australian music and merchandise.
  • Message your favourite musician or venue to offer moral support.
  • Keep in touch with your favourite ensembles.

Helping the industry through this difficult time will ensure you still have live music to love and share in the future. ABC Classic is working with the music industry to keep the music going, as concert halls go dark around Australia. The Australian website also includes a Euro-headline: “Musicians in Italy perform on balconies during quarantine! “From operatic tenors to tambourine-wielding folk singers, Italian musicians have found a way to share the joy of music in the tense atmosphere of national quarantine.”

The Financial Review reports on live-streaming, Instagram etc. and cites: “…the Australian Music industry employs more than 60,000 people, 37,000 of them fulltime… (This) adds an estimated $4 billion – $6 billion to the Australian economy, with revenue of $1.5 billion – $2 billion annually from live music alone.” www.afr.com.

With a heavy heart, QUEENSLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA has cancelled all performances and activities, up to and including my birthday one on 31 August 2020! “We know this is disappointing for our audiences, not to mention our family of musicians who share a deep love of music and are born to perform.” There was, however, one gathering of the orchestra in the ABC studio, to perform, live, on Thursday 25 June. This was broadcast to the public! Other soul-reaching performances should be rescheduled. These include but are not limited to the following: –

  • The Ballet Beautiful
  • Peasant Prince
  • Mozart’s Jupiter
  • Beethoven, Rossini and Weber
  • Opera Gala
  • Bolero and Beyond
  • Beethoven and Dvorak
  • Mozart and Golijov
  • Last Night at the Proms
  • Don Quixote
  • Music of the Masters
  • Brahms, Muczynski and Martinu
  • Ode to Joy and Vienna and Beyond qso.com.au

Sydney Symphony Orchestra members say:  “While concert halls remain silent, join us online to share the power of music.” www.sydneysymphony.com

 

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra asks music lovers to “Continue to experience the magic of music, with a free online concert series.”             www.mso.com.au

 

Such is the love of music, in 2015 Adelaide was the first city in Australia to be designated a UNESCO City of Music! The designation is an acknowledgement of the breadth, depth and vibrancy of the city’s music culture, its international reach, its history and its aspirations. www.explore.cityofadelaide.com.au

 

Perth Community Radio continues to communicate crisis changes, cancellations and connections for all audiences and artists. www.perthnow.com.au

 

Canberra had given the community ‘Sounds of Silence’ –   which has now become a musical response to COVID-19: “We are living in unprecedented times; it’s more important than ever that we lift each other up…” www.facebook.com/abccanberra

 

In our Northern Territory, in Darwin Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival is planning to go ahead online amid shutdowns. www.abc.net.au

 

SDGs 3/4/8/9/10/12/17

LETTERS/LITERATURE:

Suffering and Sanctuary.  Death and Life. Fear and Freedom. Abuse and Dignity. Hunger and Plenty. All of these are embedded in three very different books about Refugees. Two are written from a personal perspective, with that wonderfully significant personal pronoun “I”. The third is written in third person – an outsider’s perspective – fiction based on soundly researched fact. All of them are interesting and important to give a substantial and genuine ‘voice’ to those who have to flee their home country, or die.

 

“IN ORDER TO LIVE”

A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom

Yeonmi PARK

“For my family, and for anyone, anywhere, struggling for freedom.”

“North Koreans have two stories running in their heads…like trains on parallel tracks. One is what you are taught to believe; the other is what you see with your own eyes. It wasn’t until I escaped to South Korea and read a translation of George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ that I found a word for this peculiar condition: ‘doublethink’….It is how you can recite the motto ‘Children are King’ in school, then walk home past the orphanage where children with bloated bellies state at you with hungry eyes.” pp53-54

‘An epic, harrowing and heartbreaking story.’ Guardian

‘Yeonmi lifts the lid on the brutal regime of Kim Jong 11, of people starving, helpless citizens doing whatever they can in order to survive.’ Daily Mail

‘On the cold, black night of 31 March 2007, my mother and I scrambled down the steep, rocky bank of the frozen Yalu River that divides North Korea and China. There were patrols above us and below…’

This is the incredible, true story of a thirteen-year-old girl who risked her life when she and her family fled North Korea. Yeonmi reveals what it was like to live under a brutally repressive regime, which starved and terrorized its people. She tells of her family’s courageous decision to escape and of the extraordinary, heartbreaking journey that followed, culminating in a daring night-time trek across the Gobi Desert to freedom.

It is a story of astonishing endurance – both physical and mental – which has already inspired people all around the world. ::

‘A testimony to the incredible resilience of the human spirit.’ Daily Telegraph

Yeonmi PARK was born in Hyesan, North Korea, in 1993 and is now based in Seoul, South Korea. She is currently travelling the world as a speaker and human rights advocate. Penguin Random House UK 2015 SDGs 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/11/16

 

This little poem was published in 1982-83, before Yeonmi was born – new immigrants were still arriving in Australia, ‘though we knew little of their struggles….Jennifer Ann White: Come, Share with Me.

It is written about/and spoken of/and touched upon lightly/and discussed in depth -/that “freedom” is a state of mind/that as we think so we can be;/that happiness is there always-/elevate our minds and so/our whole being will soar to new horizons..

I wonder? / sometimes that freedom and joy/so close…so close – /so visible – so tangible/ I am almost afraid to/reach out and touch it -/ almost…..p20

 

“THE HAPPIEST REFUGEE”

A Memoir – The extraordinary true story of a boy’s journey from starvation at sea to becoming one of Australia’s best-loved comedians. ANH DO Allen & Unwin NSW 2010

 

“Downtown Saigon is a tangle of bikes, pedestrians and rickshaws. The year is 1976 and the Vietnam War has just ended……A young girl steels herself for a run – onto a train. The bag of snacks and fruit that she needs to sell to support her other, five younger siblings, as well as her father and two older brothers who are locked away in communist  ‘re-education’ camps, is on the train…..” p1

Anh DO nearly didn’t make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing – not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days – could quench their desire to make a better life in a country where freedom existed. The Happiest Refugee tells the incredible, uplifting and inspiring life of one of our favourite personalities. Tragedy, humour, heartache and unswerving determination – a big life with big dreams. Anh’s story will move all who read it.

“A BELTER of a book.  I’ve been at the National Library for ten years: I’ve had to read a lot of books…this is one of the best!” Heidi Pritchard

Myriad blurbs accompany Anh’s memoir….In a nutshell, this story is about both the absence and the presence of a common humanity and love.  Beautiful. SDGs 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/11/12/16/17

 

 

“SANCTUARY” – Judy NUNN Penguin Random House Australia 2018

A compelling novel in which compassion meets bigotry, hatred meets love, and ultimately despair meets hope on the windswept shores of Australia.

Judy Nunn writes: “I’ve written about immigrants many times in the past, particularly those from ravaged European countries following World War 11; we are, after all, an immigrant nation. In “Sanctuary” I’m once again writing about those seeking refuge from the horrors of war. But this is a new generation and these are different people from different places with different backgrounds. I’ve been enthralled discovering my characters and following their journey.  I hope you will be too. Judy Nunn 2017

On a barren island off the coast of Western Australia, a rickety wooden dinghy runs aground. Aboard are nine people who have no idea where they are. Strangers before the violent storm that tore their vessel apart, the instinct to survive has seen them bond during their days adrift on a vast and merciless ocean.

Fate has cast them ashore with only one thing in common…fear.  When they remain undiscovered on a deserted island, they dare to dream of a new life…however, forty kilometres away on the mainland lies a tiny fishing port.  Here everyone knows everyone and everyone has his or her place…things never change…until now…

Really interesting. Nunn states that among her research resource she would like to recognise the incredible collection of material loaned by Mohammad Sadeghpour; Abrolhos Islands – Conversations Victor France, Larry Mitchell ,Alison Wright; Fremantle Arts Centre Press 1998; and The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria Janine de Giovanni, Bloomsbury Publishing 2016.

 

COMMUNITY: For our WOMEN AND CHILDREN in crisis, Refuge is also often needed….

RUTH’S Women’s Shelter Cairns Inc. established a ‘hub’ in a local shopping centre – RUTH’S HUB is located at Shop 108, Raintrees Shopping Centre, Manunda, Queensland. Contact: (07) 4281 6899. This ‘hub’ provides a safe place for women and children affected by domestic and family abuse and violence…here they can meet, chat, laugh, cry, have a cuppa, share stories and discover new ideas, information and advice.

Ruth’s Women’s Shelter is a not for profit organisation that provides crisis accommodation and support services for those affected by family abuse and violence. Ruth’s has been operating since 1977 thanks to the foresight of the four women founders, Ruth Thomas, Pat O’Hara, Joan Trewern and Jean Bleyerveld  who initially formed the Women’s Electoral Lobby in Cairns in 1975. Ruth’s Hub now offers:

  • Computer access and Instruction
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Volunteering Opportunities
  • Information and Advice
  • Quiet Space to use the Telephone
  • Support
  • Advocacy
  • Friendly Chats! SDGs 1/2/3/4/5/10/16

Memories of having taken refuge in Ruth’s Shelter in the mid-1980s were vividly retrieved one morning, many years later. This poem was published in 2001.

I am glad you are laughing.

You still are? Yes,

I am laughing too.

I am glad I recognised you

Even if you did not recognise me

We met, you see, in the Shelter

Where we needed to be Safe

Before our long, long Journey!         Jennifer Ann Davies 2001

 

ART:

 GOOD NEWS FOR ART LOVERS!

The Queensland Art Gallery opens on Monday 22 June 2020!

QAGOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) will open on Friday 2 August 2020!

At QAG you will be able to enjoy– Mavis NGALLAMETTA “Show Me the Way to Go Home!”

…the stunning retrospective of the work of this accomplished North Queensland artist. *Please check for details, in case something changes when borders are open and restrictions continue to lessen.                         enews@qagoma.qld.gov.au SDGs 3/4/12/17

*Galleries are working with Queensland Health to finalise site-specific COVID Safe Plans.

 

UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND NEWS: Renowned Brisbane sculptor, Rhyl HINWOOD, is creating modern 3D printed versions of her traditional Great Court sandstone carvings and bronze busts. You can view more detail online.

UQ’s Photo Gallery looks back at historically significant and interesting photos – currently you can view those that look back on 1911 – 1920…..more will be advised they tell me so we will be able to follow a photographic timeline!    advancementnews@uq.edu.au SDGs 3/4/8/11/17

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! The Kuranda Paper Issue 322 July 2020 celebrates the 29th anniversary of ‘The Kuranda Paper’!!

The first edition was printed in July 1991.

 

This community newspaper is bursting with great articles, covering local business and its revival, environmental issues, gardening and seed saving, arts and letters, the historicity of the area and intriguing short stories!  From the scientific information of the local butterflies in the Kuranda’s iconic Butterfly Sanctuary, to warning of meat baits that could be eaten local cassowaries, Merlin and chick, one views local history, the Men’s Shed, Kuranda Arts Co-op, Ranger’s reports, Health issues and much more.

Included in this issue is a reminder of the ARTS FUNDING announced by Premier Annastacia Palasczuk. ARTS QUEENSLAND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES ARE INDICATED BELOW.  Further information is on the ARTS Queensland website and further information will be uploaded as guidelines are finalised. www.arts.qld.gov.au/aq-funding/arts-and-cultural-recovery-package

Initiatives will be delivered across four key areas, with the first applications made from July 1 2020.

$11.3M to assist in offsetting revenue losses and stabilise businesses in our live music and performing arts organisations and venues.

$4.2M to fund a pipeline of performing arts and live music to support our cultural and tourism recovery.

$4.15M to support audience and market access. New grand funding will be available to support a diverse range of alternative venues and digital support may be provided.

$2.9M to support partnerships with local councils, venues, artists, festivals and organisations to continue employment and provide unique experiences across Queensland.

Thank you, Kuranda Paper and Congratulations on your ongoing success! www.kurandapaper.com

SDGs 1/2/3/4/8/11/17

This is STATE funding and distinct from any grants from the $250M Federal Funding for Arts/Letters.

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