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Sense of Family Celebrated in Baradine Sesqui Centenary Song

When a town is set to celebrate its 150th birthday, it needs something unique to mark the milestone. And what better way than to have the students of its school, with a little help from a songwriting professional, and a grant from the Country Arts Support Program, write the lyrics and music to the town’s own song?

The school’s P & C was successful in obtaining the $3,000 grant from the Arts NSW program that provides small grants to arts and community organisations and local arts councils in regional NSW for short term, locally initiated projects.

Small Town Culture’s Josh Arnold not only worked with the students from
Kindergarten to Year 12 at Baradine Central School, but also took the time to talk to them about their aspirations and for some, the transition from a very small school like Gwabegar with only 13 students to the larger school. For others it was about their plans after Year 12. On the list – university and studying criminology and medicine.

Students also had the opportunity to play journalist with one of the younger students, Emily, interviewing principal, Christine Clarke about the meaning of  the song’s title, We Are Family.

Mrs Clarke explained that many children attended the school from kindergarten through primary and then through to Year 12.

‘They have brothers and sisters and support one another and it’s a very special place to be,’ Mrs Clarke said.

The school predates the proclamation of the town by nine years, and like many schools
has continuously been at the centre of the community’s life.

In 2007 Josh developed the school program to collaborate with students to create original music from their ideas and stories. To date he has worked with Queensland schools. Baradine was his first foray across the border into New South Wales, and Josh said it was a fantastic experience with children telling not only of their experience of attending the school and being part of the community including playing football, but also relating tales of some not so welcome characters.

‘There is a tale of the Pillaga Yowie that according to local lad, Isaiah, is capable of ripping the doors off cars, lifting the cars into the air and even of eating people,’ Josh said.

Josh said the experience of working with the students and teachers from the school had been an unforgettable adventure.

Small Town Culture is a music and film collaboration which aims to capture the unique spirit and way of life of young people in regional Australia. Its vision is as vast as the land it represents and through these music clips takes people on a journey into the heart of regional Australia.

Baradine, with its population of almost 600 people, is the gateway to the Pillaga National Park.  Pilliga is traditional Country of the Gamilaroi People and much evidence of their ancient connection to the land is evident with tools, grinding grooves, modified trees, and rock art throughout the park.

The town will celebrate the sesqui-centenary on the Labour Day long weekend from 2 – 5 October with displays and a dinner.

Applications are currently open for CASP grants and close on 1 October. 


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