Marilyn Fraser, MacKillop’s Aboriginal Education Worker, organised the event after hearing a review of the film on the radio on her way to work. The theme for NAIDOC week this year was ‘Because of her, we can!’ The Darkinjung people, the traditional owners of the land on which Mackillop College was built, were invited to attend, along with the local community.
“I was intrigued to find out more about this unique group [of women], who sang baroque German hymns first brought to Central Australia by Luther missionaries in the Nineteenth Century in Pitjantjatjara and Arrarnta.”
Eighty people attended the screening, with one audience member praising it as “an inspiring story about women, culture and song and how coming together brings strength to all.”
Others commented on “the cross-cultural connection that formed deep human relationships through their love of singing and keeping their languages alive.”
Some members of the audience were moved to tears and laughter.
Mackillop also celebrated NAIDOC week with a visit from Melissa Jackson from the State Library of New South Wales, who spoke to students about her work and the meaning of NAIDOC. Artist and musician Adam Hill ran workshops with the secondary students and the primary students had a day of activities and workshops including a smoking ceremony and traditional performances.
“I was both humbled and grateful for the support shown by the staff of MacKillop and the engagement from our entire community of students,” said Ms Fraser.