Kiah Kids

 

kiah-launch1

 

by Jess Duncan, BE Project Coordinator in Moree

The children at Kiah Pre-School in Moree were so proud to launch their CD today. Called Kiah Kids – Yuligi Yugul Gari, it’s a collection of songs translated into our Kamilaroi language, and includes familiar ones like If You’re Happy & You Know It and original ones written by Simon Mellor like Riding on the Bus.

I was so excited to hold the CD in my hands. I know how much they will be treasured by the kids’ families because of how proud they are of what their children have accomplished, and they’ll also be a really useful cultural tool for the next generation.

The idea for the CD began last year with Simon’s first visit to Kiah and what was the start of a beautiful relationship with the kids, staff and Moree community.

Kiah is very dear to my heart because I went there. Last year it celebrated its 50th anniversary so it’s become an institution in Moree. The continuation of our culture and language is so important and at Kiah they incorporate it into songs, dance and performances – the kids get to learn about traditional Aboriginal practices in fun and engaging ways.

It has been such an enjoyable experience for me and a trip down memory lane to work with Maxine and other local people to teach Simon the lingo. I have loved learning some new lingo and that’s what this project has been all about … learning our culture while having fun.

For me one of the most memorable moments was Kiah’s performance at the Festival of the Brolga. The sight of these little 3- and 4-year olds singing on stage and being proud of their culture and identity, not to mention being brave enough to perform in front of hundreds of people, is something that will always stay with me.

My favourite part of today’s launch was seeing the pride and happiness on the kids faces’ when I gave them their copy of the CD. They thought they were superstars.

In Kamilaroi Yuligi means “to dance/to play, Yugul¬† – song and Gari¬† – talk/language’

KIAH KIDS CD is available from: jess@be.org.au