Power of music to fight ignorance and unite all people
DARLEEN Oliver was a teenager by the time she discovered her indigenous heritage and, as she learns more about her culture, she wants others in the community to join her.
Re-establishing the Carbal Community Choir in February was one way to bring indigenous and non-indigenous people together and the group is set to have their first performance on Saturday in honour of Reconciliation Week.
"It's all about the reconciliation, getting everybody in the community together,” Mrs Oliver said.
"To sing and be happy and let go of everything. To encourage that non-racism.”
Mrs Oliver, who is a low-intensity mental health support worker at Carbal Medical Services, said racism still existed in the community.
"I'm really sad that it's still there, I really would like to think that we can move forward from that but there's so much,” she said.
"It's just ignorance more than anything, too many of the past stories on people's ideas and assumptions. It's just passed on from generation to generation.”
Mrs Oliver said reconciliation was about exposing the truth of the past so everyone could accept it and move forward.
"We've lost our culture and way of life so for us we have to re-learn, so it's a new path for everyone,” she said.
"Listening to each other and helping each other and supporting each other.
"And to let them know that they're not to blame, we don't blame present day people for what happened in the past.
"It's the whole system that was wrong in the past.”
Mrs Oliver said she got a lift at choir rehearsals every Wednesday evening, as about 10-16 people join together to sing both indigenous and non-indigenous songs.
Within the choir room there is no segregation.
"Music is a world language, everybody can enjoy it,” Mrs Oliver said.
The choir will take part in the Carbal Reconciliation Community Day, which starts at 10am Saturday at Leslie Park before moving to the Salvation Army Hall, 25 Guy St.
Celebrations will conclude at 3pm and entry is free.