We are Logan Community Choir’s debut performance a resounding success
TAFE Loganlea campus sees an average of 500 newly arrived refugees attend the campus on a weekly basis to learn English – a skill crucial to their successful integration and assimilation into their new home country of Australia.
As the arts arm of south east Queensland’s award-winning not-for-profit refugee resettlement agency Access, BEMAC this year spearheaded a community choir project with students of Loganlea TAFE, which was made possible with a Queensland Government grant through the We are Queensland Grant Program.
Access CEO Gail Ker OAM said research into the positive effects music has on the psychological, physical and social wellbeing of refugees undergoing resettlement in a new country after the traumatic experience of displacement is unequivocal.
“With this understanding, Access and BEMAC partnered with Loganlea TAFE earlier this year to establish and fund a community choir, with the purpose of providing not only access to musical expression for the students, but facilitate opportunity for the added benefits of social interaction and connection, as well as support English language mastery,” Ms Ker said.
“Through this project – which has been called We are Logan Community Choir – it was identified that a great number of students have a desire and/or talent for playing musical instruments, but don’t have access to instruments nor the financial means to purchase them.”
Passionate about creating equal opportunity and the healing power of the arts, on Thursday, 9 August, BEMAC donated a keyboard and drumkit to TAFE Loganlea, ahead of their debut performance at The Latvian Hall in Woolloongabba, which took place on Saturday, 11 August.
Anushka Weerackody said it was very touching to hear the refugee students who have lost their homes sing I still call Australia Home and I am Australian among other songs.
“I believe this was a wonderful venture in encouraging social integration and inclusion,” she said.