Gift of Music for Mungallala students

Gift of Music program visits 13 schools on tour to Longreach


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Teacher aids Brenda Jukes and Ami Rawlings with acting principal, Joel McCaskie, and students, Kymberlee Russell, Avril Compagnoni, Nitaz Sandhy and Jessica Shelswell.

Teacher aids Brenda Jukes and Ami Rawlings with acting principal, Joel McCaskie, and students, Kymberlee Russell, Avril Compagnoni, Nitaz Sandhy and Jessica Shelswell.

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Students at the Mungallala State School received a special gift from Rural Aid's Gift of Music program on Thursday morning.

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Students at the Mungallala State School received a special gift from Rural Aid's Gift of Music program on Thursday morning. 

Rural Aid general manager, Wayne Thomson and his wife Robyn stopped in at the school on their way to Longreach, delivering musical instruments including ukuleles and boomwhackers, as well as lego, an iPad and stationary.

Acting principal, Joel McCaskie, said it was great to have people come visit the students. 

"It makes us feel as though people know we exist even though we're a small place," Mr McCaskie said.

"The instruments for these guys will give us a great opportunity to do a bit of music in our curriculum which we wouldn't normally get a chance to do.

"Because we're only a small school, we don't attract a big budget for that sort of thing, so to at least have the instruments and all the resources online, we'll be able to implement some stuff and give the kids the opportunity to be creative when they don't usually get that chance.

"It's always a challenge with small numbers and our staffing, so it's good to have the opportunity to give these kids the exposure to some of those skills and learning opportunities." 

Mr Thomson said music had always been a special part of his family's life and the Gift of Music program meant they could give that gift to others.

"We know that rural, remote and indigenous communities have very little access to music in general; teachers are very thin on the ground, as are instruments and when they do they might be 30 or 40 years old and stuck together with a bit of duct tape," he said.

"About a year ago we started to ramp up the program and looked at people donating instruments and money.

"This trip out to Longreach, we're seeing 13 schools and we're delivering instruments to all of them."

Mr Thomson said the instruments had been purchased through donations.

"They're lovely, new instruments, and some have been donated from some very wonderful people in Brisbane and Sydney," he said. 

"We just want to put musical instruments in the hands of kids in the bush and really give them the opportunity to experience that wonderful gift of music."

In addition to the instruments and classroom resources, Mr Thomson said Woolworths has donated an iPad for each of the schools.

"Budgets only go so far and if we can help add to that and give opportunities to these kids they may not have had in the past, that's the gift of music," he said. 

Students in Roma, Longreach, Ilfracombe, Barcaldine, Augathella and Jimbour are also receiving the Gift of Music. 

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