Hugh Jackman delights outback locals on trip to see ‘Aussie super food’

Gubinge, a super fruit with healing power that's also good to eat
Is this the Indigenous bread Australia 'kneads'?
(Supplied: La Grange RCS) ABC Kimberley


Vanessa Mills


August 08, 2018 08:53:19

Hugh Jackman receives a homemade card at La Grange Remote Community School.
Broome 6725
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“It’s not every day that Hollywood superstar comes to a small community like this, so we really appreciated it,” Ms Smith said.”I had a brief talk about who I am. (ABC Kimberley: Emily Jane Smith.)
Bush plum gets the seal of approval”Hugh’s son Oscar is a very keen horticulturist,” Northern Regional TAFE lecturer Kim Courtenay said.”Last year when they were in Broome they heard about the work we’ve been doing in communities with gubinge.”A small green plum, rich in vitamin C, gubinge is in high demand for its use in foods, cosmetics and medicines.The plum is mostly harvested from wild trees but with global demand increasing, TAFE planted seedlings at Bidyadanga a decade ago and trained locals in horticulture. (Supplied: Paul Boon)
Special day for remote studentsThe 200 students at La Grange Remote Community School were amazed by the celebrity visit.”We’re focused on improving our attendance and having our students there with a reward to meet the Wolverine in person was a great opportunity,” Principal Bronwyn Wright said.”He’s a really genuine man, generous with his time and down to earth. (Supplied)
He said he was still struggling to believe the actor posted a photo of him in his black hat and orange safety gear to his 24 million Facebook and Instagram followers.Bidyadanga resident Ronnie Smith, who works in primary health care, was also star-struck by the visit. “He’s also got interests in fair trade coffee, so to have to have someone of that profile to recognise that this project was worthwhile was great.”

Broome TAFE lecturer Kim Courtenay grabs a selfie with Hugh Jackman.     Jackman described the tart-tasting fruit as an “Aussie super food”.”He saw the community members working in the field with us and Oscar joined in,” Mr Courtenay said. He played with the kids.”She said Jackman told students about his movie roles, his interest in the Kimberley and toured the school vegetable garden.They also loaded him up with some souvenirs — locally-made candles, a Bidyadanga Emus Football Club cap and a card made by the year one-two primary class.”He basically let everyone line up to take a photo with him, one at a time and he never has a smile off his face,” Mr Courtenay said. It’s not every day that one of Hollywood’s biggest stars drops into an isolated Aboriginal community to learn more about bush foods.But the star of Wolverine is not your ordinary star.”The students kept touching his hands to see if the blades would come out,” La Grange Remote Community School Principal Bronwyn Wright said.”He hammed it up a bit saying, ‘They’ll only come out if I get really angry’.”Jackman and his son were visiting Bidyadanga, a coastal community 160 kilometres south of Broome with around 700 residents, to learn more about its bush food plantation. It was a great privilege.” Hugh has a soft spot for Indigenous communities and wants to make a change, and the people really believe in him.”Starry night in the desertBroome musician Paul Boon helped organise the trip for his celebrity friend, who he has performed alongside on Broadway.”As a friend I wanted to share Broome and the Kimberley with him and his family, to connect him to the country, the wonderful people and our lifestyle,” Boon said..”As a creative person the trip to the Kimberley has been an amazing opportunity for ideas and future projects.”For Mr Courtenay it was a remarkable day amongst the gubinge trees.”He’s a lovely man with a great heart and it shows,” he said.”We’re lucky to have someone like this Australian who cares about people. Photo:
The gubinge, an Aussie ‘super food’. Photo:
Bidyadanga locals Tahlia Badal and Maureen Yanawana grab a selfie.

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Band battle gives performers with disabilities a chance to shine

Disability no barrier for annual Battle of the Bands comp

Noosa Heads 4567

Facial recognition technology used to diagnose intellectual disabilities
ABC Sunshine Coast

By Kylie Bartholomew


August 08, 2018 12:16:07

Video: People with disabilities celebrate individuality at Battle of the Bands

(ABC News)

Women with intellectual disabilities inspiring others to find work

(Supplied: Endeavour Foundation)
“A lot of the guys knew most of the words to start with so that helped,” Ms Bowling said.”We tried to bring in some key word signs as part of our choreography this year … and a little bit of dance moves as well just to mix it up a bit.”A lot of those signs are natural gestures but it can get quite complicated … we are trying to incorporate some of those signs into our songs.”Band member Brian Williams said he hoped the group’s daily rehearsals for the last three months would lead to a performance which would leave the audience thunderstruck.”I love singing on stage with my friends and practising everyday. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)
“About three or four months beforehand we come up with a song first and then a name for the band and then all the fun starts,” Mr Lyons said.”There’s always a lot of enthusiasm choosing the song to sing and once the practise starts, the dedication kicks in and everyone really starts going for it.”

As the music plays, Dean Adamson exudes confidence and joy banging on the tambourine and dancing. Photo:
Jamie Lyons (c) from the Endeavour Foundation guides the Wallace Park group through rehearsals. Photo:
The Nambour Believers take to the stage at the Battle of the Bands on the Sunshine Coast. It puts everyone in a really good place,” he said.”It’s just one of those activities that no matter how you’re feeling when you come into the service, everyone seems to pick-up when the music starts rolling.”Judges look for heart, expressionThe groups performed in front of a packed crowd in Noosa while Sunshine Coast musicians Michael Barry and Shaun Sayer gave feedback after each performance. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)
“I can’t wait to see what happens and I’m very, very excited.”Melissa Webb plays the tambourine and was also bursting with excitement at rehearsals.”I like most songs … I feel happy and I just like it every time it comes on,” she said.Signing added to singing, dancingThe feeling of joy was one that resonated across all the bands participating, including Signs of Gympie which made the 200 kilometre round trip to the event for the first time this year.Endeavour Foundation support worker Carl Falkner said the band members jumped at the chance to be involved and incorporated key word signing into their performance.He said key word signs enhanced communication through a combination of Auslan and signing. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)
Mr Lyons said the music, singing and dancing made a “massive” difference to the participants’ lives.”It’s great for everyone’s mentality generally. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)
Sally Bowling, support worker from the Nambour Believers, said the group was excited to “up the ante” on last year’s performance with their rendition of The Monkees’ hit I’m a Believer. It is the Endeavour Foundation’s fifth annual event, which includes participants from service providers, schools and bands where the majority of band members have a disability.This year’s event was the biggest yet with 13 bands coming from Brisbane’s southside, Ipswich, Gympie, Caboolture and across the Sunshine Coast.Jamie Lyons, a support worker from the foundation’s Wallace Park group at Noosa, said the event stirred a lot of excitement. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)
Mr Barry, who sat in the judge’s chair for his first time, said he was not looking for musicianship as much as he was looking for joy and expression in the performances.”If you don’t feel today in your heart I think you need to feel if you’ve got a pulse,” Mr Barry said.”It’s so amazing to see people expressing themselves and what music and creativity can do to bring communities together.”Whether you’ve got a disability or not, that’s something everyone can relate to.”Fellow judge Shaun Sayer agreed.”I know how hard it is to be out there on stage, but to see these guys on stage is just an honour to see them up there … they get a wicked, wicked buzz,” Mr Sayer said.”A disability is a challenge, it’s not a problem, that’s what people need to remember.”

Groups from the Endeavour Foundation, schools and community groups such as the Sunshine Butterflies take to the stage in the Battle of the Bands. Photo:
Jason Wellington gives a passionate performance on the bongoes and harmonica. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)
Mr Nicholls, who has been with the Endeavour Foundation for 20 years, said he felt happy when performing.”All our guys have been working hard to rehearse for Battle of the Bands,” he said. Photo:
Judges and musicians Shaun Sayer (l) and Michael Barry gave feedback to each of the groups after their performance. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)
Singer steps into idol’s shoesFor Troy Nicholls, the lead singer of The Rollers and The Incredibles, belting his favourite tune You’re the Voice was an opportunity to pretend for a moment that he was stepping into the shoes of his idol, John Farnham.”I’ve met him in real life, it was an amazing dream come true,” Mr Nicholls said.”I got to go on stage with him in Sydney and meet him live.”

Troy Nicholls, Gavan Wittenberg, Jason Wellington (drums) and Sally McKenzie in rehearsals. Photo:
Support workers Carl Falkner leads the Endeavour Foundation’s Gympie group through their performance at the Battle of the Bands. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)
“Thunder [by Imagine Dragons] is a song they just love and we put some signs to it and it just all went from there,” Mr Falkner said.He said they loved the music, movement, teamwork and performing for the first time on stage, and the group was already discussing a song for next year’s event.”I think the support workers were the most nervous but when we got out there it was just fun,” Mr Falkner said.”It is a little bit daunting but once you’re up there all the nerves go and it just flows.”Upping the ante

The 2018 Battle of the Bands attracted more than 120 performers from 13 bands across south east Queensland.
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Do we need to rethink disability?

After more than three months of planning and rehearsing, more than 120 people with disabilities from across South East Queensland have taken to the stage in the annual Battle of the Bands concert on the Sunshine Coast.
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