When Isaac plays the didgeridoo, he finds himself absorbed in an ancient culture.
“When I play, I blank everything out and just lose myself in it. I focus on the moment. I find it’s a great way to release stress,” the 15-year-old Newcastle student said.
The instrument, which he began playing six years ago, “opened my eyes to my culture”.
“I want to learn more about the Aboriginal ways,” he said, adding that he aims to “develop my understanding of where I came from”.
“I didn’t really know much about my Aboriginal heritage until I started to learn to play.”
A teacher running classes on Aboriginal culture invited Isaac to join in. It was there that he began to play the iconic wind instrument.
“I’ve been told that a lot of people find it hard to play, but for me it seemed to come naturally. I play it in school assemblies now and practice at home,” he said.
“It gives me a sense of belonging. I like that it’s something I can do that others struggle with.”
When he hears someone playing the didgeridoo, he stops to listen.
This, he said, was a way to show respect.
“I enjoy learning about respect as part of Aboriginal culture. When you listen, you can identify the different animal noises that are being made,” he said.
This week, Isaac has been attending the Bella Momentum art workshop at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.
The workshop is aimed at showing the students artwork and art techniques while opening their minds to art-related careers.
The Smith Family, which runs the event, has sponsored Isaac since his first year of school. He’s now in year 10. The charity pays for uniforms, school books and school trips.
He also receives mentoring and the chance to participate in educational programs.
The Smith Family works to break vicious cycles of disadvantage. As part of this, it helps children to achieve their potential. It aims to have a lasting effect on the kids of today and tomorrow. Every kid deserves a chance, they say. Who can argue with that?
From what we can see, they’re creating virtuous cycles – just like the sounds of the didgeridoo.
A runaway horse found galloping down Warners Bay Road is back home, safe and sound.
Lake Macquarie City Council rangers somehow managed to catch the beautiful beast. It’s pictured here having a much-needed rest, after the stress of dodging vehicles on a main road.
After the council posted news of the great escape and subsequent capture on Facebook, owner Jess Paterson came forward to reclaim her horse, an 8-year-old named Dee.
“He is back in his paddock safe and cannot escape,” she said on social media, thanking those who helped.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.