The Moorambilla Experience: New skills spark new ideas


Gala Stage cropped

Beth Stanley was the International Education Observer at this year’s Moorambilla, attending both residential camps and Festival events. She was amazed at the learning and educational experiences the children were exposed to. We’re excited to release some of the latest pictures for this story as well.

A memorable image at the completion of the Moorambilla Voices Festival was the fire sculptures, lit outside the massive Coonamble Pavillion at the end of the Gala Concert, which signified the end of this magnificent project. As I saw the participants, with pride and tears in their eyes, I realized the impact this event had on their academic and personal life.

Fire sculptures light the sky

Fire sculptures light the sky


My role as the International Educational Observer allowed me to contemplate the fulfillment this group of children had after taking the creative risks and challenges provided by Michelle Leonard and her talented ensemble.



The Moorambilla Festival became the vehicle to apply the children’s prior and present knowledge. For instance, the application of fractions as musical notation reinforced what was been taught in maths class. The children were given a reading assignment in the evenings, to read the Aboriginal stories they were to sing about, which helped with their interpretation of the music. Writing rap poetry was also part of building the musical composition that was performed during this event.

Still, the learning experiences did not stop there!  Moorambilla Voices provided every single one of the participating youths with an opportunity to take chances and discover hidden potential and new qualities of their being. They learned it was okay to be away from home, to meet new friends, to communicate and to develop interpersonal skills, to get out of their comfort zone, and to work very hard to fulfill a common goal with the end result being the commanding festival.

All singing ensembles together on stage at the Plaza Theatre.

Moorambilla Voices, Hunter School of Performing Arts and Leichhardt Espresso Chorus with Sydney Symphony Fellowship  together on stage at the Plaza Theatre.

I was especially gratified when a MAXed OUT student, came to me to reveal that he now has a clearer vision of what he wants to do in his future. Due to his involvement in this endeavor, he is no longer afraid to pursue his dreams. Again, this demonstrates the significance this project had on influencing the life’s of young adults and providing a safety net to take risks and learn about their potential.


MAXed OUT Company on stage at the Gala Concert.

MAXed OUT Company on stage at the Gala Concert performing their dance sequence.


Taiko drummer Anton Lock performs with the children of MAXed OUT Ensemble.

The glowing embers of the fire sculpture signified the end of this years 2013 Moorambilla Festival.  Yet, for the participants, it also signified the beginning of a lifelong voyage with newly acquired skills that should help in both their educational and personal endeavors.


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About Beth Stanley: “For the past 36 years I have had the pleasure to work as an educator in the US.  After graduating from Buffalo State University in New York State,  with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family and Consumer Science, I applied for the opportunity to teach in Australia. At the last minute the program lost its funding and I then started my teaching career in Baltimore, Maryland until 2012.  I advanced through the system starting as a high school instructor, to a department head, to finally a deputy principal in a large and nationally ranked high school.  I immigrated to Australia in January of this year, and received my casual teaching credentials.  I welcomed the opportunity to be a member of the supervisory team at Moorambilla Voices to learn, observe, share in this valuable experience.”


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