Lightning Ridge welcomes Moorambilla Voices

There’s no rest for the Moorambilla team! From Dubbo, the Moorambilla Workshop Skills tour, with Moorambilla Mum Annie Berrell at the wheel, drove on to Gilgandra, Coonamble, Gulargambone, Quanbone, Baradine, Pilliga and spent a few nights in Lightning Ridge.

Michelle is listening to every child available to see if they have the musical or creative capacity to attend this year’s Moorambilla program. All schools are included – Primary, Catholic, High School and community education groups.

Over the next week and a half, the Workshop Skills Tour will have covered over 70 schools in 42 towns: Baradine, Bugaldie, Binnaway, Bourke Distance Education, Bourke, Brewarrina, Carnavon, Cassillis, Cobar, Collarenebri, Combara, Coolah, Coonabarabran, Coonamble, Dubbo, Dunedoo, Engonnia, Gilgandra, Girilambone, Goodooga, Gulargambone, Gwabegar, Leadville, Lightning Ridge, Mendooran, Narromine, Neilrex, Nevertire, Nymagee, Nyngan, Pambula, Quambone, Quirindi, Stanmore, Trangie, Walgett, Warren.

From Artistic Director Michelle Leonard:

“It’s wonderful to connect again with everybody here and catch up with all their news. I always wish I had more time! But we have over 70 schools to see in such a short time so we can’t stay long!


Moorambilla Mum Annie Berrell records a workshop

“Justin Welsh is travelling with us this year which is such a bonus for the team. His ability to connect with the kids, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, is astounding – he has such a talent for youth work. I’m incredible excited that he can use some of this time here as part of his TAFE course in Sydney, to help him achieve his dream of working with young people.

“Justin is also doing beat boxing in workshops when we don’t have a piano and we are using some of the kids melodies and rhythms for ideas immediately to compose new works!

“At Lightning Ridge, we connected up with our fabulous Moorambilla mum Dianne Holz, who welcomed us warmly to the community. We are changing the pattern of performances this year at Moorambilla, and extending the opportunity into the region. From a Gala Performance in Coonamble, we are planning to perform in another major centre, possibly Lightning Ridge. And where else would projections and sound look better than this open cut mine. We tested the acoustics and they are perfect! In the early evening the colours are stunning and the light – well you couldn’t make that up if you tried!



Moorambilla Youth Mentor Justin Welsh at the open cut mine site visit.


Moorambilla Mum Dianne Holz checks out the open cut mine in the Ridge.


What do you think? Artistic Director Michelle Leonard and Moorambilla Mum Annie Berrell check out the open cut mine site.


“It’s still a work in progress, but we all got pretty excited about it! On we go now to Goodooga, Walgett and Brewarrina, heading for Bourke and Cobar. If Sebastian could talk he would say ‘Are we there yet’ and I would say “no honey, we are not!

“The landscape we a travelling through after the rain looks ready to spring into new growth  – all it needs is another couple of days of sunshine. The regeneration is incredible…and the colours of the enormous sky against the red landscape with silhouetted gums and saltbush is stunning.

“Seems I am still a kangaroo magnet! But at last now they tend to sit calmly on the side of the road watching us as we drive past. Phew!!! Let’s see what they are like on the road to Goodooga!’

Follow Justin Welsh on tour on Facebook – use the tag #MoorambillaTour2014 and you will find him!  Check out all the information for 2014 on the Moorambilla website: and the Moorambilla Voices Facebook page





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