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This is Australia – um . . . isn’t it?

jlt abbott pretends Australia – the land of a fair go, of mate-ship and of lending a hand. I’ve always believed that. But under Abbott, is this changing? When I hear the line “This is Australia” from the well known GANGgajang song, Sounds of Then (This is Australia) this is how I feel.

This song resonates with me. When I hear this song, I feel the sounds, smells, the beauty of our country and our mateship are unique to Australia. They are ours and it is something to be proud of. It makes me feel grounded. Something I heard on the radio on Wednesday night made me think “This is Australia…..um…isn’t it?”

On Wednesday night, one of the members of GANGgajang, Graham “Buzz” Bistrup (ex-Angels, GANGgajang and one of the masterminds behind the best ABC show ever “Sweet and Sour“) was a guest on radio show The Musical Chair. He was discussing GANGgajang, his work on the ABC’s 80’s iconic Sweet and Sour and the good work of the Jimmy Little Foundation. Buzz is the CEO of the Jimmy Little Foundation.

The Jimmy Little Foundation is a not for profit organisation who aim to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Australians and to provide health and nutrition education and to strive for excellence in health care for Indigenous Australians. They do this through music and video. Jimmy Little was a celebrated and beloved Australian Aboriginal musician, actor and advocate whose career spanned six decades. A Yorta Yorta man, he was raised on the Cummerangunja Mission in New South Wales.

The Jimmy Little Foundation runs a great program called the “Thumbs Up – Healthy Tucker for Life” program. The program advice on the website states that this is a “Schools Program aimed at Indigenous children aged 5-16. A creative environment using music and new media workshops in schools and community concerts is employed to promote healthy eating education and information in partnership with local stores and local health services.”

It was on this radio segment I found out that the Abbott Government has cut funding to the Jimmy Little Foundation’s Programs. Once again the Abbott Government reinforces that they are not serious about funding Indigenous programs or services in Australia.

The Jimmy Little Foundation has released this statement:

Our organisation was previously funded by the Federal Department of Health but the current Government has ceased funding our programs. Our venture is to raise enough money to keep our office open with a skeleton staff for 12 months so we can “stay in the game”.

Through this blog post, I encourage everyone who reads this to donate whatever they can. Even if it is a small amount. Every bit helps. So please donate to “Start Some Good” Crowd-funding to keep these wonderful programs going. Please Tweet, Share, Re-Blog so people are aware that another savage cut by Abbott affects the people who need it most and money can be raised for this very worthy cause.

Please…Start some good and donate now:

Originally Published on Polyfeministix

 

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30 comments

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  1. Kaye Lee

    Trish,

    As I have mentioned before, I was born in a small country town in NSW. Jimmy Little came and performed there and my cousins and I all sang Telephone to Glory at the tops of our voices. I will definitely make a donation and thanks for the flashback to a simpler time.

  2. Trish Corry

    Thank you Kaye Lee.

  3. Michael Taylor

    And to think that Tony Abbott would do that. A man who speaks to Jesus himself daily.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Done 🙂

  5. Lee

    But…but…but Tony Abbott is the best friend the Aborigines ever had. With him for a friend they don’t need enemies.

  6. Trish Corry

    Thanks heaps!

  7. Trish Corry

    Exactly!

  8. Kaye Lee

    I also love that gangajang song and have seen them perform it locally. I spend a lot of time out on the patio 🙂

  9. Trish Corry

    I am a mad, mad, mad Angels fan and both Buzz and Chris Bailey champion this organisation. This is how I heard about it. I follow Buzz on Facebook. I also saw Ganggajang back in the late 80s when they came to Rockhampton. I still remember the intro to that song. The singer said that it was inspired by their life in Bundaberg sitting on the patio watching the canefields. It was awesome to hear that, as coming from regional Australia, you only ever hear or see of ‘capital city people’ making it. Ganggajang supported Jimmy Barnes that night and I went to hear GanggaJang. I like Jimmy Barnes but I went to see the members of the Angels playing in their other band. It was a great concert.

  10. Kaye Lee

    I also love the Angels. They kept me fit bouncing up and down as I danced to all their songs. The Chisels were great too. Music is a world within itself, it’s a language we all understand……

    Bummer…everyone’s in bed so I can’t crank up the tunes.

  11. Trish Corry

    I’m a huge Australian Pub Rock music fan. I’m very much an 80s girl.

  12. Wally

    Laptop, headphones and YouTube is all you need. It is amazing how much real (older) music is just a click away. The very early aussie rock is well worth the time to re familiarise yourself with, Axiom, Chain, John Farnam, Daddy Cool, Redgum, Shantoozies and then there are the OS classics like Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Jefferson Starship, Joe Cocker, Blonde, Pink, Fleetwood Mack, Santana, Bob Dylan and the legend himself Eric Clapton……………………………………………………………..

    Love music probably the result of playing in brass bands from the age of 7. My all time favourite is Hyperdrive a bit left of the mainstream.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I think I am probably older than you…turning 58 in a few months…..but I also loved the pub rock scene and we saw such amazing bands. Even at Sydney Uni the lunchtime concerts were fantastic. Mental as Anything, Flowers, Rose Tattoo…countless others. It made it very hard to head off to chemistry pracs – no wonder I failed it first go.

  14. Trish Corry

    Living in a capital city must have its advantages. How awesome to see those bands at lunchtime! We would be all over ourselves when a band came to Rockhampton. I’m 45 btw.

  15. Kaye Lee

    We were certainly spoilt music wise. I was living with my boyfriend (now husband almost 40 years on) and we had no money – my scholarship, a few bar and waitressing shifts, and I worked at the trots as a bookmakers clerk – but we got to see the best music. How do kids do it nowadays with the cost of concerts?

  16. Cassandra

    When I see what the AFP is doing it is more like Zimbabwe and Abbott is more like Mugabe than an Australian leader…

  17. Wally

    “How do kids do it nowadays with the cost of concerts?” Most concerts are far too expensive nowadays, I think most of the younger ones see local acts in the pubs and clubs rather than the popular artists concerts. My wife and I recently saw Karise Eden winner of the first series of the voice at the Regent in Ballarat and it was only about $40- each which I thought was a bargain for second row middle of the stage. Karise in my opinion is one of the best talents Australia has ever produced.

    Her concert was the first night away from home of a 5 week trip to Cape York, Australia is so bloody good we have it all. Only 3 weeks until I head to Birdsville for the races, can’t wait it is so cold where I live this year.

    Don’t know if you were referring to me or Trish “I think I am probably older than you” but I am only 18 months younger.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Wally,

    I worked at the refuge that Karise was living at when she auditioned for the Voice. Before she became famous she gave me a CD one day that she had made herself when she was 16. I insisted on paying her for it (thinking I was just encouraging a kid), came home and played it and immediately rang the refuge and said to her we MUST get you out there. I sent a demo tape to a person I know that manages bands and he took it to the US with him, In the meantime Karise, with the help of a woman from the local PCYC had been accepted for the Voice. They made her sign an exclusive contract. I watched every show (don’t normally watch that stuff) and I cried every time she sang. I knew how hard it was for her to put herself out there – she had lived in a refuge from the age of 12. I lost contact with her after that but heard she had a bubba. She was attacked on social media – who knows why – but I am so happy to hear she is performing again. I agree she is one of our greatest talents, but she is also very fragile – or was- and with good reason. What she endured should not happen to any child.

    How’s this for an audition…..

  19. Kaye Lee

    Could I add that after Karise won the Voice, she came back and did a surprise gig at the local PCYC battle of the bands and donated $10,000 of her winnings to help local kids to hire a studio to make a CD. Previously she didn’t have two cents to rub together but she never forgot.

  20. Wally

    Kaye the first time I heard her on the Voice I said she would win, her voice has so much tone and so tuneful. Move over Janis Joplin! Every time I hear her sing it brings tears to my eyes, hard to cover up at her concert I might add. She was so modest on stage and got right into the audience explaining the background of her songs. I purchased a pre release version of her latest album “Things I Have Done” and I recommend it to everyone I speak to. Another newcomer (and I don’t usually get into country music) is Victoria Edwards, I heard her sing at the Birdsville races last year and she is singing at the Hotel again this year. Her latest album Authentic is another must have CD.

    http://www.victoriaedwards.com/

    Karise has a Facebook page for her fans and she posts regular updates of where she is playing etc. I am certain she would like to hear from you.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Thanks Wally. I will look for it tomorrow. It is way past this old lady’s bedtime but this post from Trish and your comments have made me relive a great deal of my past. I think music has the potential to bring us all together.

  22. babyjewels10

    I don’t feel this is the Australia we know and love, any more. It’s astonishing how much change Tony Abbott has achieved in 2 years. We must have had an underlying mean side, kept hidden all these years, and he has brought it out very efficiently.

  23. June M Bullivant OAM

    Jimmy Little was a Granville man, his agent was a Granville man, Abbott and his pollie mates spend money like it is going out of fashion, over 100 million for a lost plane, (I feel sorry for the people who lost loved ones) but it is a lot of money, his other ideas of taxing the poor and sick, I paid an extra $5.00 (co-payment for my medicines) per month and my husband paid the same, cutting funding to a group like this, is disgusting, why doesn’t he make all politicians pay back the money they have charged to the Australian community that doesn’t pass the sniff test, we may not have to tax the sick and the poor.

  24. kizhmet

    Thank you Trish – done 🙂

  25. Trish Corry

    Thx Kizhmet

  26. Chris Blaikie

    Hi Trish – I was expecting a bad news kind of post and it is….but you made my day with the ‘Sweet and Sour’ link. Loved that show too. Just watched episode 1. on youtube with my partner who is a bit younger than me (I would have been about 13 when it was on TV). The brother of one of my exes used to go out with Tracey Mann (If I’m getting the story right). He was a musician too and taught saxophone to one of the women in the show.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3zaf3FTvpM
    PS. I was @smoketoome on twitter (we chatted at times) but I have no mobile phone any more and they suspended my account as my home phone wasn’t acceptable. I’m not dead, yet. I’m sorry to anyone that followed me…if you felt it was appropriate to apologize on my behalf …do it/or not. : )

  27. crypt0

    babyjewels120
    You nailed it … exactly.
    Yep … this is Australia … for sure.

  28. crypt0

    Actually I believe abbott only went out there to take advantage of
    Australia’s generous travelling expense accounts for MP’s.
    And he certainly did.
    Made bronny look like a B grade amateur.

  29. Bronte ALLAN

    What a two (or more!) faced heartless, bastard, so-called Christian this Tony Abscess is! SACK TONY ABSCESS!! Soon, please!

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