New school song makes cultural connection


Students Zander Cranmer and Cody Masterton love their new school song

​ST Francis Xavier School, Runaway Bay's new school song is helping reconnect the community to local First Nations' history and culture.

The song, titled We Are, which embraces the local Yugambeh language, was recently revealed at the opening of the school's new Student Services building named Nyumbalabah (which in Yugambeh – means place of learning and guiding)

Valued members of the St Francis Xavier school community, Kombumerri family, Jan, Ray and Lann Levinge, helped advise the school on the wording of the new school song.

St Francis Xavier Principal Kathy Fuller said Lann, was instrumental in helping create the song with former music teacher Louise Hall. 

Ms Fuller said Lann also helped create a beautiful boomerang on display outside the new Student Services building.

“This beautiful artwork is a wonderful symbol of our connection to our many past First Nations students our connection to our local Kombumerri saltwater people and our commitment to embrace and learn more about First Nations culture and language.

“The aspect that we are proudest of, is that our 660 students were reverent and immersed in merging the aspects of Indigenous and Catholic Spirituality for the whole duration of the ceremony," she said.

Wiradjuri student Zander Cranmer, 10, said the new song had been warmly embraced by the whole school.

"I felt proud that the school would think about Aboriginal people and make a song from Aboriginal people, I'm very proud of it, Zander said.

Ms Fuller said the school community was very appreciative of the Levinge family's support and collaboration over the past couple of years to help integrate some of the Kombumerri culture into the school.

“We now have a better understanding of Indigenous language, beliefs, music and art, Ms Fuller said.

She said each room in the Nyumbalabah building also has Yugambeh names, including Allunga (sun and gold), Wambiri (blue sea), Kimba (bush fire) and Jingella (green land).

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