As part of its efforts towards embracing and promoting cultural diversity within the broader community, the Queensland Chapter of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association hosted a fundraising event for the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre on December 9.

More than 250 guests attended the event in the Banco Court Foyer at the QEII Courts of Law, Brisbane.

The highlight of the evening was the performance by the Yugambeh Youth Choir, a group of Indigenous youth under the age of 25 years who sing in the Indigenous language of the Yugambeh region.

Patron of the Queensland Chapter of HAL, Chief Justice Anthe Philippides, said the event was significant because it brought indigenous language into the heart of the court.

Mal Varitimos QC, Queensland Chairperson of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association, said: “Suppression of language was not unknown to the Greeks during various periods of occupation.”

“Accordingly, the continued use and study of Indigenous language in Australia is important to Hellenic Australians, as it should be to all Australians,” Mr Varitimos said.

It is hoped that the event will demonstrate the importance of Indigenous language, and the interrelationships between language, culture and identity, whilst highlighting the broader work of the Yugambeh Museum in working to record and revitalise Australia’s first languages.

Rory O’Connor, the CEO of the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre, said: “The choir gives Indigenous youth from wide ranging backgrounds, hope and opportunity through song. Many have no training other than what the choir offers and would otherwise never have access to music.”

“Regardless of what is happening in other parts of their lives, on stage they stand united as a family and have the chance to shine.”

Accompanying the Choir and also performing on the evening was acclaimed Indigenous musician William Barton, who closed HAL’s “Embracing Diversity in the Law” seminar in June with an incredible performance.

Established in March 2014, the Choir are trained by accomplished Choirmaster and Kombumerri woman Candace Kruger.

William Barton has performed with many of the great orchestras of the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, having been described by the conductor of that orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle, as “one of the greatest virtuosos of our time”.


Pictures from the Event