Issue 7
Monday, 02 September 2019
Charles Darwin University
E-news
From left: Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Operations Meredith Parry, CYCM Director Paolo Fabris, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley
From left: Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Operations Meredith Parry, CYCM Director Paolo Fabris, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley

Governor-General top of pops with choir

By Patrick Nelson

An in-tune Australian Governor-General found himself singing along to some of the big hits from the 1960s when he visited the Top End’s finest choir at Casuarina campus recently.

His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley were heading home from the Garma Festival when they called in at the Centre for Youth and Community Music.

CYCM Director Paolo Fabris said choristers performed some of the songs from the sell-out concert “Welcome to the ’60s”, including “Happy Together”, “What a Wonderful World”, and “Colour My World”.

“We gave them the words, so they could sing with us, but they already knew them,” Mr Fabris said. 

“We also sang ‘Gagudju’, a song that I wrote about Indigenous people from Kakadu, which really touched Mrs Hurley, who became quite emotional. They asked me to send the score to their office, saying they wanted this song to be more widely known. I felt quite honoured.”

Mr Fabris said the Governor-General and his wife believed in the power of music and its ability to bring people together.

“He told us of his hope that in the next 10 years Australia would become a nation that sings. His message reinforced the importance of music education from primary through tertiary education.”

Mr Fabris said Mrs Hurley was a stunning singer and that the Governor-General was a fantastic baritone.

“I invited him to join us as a fly-in base singer. He laughed and said he would consider the offer.”

The Governor-General marked the visit by presenting CYCM with a medal of appreciation.