Introducing The Catholic Precinct Soundtrail – a geo locative audio walk and meditation of one of Armidale’s most loved historic sites.
This comes to us through the eyes (and ears) of a group of gifted young Aboriginal kids who herald from across the Armidale Catholic diocese, from as far as Walgett to Tenterfield. These kids (dubbed Wii Gaay kids – Kamilaroi for clever kids) were given free rein of the place and after figuring out how to use the digital recorders and microphones and the right questions to ask, they went forth: interviewing principles and Fathers and local historians, playing the cathedral organ and opening and closing confessional doors.
Starting in Central Park and finishing outside St Mary’s school, this soundtrail takes in 160 years of history, the Bishops, the whispers of confession and the Ursuline convent – formerly an enclosed order.
Just as importantly, it attests to the ongoing relationship between the Armidale Catholic diocese, the local Aboriginal families who lived in East Armidale and the broader Armidale community.
It mixes voices, prayer, song, story, Gregorian chant and even rap into the recognisable signature of the Soundtrails audio walks.
The Catholic Precinct Soundtrail is a feast for the ears. Go forth and discover!
Armidale Catholic Precinct Soundtrail producer: Hamish Sewell
VOICES HEARD: The Wii Gaay kids - you know who you are - without you this Soundtrail would not have been possible. Steve Widders - Welcome to Country. From the Catholic Schools Office, Armidale: Lee Herden, Sharon Cooke, Catherine Taylor, Kay Moore, Joan Shanahan, Tony Spiller, Chris Smyth and Bob Blair; Belinda Burton from St Marys; former Ursuline, Cath Duxbury; former St Mary's student and Gumbainggin elder, Hazel Green; Caroline Chapman, local historian; archivist Wendy Baker, and local historian and architect, Tony Deakin.
Thanks also to Ursuline archivist, Colleen Foley, for providing photos and music from ‘Singing Our Story - The Australian Ursulines’; St Marys and Joseph’s Cathedral organist, Warwick Dunham, and the St Mary and Joseph’s men’s choir.
Final thanks to Bill Oates and the UNE Armidale archives team and Judy Grieves from the Armidale historical society.