• The Mount Druitt Indigenous choir joins five-hundred primary school students from across Sydney in song for the Survival Day 2016 event at Sydney Harbour. (NITV)Source: NITV
The Mount Druitt Indigenous choir joins five-hundred primary school students from across Sydney in song for the Survival Day 2016 event at Sydney Harbour.
By
Hannah Hollis, Laura Murphy-Oates

Source:
NITV News
26 Jan 2016 - 6:14 PM  UPDATED 27 Jan 2016 - 1:42 PM

For some of the 500 students that performed in front of thousands that had packed Circular Quay, this was the first time they had spoken Dharug language. But not for the Mt Druitt Indigenous choir.

Their appearance at Survival Day 2016 marked their two-hundreth performance in the past five years, singing both English and Indigenous-language songs.

"Australia Day for me is just a special day to hang out with the community to share the heritage that you have with Australia," said Sarah Armstrong, one of oldest members of the choir.

The children aged from three to 15 years, had been practicing a chant in Dharug language for the past three months in preparation for their Sydney Harbour performance.

Listen to the students sing 'Lean On Me' in Dharug language:

"In 2010 we were asked to do a Christmas show, and it was amazing because ever since people have been asking them to sing," said Culloroy man and choirmaster Dave Armstrong.

"We actually pay the Indigenous elders of the area to come in and teach them language and in a few minutes the kids are starting to sing in language, it's amazing," said Mr Armstrong.

The kids come from many nations including Gamilaroi, Bundjalung  and Dharug.

'Nothing but Love'

"Wherever they come from we just want to honour the land that they’re on by singing in the language of the land", said Mr Armstrong.

"The elders love it, kids are learning language and hopefully they’ll learn their own language as well."