Madeleine Maddens GenerationOne Interview
GenerationOne is launching its nationwide Hands Across Australia School Competition 2011 to coincide with National Reconciliation Week and to highlight their goal of bringing Australians together in one generation.
The GenerationOne theme song Hands Across Australia, recorded by Aussie legends Christine Anu, Ernie Dingo, Jack Thompson, Paul Kelly, Melinda Schneider along with the Australian Girls Choir, will be sung in schools across Australia to break down barriers and create opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
Partnering with the Australian School of Performing Arts, the competition aims to encourage teachers and students to actively engage with the issues of Indigenous education, employment and training and end the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in one generation - this generation.
Now in its second year, the national competition gives schools the opportunity to showcase their performing arts skills through two categories. Schools are invited to either:
1.Perform the song: film a performance of the GenerationOne - Hands Across Australia theme song in its original format;
2.Reform the song: film a performance of an artistic interpretation of the song - either performing the song in a different way or using it as inspiration to write their own song. A new category for 2011.
The winning school for each category will receive a GenerationOne - Hands Across Australia Education Award valued at $15,000.
Hands Across Australia School Competition 2011 judge and spokesperson; 14 year old Madeleine Madden, believes the competition is a great way to close the gap.
"The competition is a great chance for school kids to get creative and do something positive to bring all Australians together, indigenous and non-Indigenous. Partner with another school or community group to create your entry. " she said.
Over 100 entries were received in 2010, the competitions first year. The national winner was a joint submission between South Australian schools Marree Aboriginal School and Pembroke School who used their long standing partnership to create their entry.
GenerationOne CEO, Tim Gartrell, is expecting more joint entries this year. "We're encouraging schools to look at how they can use the competition to build ongoing relationships with other schools and reflect GenerationOne's message of working together. There's no better place to build this movement for change than in our schools and there's no better message than different schools working together to help end the disparity between our people."
In an initiative to promote the competition in classrooms, every school in Australia will receive a competition pack, which includes classroom resources for teachers. The pack also includes a DVD, introduced by Madeleine Madden, which contains materials to learn the Hands Across Australia song, and a bonus dance clip to Blackfella/Whitefella that was choreographed and performed by Australian School of Performing Arts' Dale Pope and up and coming talent Thomas Kelly from NAISDA Dance College.
The Hands Across Australia School Competition closes 23 September, with winners announced Thursday 20 October.
For more information on the GenerationOne Hands Across Australia School Competition or GenerationOne go to www.generationone.org.au
Interview with Madeleine Maddens
Maddy Maddens is a GenerationOne Hands Across Australia School Competition 2011 judge and spokesperson.
Question: How does it feel to be a youth ambassador?
Madeleine Maddens: It is a great honour to be selected as one of the youth ambassador for National Youth Week because the whole part of National Youth Week is for young Australians to all come together and make a change and raise awareness on issues that they think may be harming communities and the people around them. It was a honour to be apart of something so great.
Question: Can you talk about the Hands Across Australia School Competition 2011 and what it is?
Madeleine Maddens: The Hands Across Australia School Competition is for 10,000 schools around Australia to participate in making an entry on the song Hands Across Australia which is the Hands Across Australia theme. The competition encourages indigenous schools to get together with non-indigenous schools or partner with other community groups to make the entry. The group can write it, rap it, perform it or sing Hands Across Australia and all they have to do is upload the video to GenerationOne.
Question: You're a judge for the Hands Across Australia School Competition 2011 - what will you be looking out for in the entries?
Madeleine Maddens: I am looking out for people working together and being creative with their entry. I think all the entries will be fantastic but I'd love to see people really getting along and learning a lot about each other.
Question: What inspired you to address to the nation in regards to calling for all Australian's to work together to end Indigenous disparity in one generation?
Madeleine Maddens: I believe that most people have acknowledged the issue but nothing has really been done about it. So many people are so passionate about making a change and it influenced me because my Grandfather, Charles Perkins and my other Grandfather, Charles Maddens have been working all their lives to give myself and my brothers, my sisters and my parents what they never had. So many indigenous kids should have the opportunity to do what they want to do and live their dream; I was inspired to stand up and say something in the hope of inspiring other Australians.
Question: Are you passionate about this topic, because of your family?
Madeleine Maddens: Yes, I definitely would say I am passionate about the topic because my family is quite a political family especially my grandparents and I am definitely inspired by that. As I said before, it is an issue that needs to be addressed and every kid should have a choice and opportunity to go to school and have an education.
Question: How does it feel to know six million people have watched your two minute speech?
Madeleine Maddens: It is such a thrill to have so many people watch you on national television, it is really amazing and I am honoured to have been chosen to address the nation.
Question: How did you go about writing your two minute speech?
Madeleine Maddens: Originally they had a script planned out; I sat with my Mum and Aunty and I changed the speech and put it into my own words, the final copy of the speech was really from the heart.
Interview by Brooke Hunter