A big, happy community celebration marked the launch of The Wizard of Oz Festival Campbelltown on Friday evening by Cr Fred Borg, Chairperson, 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur in the presence of community leaders, politicians, artists and festival friends.
Thanking the Festival for choosing the 24HFACM as its designated charity, Cr Borg said, “This Festival is an ideal model for today’s economic climate. It provides small businesses and artists of Campbelltown the opportunity to support one another while at the same time contributing to a strong local cause”. Cr Borg officially released the Festival programme to Cr Rudi Kolkman, Oz collector Dorothy Overton & artist David Capra.
The Festival has commissioned A Migrant’s Journey To Oz, a response by Indian artists & performers Aruna Gandhimathinathan, Prabhu Osoniqs, Diya Dasgupta & Stanley Abnes, to be workshopped with local schools. Launching this work in progress, Cr Kent Johns, Mayor of Sutherlandshire & Liberal for Werriwa, drew attention to the depth of culture in the local Werriwa community. “Multiculturalism has worked perfectly in Australia. Over 200 years of people immigrating into this country, and everytime it gets even better”, Cr Johns said.
A group of children trained by Christerine treated the packed audience to a stunning rendition of I Am Australian, all appearing in costume – even Ned Kelly!
The evening extended into an interesting forum with Scott Morrison, Shadow Minister for Immigration & Citizenship, who in a lighter moment was asked which Wizard of Oz character he would like to be. “The Lion”, he replied, “I always loved the Lion even as a kid. I think the Lion speaks a lot of what’s in many of us in that sometimes we don’t really understand the courage and strength that we have.”