12 May, 2014 Last updated: 17 Jul, 2015

Robinvale's young and old alike will gather to sing the praises of diversity this month before sharing food and film together.

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Robinvale's young and old alike will gather to sing the praises of diversity this month before sharing food and film together. 

Artists from award-winning community arts organisation CuriousWorks will spend a week in Robinvale, facilitating workshops with students at Robinvale P-12 College each afternoon and working with community choirs in the evenings.

The collaboration will culminate in a free Meet+Eat community celebration at Robinvale Community Centre, from 5.00pm to 7.00pm on Friday, May 30. There will be performances to showcase the musical works that have been developed during the week, plenty of food to share as well as the screening of three other Meet+Eat films (The Princess & the Bird; The Deer and the Fawn; and Symphony for Two Rivers).

The whole Robinvale experience will be captured on film by CuriousWorks and later shared online as part of the successful Meet+Eat project empowering communities and individuals to engage in their own storytelling.

CuriousWorks creative producer Emma Macey said Meet+Eat Robinvale would use music to explore the different cultures and identities and musical traditions within the community. 

“Too often we assume many things about people when, in truth, we don’t know anything about their life story,” Ms Macey said. “The Meet+Eat films use the act of sharing a meal as a way of getting people from different walks of life to sit down and have a yarn.

"The Robinvale film will capture the student and community workshops and people’s views and experiences of diversity. The community will then come together over a shared meal to enjoy the musical works."   

CuriousWorks composer and musician David Osborne will lead the Robinvale workshops. He will teach both the students and community choirs four songs – an Aboriginal song, a Greek song, a Samoan song and a newly created work. The college’s music students will also devise a brand new composition under his guidance.

"I can’t wait to share my knowledge of how music can bring cultures together," Mr Osborne said. "I expect we’ll have a great time exploring our creativity.” 

Robinvale P-12 College has a strong integrated performing arts program led by Glen Barrow. He is supported by specialist music teacher Stephen Pay and instrumental music teacher Siua Taumoefolau, who has been the driving force behind the Robinvale P-12 College and Community Brass Band since its inception in 2002. The school has a strong history of community collaboration through its partnership with Robinvale Euston Festival for Healthy Living.

College principal Ana Rees said both students and staff were looking forward to creating music with the CuriousWorks team.
"Our college is rich in musical talent, which our teachers nurture so well," Ms Rees said. "We are all looking forward to seeing the results of the Meet+Eat workshops and are excited about the rest of the Robinvale community joining us on this musical journey."

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said VicHealth supports the Meet+Eat activities under its Arts About Us program, which encourages learning about cultural diversity. 

"Young people hold the key to challenging prejudices and cultural stereotypes in Australia," Ms Rechter said. 

"These students will work with community members to create a series of fascinating stories and will present these to the entire Robinvale community at the end of May. This is a fantastic display of harmony and embracing the differences that make Australia great."

Meet+Eat Robinvale is a collaboration between CuriousWorks, Robinvale P-12 College and Artistic Merit, with the generous support of VicHealth and the Robinvale Euston Festival for Healthy Living.  

The Meet+Eat community workshop will be held at Robinvale P-12 College at 6.00pm on Monday, May 26. All are welcome to the Meet+Eat celebration of food, music and film at Robinvale Community Centre, from 5.00pm to 7.00pm, on Friday, May 30. 

For further media information, interviews and images, please contact:
Natalie Filmer, The Launch Box, on 0418 586 141 or natalie@thelaunchbox.com.au