Indeed there were last night at Heidelberg Park. Mr Rosanna and I missed the start of the night but caught PBS DJ MzRizk and The Meltdown‘s lead singer Simon on keys with Indigenous musician Benny Walker and his band. The park looked like a wonderland with the backdrop of purple lights against the trees when Mahalia Barnes took to the stage as the headline act.
I hadn’t been to Twilight Sounds since it was last staged at Sills Bend by Banyule City Council. While it was more dispersed, and possibly more subdued, than in previous years last night, I felt waves of nostalgia hitting me when I remember all the previous concerts and kids Arty Farty festivals held in the same location throughout my children’s kinder and primary school years. I felt like I was being embraced in the local parklands last night and feel so lucky to have been part of the local community. It was wonderful to see all the little kids running around, teenagers, younger parents and older couples dancing! We’re lucky to still have this flagship music event held in our local community.
It has felt different moving to Ivanhoe where peace and privacy are highly valued, but where we are still feeling our way regarding the local community, which can feel more exclusive. We’re lucky to have family in the area and two or three groups of friends from Heidelberg also move into the area but I expect it to take just as many years as we were in Rosanna to feel the same about Ivanhoe. I feel grateful to have great neighbours – one who surprised us on Christmas Eve morning with a hamper full of food and drink and the other who leaves vegetables from her garden at our front door on a regular basis. The local baker now recognises me in the street and given I see most of my friends from our old ‘hood, I now have the best of both worlds with the merging of the old and the new.
Life has felt better this week but I’ve also made a concerted effort to change my mindset and focus on the positive and what I can do in terms of changing my neural pathways – ruminating on the negative is only going to make me very unhappy. The buddhist saying, With our thoughts, we create the world is so true. Your world will be as you see it. It hasn’t stopped me feeling a level of grief about some of the things I cannot change, but it’s important to feel what you feel and then let it go.
Work has been very busy and ANZSOG is holding our almost completely sold out First Nations Conference 2023 next month for over 750 people at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. My whole team is flying up north to work at the event along with our Dean and CEO, First Nations and Thought Leadership colleagues. I will be looking after our Alumni Advisory Council, members of whom have never met face-to-face in the past two years, as well as alumni attending the gala dinner so it promises to be a big week, in more ways than one.