The West

Some children will go to great lengths to sing together and the members of the Turlku Birni Community Choir travelled hundreds of kilometres for the chance.

The choir had never sung together before Saturday before they united to celebrate the completion of the fieldwork phase of the Western Desert Kidney Health project.

People stood on their balconies overlooking the Western Australian School of Mines gardens to listen to the 100-strong choir of Aboriginal children.

Annette Stokes is a respected member of the Wongutha people whose lands are based in the Eastern Goldfields and is one of the chief instigators of the project. She said the idea for the project began many years ago after people kept approaching her and asking why there were funerals for Aboriginal people every week.

“Our people had never had flour or sugar in their diet before the first settlement,” Mrs Stokes said.

“In some communities, Coke is the number one drink.

“So we thought ‘why can’t we go on the Lands and check people for diabetes? Why can’t we educate them?’.”

More than three years in the making the project’s basic aim is to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in the Goldfields.

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