The power of female connection with our g-oz #respectsisters

The power of female connection with our g-oz #respectsisters
June 18, 2020 Australian Girls Choir

Respect Sisters

Our AGC choristers and families have a deep understanding of the power of female connection. For our sisters at Girls from Oz, this is known affectionately as ‘respect sisters’. Respect sisters speaks to strong feelings of mutual respect and appreciation for one another as women, while celebrating our differences as individuals. Through partnerships with Girls from Oz, the AGC is proud to facilitate the introduction of groups of young, female leaders – g-oz and AGC, remote and urban, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.

As part of the Girls from Oz current 2020 Giving Circles campaign, this week we’re continuing to shine a light on the transformative power of two-way learning, today we’re hearing from recent AGC chorister Alumni, Tiana Russo, who travelled to Halls Creek in 2019 as an AGC touring chorister for our ‘Shining in the Kimberley’ tour. Tiana was so moved by the experience that she immediately applied as a volunteer Girls from Oz Instructor in 2020.

“We are all young women sharing a love for music and are undergoing many of the same feelings and experiences that come with growing up.” – Tiana Russo

Tiana with g-oz participant AK, Halls Creek 2019

Tiana with AGC choristers Laura, Jasmine and Catrin, and g-oz participant AK in the stunning Cathedral Gorge in Purnululu National Park (the Bungle Bungles), 2019

Tiana Russo in her first year of AGC as a Vivo chorister, Melbourne 2010

Inspiring sisterhood

“Being a member of the AGC has played a significant role in shaping who I am today. It has developed my confidence and leadership, it has given me a safe place to express and explore my passion for performing arts, and most importantly it has given me lifelong connections with people that I otherwise may never have met.

This same kind of support is incredibly important for g-oz girls as it gives the girls a safe space to learn, have fun, develop self-worth, and feel empowered and encouraged to be themselves and do what they love.

At the AGC, our connection with the g-oz girls is completely invaluable and unique. They are some of the most meaningful connections in my life. I think what binds us is the fact that although we live such different lives, we are all young women sharing a love for music and are undergoing many of the same feelings and experiences that come with growing up.”

Pathways to reconciliation

“To me, ‘respect sisters’ means listening with an open mind and an open heart to try and understand other girls’ lives, cultures and values. It acknowledges that while we do have similarities between us, there are important differences that need to be understood in order to develop respectful and meaningful connections between women from all walks of life.

Through working together and learning from each other, we realise that we are not so different from each other as we may have thought. To me, true reconciliation means being open to understanding and valuing others and their cultures in order to rebuild meaningful relationships that were once damaged.”

Walking with our Girls from Oz sisters

Girls from Oz is currently working hard on the 2020 Giving Circles Campaign with the aim to raise $20,000 by June 30, 2020 and have a further $20,000 committed in monthly donations to fund g-oz’s life changing programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls living in remote Australia. You can find all of the information about ways to support their work on their page or website www.girlsfromoz.org.au/support/donate