Melbourne, Horsham and Stawell

The second half of the four state fortnight with a wake up and some welcomes in Melbourne before heading out to Horsham and Stawell later in the week to launch another school song: "Always Faithful, Ever True". It was my sixth visit to St Benedict's and on my w ..

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South Australia and Victoria

Another Mary MacKillop tour- this time to outback South Australia, starting in Clare, then to Wallaroo, Roxby Downs and back to Adelaide. Passed the sign to Bute! Sunrise at Port Augusta on the way north to Roxby Downs- and how's that for a crossroad- Perth or  ..

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DVD Shoot for new picture book

I travelled to Melbourne on Thursday to visit my mate Drew Lane at St Peter's in East Bentleigh where he had prepared the children to shoot four new video clips that will accompany my new picture book: These Hands, I Love and God Loves Me, God Made Them All, and An Australian ..

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Quick trip north to Brisbane

A beautiful early morning flight to Queensland's capital. FIrst visit was to Holy Cross in Wooloowin. On Tuesday I launched "The Good Shepherd Way" the song I wrote for Good Shepherd in Springfield Lakes.  ..

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September Happenings

September began with me writing my last school song of the year for St Pius X in Windsor Gardens in Adelaide. Much of the month was spent gathering artwork from around the world for my new picture book, "Thank You God!".  ..

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Finishing the term in Ballarat

A quick tour to still wintry Ballarat to visit three schools to end the term. I had a ball at all of them with the highlight being the evening concert at OLHC in Wendouree. And I even made a guest appearance at Prep News!  ..

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On tour: Rockhampton and Yeppoon

Spent a few days up north in the Queensland cities of Rockhampton and Yeppoon and caught up with our old pals the O'Donnells and made a new one in Sheila! Sheila is the art teacher at Sacred Heart and has been busy preparing some of the artwork for my new picture book. AND sh ..

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Farewell Lismore!

In July of last year I made a visit to St Joseph's at Coraki. It was the beginning of a year long tour of the primary schools in the Diocese of Lismore. This week, at Mt St Patrick's in Murwillumbah, I completed the tour which took in more than 30 schools on five separate vis ..

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Singleton and Studio

On Wednesday I headed back to the Blue Mountains to catch up on some school recordings with my colourful sound engineer Nick! And on Thursday I was in the car by 4:30am, travelling to the Hunter Valley to sing with a fabulous choir a St Catherine's College in Singlet ..

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Mary MacKillop- another launch

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop is a hero of mine. So it was an honour to be asked to help launch a new education pack aimed at younger students. It was great to have Bernadette join me for the day too. We were able to spend time in the chapel and the children got to  ..

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To the warmth of the north- Townsville

I flew from Melbourne to Adelaide to spend the weekend celebrating the 60th birthday of my dear friend Peter Mercer, then headed cross country to Townsville. And there I had my first meme created about me! I just love these two shots of two children being part of ou ..

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From the cold of Victoria...

August began with a visit to Melbourne, Ballarat and Shepparton. My afternoon in Melbourne allowed me a winter's afternoon walk around the Melbourne Cricket Ground which features sculptures of Australian sporting icons, like this one of Dennis Lillee. Siena Catholic ..

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Catholic Education Week in Queensland

There were hands everywhere at Mother Teresa school in Brisbane's Ormeau. There is so much of an emphasis on doing and being a Christian, inspired by Mother Teresa. If you look closely you can see Mother Teresa's profile in the school logo. So inspired was I that I u ..

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Cold, cold west

This week was colder than last as I visited the schools of the Western Region of the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn. The thermometer regularly dipped below 0. We shared a combined staff day on Monday with 100 teachers from 9 different schools. Here's some of the artwork cre ..

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State of Origin

Every year I do one or two tours that I call my Mary MacKillop Tours. These are visits to small schools that can't afford to engage visitors to come to their school. In honesty, these tours run at a loss but are important to me and a sense of justice. This is my first of his  ..

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Thank you Melbourne

Always great to be back in this great city. Great breakfast views of the MCG again. For me the highlight of the week was the thank you I received from the children at Resurrection School at Keysborough. The leaders of the Faith Team took the time to write a beautiful ..

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St John's Mairangi Bay Mural Project

St John's School in Mairangi Bay in Auckland, New Zealand, has commenced an arts project. They are creating a series of murals around their school and the first one is this, an illustration of my rainbow song. It's lovely to be part of this as I've been a regular visitor ther ..

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Australia's beautiful far north- Cairns

Some weeks are a little easier than others. This week I was in Australia's tropical north Queensland in the beautiful city of Cairns. It does remind me a little of my home city of Wollongong, where he mountains meet the sea. I caught a beautiful sunrise on Monday morning.  ..

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A view from the office

I do spend lots of time at home just sitting at my desk planning tours, working on songs and other projects and answering mail. This week I've received letters from Wangaratta and Wellington in New Zealand so I wrote a letter or two. My two Shetland Sheepdogs Mollee ..

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Sydney's newest school- St Anthony of Padua, Austral

Today I had the pleasure of visiting the newest school in the Sydney Archdiocese. Opening a school was part of my history. In the 1990s I was the foundation Assistant Principal at Good Shepherd School, not far from here in Hoxton Park. I remember what it was like to be surrou ..

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Ballina and Lismore- Pelicans and Giant Prawns!

This week I headed north to the northern NSW cities of Ballina and Lismore. I managed to get back into the habit of my morning prayer walks along the Richmond River. I visited St Joseph's in Alstonville where I received a legendary Fr Mac Christmas Pudding as a thank ..

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Song writing time: New Zealand, NSW, and VIC

May and June saw me complete three more school songs- it's been a very busy year for that! Firstly I finally finished a song for St Mary's School in Tauranga, New Zealand that I began more than a year ago. With moving and many other things it had gone missing but am very prou ..

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Victoria- part 2, Wangaratta and Melbourne

Another week back in Victoria beginning with a spectacular city sunrise over inner Melbourne before a day at Our Lady of the Annunciation at Cheltenham. I was up early on Tuesday morning for the trip to Wangaratta for a return visit to the three schools I visited in 2003 and  ..

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Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese- the country run

I had the pleasure this week of visiting NSW's most rural Diocese, the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes. It stretches the length of the state out west, from the QLD border in the north to the VIC border in the south. It's also bigger than the state of Tasmania and about as big as  ..

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From Sydney to Melbourne

I always like to spend some time looking out he window on flights and this morning was given a beautiful morning view of Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. Spent three days in the country in Daylesford and Colac before returning to Melbourne to St Francis X ..

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April Update

Much of April was spent visiting schools relatively close to home. Firstly for Holy Week, then after the holidays, for a series of Easter Concerts. One of the joys of the Easter Concerts was catching up with so many former students who are now parents, teachers or television  ..

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A Week in Wellington

After just a couple of weeks home it was time to leave Australia and head across "The Ditch" to visit New Zealand and spend a week visiting old friends. First stop was St Teresa's in Karori and I got to catch up with my old friend Pius, who still loves music and sings with al ..

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A cute story from Wangaratta

Apparently my music does help in the RE Classroom!! Here's a lovely story from Gen Collins a friend and teacher in Wangaratta in Victoria: "Wanted to share a story that I think you'll enjoy: Our first RE unit for this year is 'The Life of Jesus' and we (Karen, my Year  ..

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From LA to Merriwa and a scone in Scone

It truly is a long way from LA to Merriwa (sounds like a John Denver song). As I set up in the small church on Wednesday morning I reflected on my journey in the past weeks. In 2003 I spent a lot of time in small schools in places like Barraba, Balranald and Barmera. It was t ..

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Two weeks in the USA: LA RE Congress 2017!

Each year for the last eight years I've journeyed across the Pacific to be part of and present workshops at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the largest annual gathering of English-speaking Catholics in the world. This year I made the journey with my son-in-law T ..

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New Year, New Album, New Songs

As well as a new CD the new school year started early for me with a combined staff day on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. Then it was onto a roll of school song commissions with four in the space of two weeks. Fortunately all the schools were well prepared and prov ..

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Merry Christmas to all from Andrew and Family!

There's a lot of catching up to do in the blog and will do over the coming days but just in time, Eleanor has completed the annual Christmas family portrait. And I've added a few of the others from recent years too! Hope you all have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.  ..

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Christmas in Australia's Hot!

In the very early hours of December 1st I arrived back in Sydney for my first concert at St Vincent's in Ashfield. From there it was a busy series of daily concerts with only 3 days off in 18! For many of the concerts I was accompanied by my old friend, Rob Greenup, ..

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Superstar Art From Rotorua!

I received these beautiful photos in the last few days from St Mary's School in Rotorua in New Zealand. The children in Room 13 all took a turn at drawing me!! I told them they made me look much more handsome than I actually am! Thank you Room 13!  ..

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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas... in QLD

Most years I begin Christmas concerts in Brisbane, in the last couple of weeks in November, as Queensland schools finish the year in the first days of December. It's hot and humid and a white Christmas would be a dream come true! Snow is not a problem but thunderstor ..

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Brisbane Butterfly Choir Recording

On Saturday November 19th my trusted friend and sound engineer flew into Brisbane for our final recording session for "Welcome to All". No album of mine would be complete without the amazing talents of Bec Thomas and her violin. We first met in February of 2005 and she has b ..

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Wagga Wagga and Brisbane: last stop before Christmas

In the last week or two I've visited Finley, Wagga Wagga and the Gold Coast for the last few general concerts of the year before starting the madness and joy of the Christmas run. I made my first visit to St Francis Xavier's at Runaway Bay and met no less that 16 Siennas and  ..

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Molly, Matilda and Murals

This week I made that much savored trip across the Tasman to Aotearoa- New Zealand. First stop was St Columba's where Lizzie McCreery organised my visit. I first met Lizzie when she was in Year 7 at St Anthony's in Pahiatua and now, she's a magnificent young teacher. This mur ..

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A Busy Couple of Days in Melbourne

The last couple of days of October saw me head to Melbourne for the last time this year. I spent Thursday at St Luke's in Blackburn and then headed over to St Peter's in East Bentleigh to catch my friend Drew Lane's latest musical, Disconnected. An amazing performance from on ..

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Liverpool and Kincumber

Each year I make the trip back to the school where my career began, All Saints at Liverpool. The highlight of the day is always working with whatever class Trish Guigni is working with. She runs a music immersion call for the year where every child learns an instrument of som ..

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Oh Tasmania!

I had a great four days in Australia's most beautiful state. The highlight was the time spent with Barry Nas, one of the best music teachers I've ever met. Here he is standing "Underneath God's Beautiful Rainbow"! I'm trying to upload the video of the children from Sacred He ..

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Last Week in the Lismore Diocese

This week was the final in my series of three weeks in the Diocese of Lismore, this time visiting schools from Macksville to Port Macquarie. St Patrick's at Macksville has a brilliant music program and we found another singer to be part of the new album- welcome aboard Zoe! I ..

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Now That's What I Call A Feast Day!

Paula Burnett is the APRE at St Therese's School in Bentley Park in Australia's Far North Queensland city of Cairns. This year she had a plan to really celebrate the Feast of St Therese. It began with a staff get together on the Wednesday, which happened to coincide with Worl ..

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A Week In Adelaide

School holidays overlap across Australia so I headed to Adelaide for a very diverse week. The week started with beautiful weather in Henley Beach and a day with the children and staff at Galilee Catholic Learning Community. Each year Adelaide puts on the Catholic Sch ..

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St Finbar, St Michael and Perth Recording

My last week for the NSW term was spent helping to celebrate two school feast days, St Finbar's in Glenbrook and then an early celebration of the Feast of St Michael in Belfield. Each year at St Finbar's they give out an annual award to each grade, celebrating a child who sho ..

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Top of the South!

I flew into Christchurch on Saturday for a one week tour of the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Christchurch is still in a rebuilding phase but there is enough of its original beauty shining through. From Christchurch it was north to one of my favourite place ..

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South Coast Tour

After a quick visit north to St Joseph's in Kilaben Bay on Monday I headed south on Wednesday and Thursday for a visit to Bateman's Bay and Moruya. The highlights were the welcome I received at Moruya, the great singing of Charlotte and the choirs, and catching up with my old ..

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New Album Moving Ahead!

This week marked the beginning of the end of my new CD. Today, with Nick McKinlay, my amazing sound engineer, we laid down the last three frames of songs for the new recording, at this stage likely to be called Proclaim. Here I am playing my custom made Jill Guscott guitar, r ..

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The Feast of the Assumption (and Nick the Dog)

Monday was the Feast of the Assumption and I joined with the four schools in the city of Bathurst to celebrate their parish Feast Day with one of my favourite priests of all time, Fr Paul Devitt. A gifted homilist and a real character and always shadowed by his beautiful dog  ..

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News from Wangaratta

News from my good friend Gen Collins in Wangaratta- the foundation class at St Patrick's lifted the roof with their rendition of the Rainbow Song at their prayer assembly! I look forward to sharing the song with you next year!  ..

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Two Feast Days in Melbourne

This week I was fortunate to be part of two celebration of two great saints of our church. On Monday I was at St Mary MacKillop School in Narre Warren in Victoria. In something a little different at recess each teacher was given a bag if lollies to bestow as a gift on another ..

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Back in Adelaide

In the midst of a hectic touring schedule I continued on to Adelaide, to Henley Beach and my friends the Mercers, in time to celebrate Peter's Birthday. This really the home of the best singing schools in Australia. On Wednesday I was part of one of the best school M ..

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Catholic Education Week in Queensland

The last two days of my northern tour were across the border celebrating Catholic Education week at Mary MacKillop College in Highfields and at St Stephen's in Algester in Brisbane I Loved the Rainbow of Hands at St Stephen's- two Andrew Chinn songs in one! And thank ..

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Proclaiming the Good News in the Lismore Diocese

In 2015 I was commissioned to write a song for the Lismore Diocese's Proclaim program. In consultation with my friends Helen Hunter and Kate Nestor I came up with a song of that name. The Catholic Schools Office invited me to tour the Diocese to help launch the song and to be ..

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A quick and cold visit to Victoria

Eleanor and I headed south to Victoria for a quick two day visit. First stop was the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle in Greensborough for a Mass and Concert Day. The parish has just installed a new St Thomas statue complete with scripture about their patron saint. We then head ..

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A week in the West- Perth

After NCEC, Eleanor and I spent a week and a bit touring schools, starting with Perth's newest, Mother Teresa in Baldivis. Had a concert at St Columba's in Bayswater working with the beautiful choir as we performed for the Early Childhood part of the school. Special thanks to ..

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National Catholic Education Commission Convention Perth

Every five years leaders from Catholic Schools around Australia gather for this convention. It was my first time in attendance. It was lovely to roam around and reconnect with friends made over the past fourteen years from every part of Australia. Some of the highlights were  ..

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Central Queensland Tour and a staff day in Blacktown

This week saw me head north into the middle of the big state of Queensland. My main mission was to be at the newest school in the Rockhampton Diocese, St Brigid's in Emerald, for their official opening of their new buildings. I also dropped into St Patrick's at Emer ..

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A tribute to Mary Cutjar

I first met Mary Cutjar in June 2003. She was then the principal of St Paul's at Nightcliff in Darwin. Before that she had been the Deputy at Sacred Heart in Palmerston and before that the principal at St James in Muswellbrook. Something that I learnt then and have had reinf ..

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A week in Darwin- Far North Australia

Late on Sunday night I made the four and a half hour flight from Sydney to Darwin for a tour of Darwin schools. I've been coming up here since 2003 and have met some amazing leaders in Catholic education like Shane Donohue, Mary Cutjar and Tony O'Brien. It takes a special typ ..

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Melbourne Memories

This week I made a two day trip to Melbourne. The first to visit St Brendan's in Somerville for their Feast Day. Last time I was there was back in 2003! On Tuesday I had a most memorable day at St James at Vermont- one of the concerts of the year, including a fantastic evenin ..

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Star Wars Day in SA!

I spent the first three days of the week in central South Australia, part of the nation's mining belt that has seen better days. It's also a national hub where you can turn left to head for Perth or turn right to head for Darwin! I visited Samaritan Catholic College in Whyall ..

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In and around Melbourne and St Peter Chanel's Feast Day

The last couple of weeks have seen me back in Melbourne visiting St Thomas More in Belgrave, St Mary's in Mansfield and Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Wyndham Vale, one of Melbourne's newest schools. I finally got to meet the great John Leever who has been playing my music ..

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A week in the land of the Long White Cloud

After a brief few hours at home I made the relatively quick flight across the Tasman to New Zealand- always so beautiful to fly into, doesn't matter if it's Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Even managed a visit to Bethlehem during the week- a little town (sorry) on the w ..

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Farewell to the USA

Before we left Anaheim I thought it would be great to expose Drew to another LA taste sensation, brunch at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffle Restaurant. Grits was the last taste test and the results were inconclusive. We then headed into LAX to catch our flight home. I rea ..

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Day 3 NCEA and the Disneyland!

After a very hectic three days in San Diego we bid farewell to our neighbour Dan and NCEA. At least on the final day they managed to get a great elementary school ukulele choir on stage who were by far the best entertainment of the the three days. And over the days we kept a  ..

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NCEA Day 2 and a new Grandchild!!!

In the very early hours of March 30 the latest addition to our family was born. As I write we await the name of the child but love the photos of the baby, named Interim for the moment, and her aunty Eleanor, her mum Nicole and sisters Eden and Cecilia. Meanwhile ..

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NCEA Day 1

Got the day started with a bracing swim in the pool before heading over to the San Diego Convention Center to soak up the atmosphere. You can't miss the volunteers with their green neon and beachcomber hats! Have to get one of those! Drew and I headed to the offici ..

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From Los Angeles to San Juan Capistrano and on to San Diego

"It never rains in California..." but today it did yet Drew and I started the day with a dip in the pool. Drew bid farewell and good riddance to Dr Pepper then we popped in to my USA home, St Irenaeus School in Cypress, to pick up my sound gear. From there we drove s ..

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On Our Way to the USA for NCEA

Today I headed out of Sydney for Los Angeles with my colleague Drew Lane. We're heading for the National Catholic Education Association Convention being held in San Diego. Bernadette has had to stay behind as we await the imminent birth of our eighth grandchild. Here's Drew a ..

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Holy Week in Sydney

I began Holy Week at St John Bosco at Engadine. The school is so large the REC, Maria Rose, wisely thought it best to split the school of over 800 into two groups. This lent itself to a much more peaceful reflective atmosphere. The girl with me is Amity who has a brilliant vo ..

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Holy Week begins at St Gertrude's

Today, two days before Palm Sunday, I began my Remembrance visits to schools at St Gertrude's at Smithfield. They have a very close association with St Mary MacKillop and tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the order. Our remembrance took place in the chur ..

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St Patrick's Day at St Joseph's

I started St Patrick's Day with a walk along the Esplanade at Cairns seeking out an Irish Breakfast, but no luck. I did find an Irish Dancing Secretary at St Joseph's though! And I was given a hat to add to my own Irish green. Here's the famous Janet Zaccour, great s ..

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Two schools- ever old and ever new

Yesterday I was in one of the newest and northernmost schools in Australia. Today I was at another, MacKillop College at Mt Peter, just south of Cairns. At the moment there are just on 80 students in P-3 but in years to come this school will have close to 1500 students.  ..

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Far far north Queensland- St Joseph's Weipa

Late in the afternoon we boarded the Dash 8 aircraft heading north to Weipa. I had made sure I got a window seat as it's such a rare opportunity to see this part of Australia. Just on an hour later we descended into wet Weipa- it's the wet season up here. I l ..

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North to St Joseph's Weipa

So today I venture as far north into Queensland as I have ever been. I was saying to Selina Venier from the Brisbane Catholic Leader that I am as excited to be heading here as I was to go to Los Angeles- truly one of the great frontiers of Australia. Below is the queue headin ..

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Not forgetting school 1001!

In all the business of yesterday it would be easy to overlook the beautiful children and staff of St Anthony's at Glen Huntly. Here's a picture of my star singers Stella, Bree and A, also known as Isabella! As I headed out to the airport I was lucky enough to get put on a det ..

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1000 Schools! A milestone at Sacred Heart in Kew

Today was a special day for me. Today I visited my 1000th school when I worked with the beautiful children of Sacred Heart in Kew in the city of Melbourne. That's nearly 2000 concerts in 1000 different schools. Way back in March 2001 I stepped out of my own school for the fir ..

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Closing in on 1000 schools- on tour in Wollongong and Melbourne!

This week on Thursday I will visit my 1000th school. Not my 1000th concert because I've done close to 2000 of them but 1000 different schools around the world! On Monday I kicked off Catholic Schools Week in NSW with a concert at St Therese's in West Wollongong. Some amazing  ..

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Recording at St John's in Mitcham

Back in November I wrote a school song for St John's School in Mitcham, called With Faith and Love. When I heard it, I knew it was a song that couldn't survive without children's voices. So with the help of my friend and Butterfly Music Stablemate Drew Lane, we headed to Mitc ..

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Kindergarten Artwork from St Irenaeus in Cypress, CA, USA

I often receive gifts of picture books from kindergarten with stories and pictures of my visit. On my recent visit to Los Angeles the kindergarten chldren of St Irenaeus made me a beautiful book, one of my all time favourites so I just have to share a few pictures here. I lov ..

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Chicken and Waffles? Only in the USA!

Monday morning and it was time to leave the Convention Center in Anaheim. We headed out for breakfast with Jan, Gaile, John, Lil, Michael, Anne, Natalie and David for, of all things, chicken and waffles. I was a little skeptical but have to admit it was a great combination!  ..

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Congress- final day

For me and my team from St Irenaeus our biggest day of Congress was Sunday. We gathered in the morning for our performance on the stage in the Hall. There were plenty of Aussie and Kiwi well-wishers before the event began. The children from St Irenaeus were simply brilliant.  ..

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Congress Day 2

Saturday at Congress was busy too. I had my second workshop at 10:00 which went really well. "May God Be In My Heart" seems to be such a powerful song and one that really seems to appeal to teachers and catechists here. Caught up with some Aussie friends in Fr Ziggy, from Pym ..

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LA RE Congress Day 1

2016 Congress began with the usual spectacular Opening Liturgy. I was again fortunate enough to be part of the choir on stage along with fellow Aussies John Burland and Michael Mangan. At 1:00 I gave my first workshop, this one with my American pal Jim Wahl. As usual ..

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The Calm Before the Storm- Preparation Day

Today was a day of rehearsals. I started the day getting together with my US pal and colleague Jim Wahl to go over our workshop for tomorrow- should be a lot of fun. Jim's got a great new Mercy song for younger kids called "Hearts of Mercy" that he wrote with Jenn Jinks- just ..

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Hey Hey! We're on our way to the USA! In LA!

Every year since 2010 we've had the great privilege of heading across the Pacific to California for the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, held in Anaheim. So on Tuesday we boarded the Qantas A380 for LA. All up it was a pretty good flight as you can see by th ..

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On tour in the Sale Diocese

This week I was out in the eastern side of Victoria in the Diocese of Sale. I began with a visit to Sacred Heart in Morwell where I caught up with my old pal Antonio. Later that night I was able to present Jane Mitchell with official copies of her new CD, Gifts, now going out ..

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Remembering Pippa, Remembering Belinda

My own life journey over the years has brought me in touch with people who have shared the tragedy of losing a child. Today I performed at St Joseph's at Warrnambool where as part of the afternoon we remembered the life and love of Pippa, who passed away nearly a year ago and ..

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One Holy Family

As I ease my way back into my work I've been fortunate enough to lead music at two Masses in two days. On Ash Wednesday I was at St Mary's at East Malvern. I was really touched when the Parish Priest, Fr Bill, took time at the end to not just thank me for leading the music on ..

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And we're back!

After a few weeks break it was back in the air and down to Melbourne (my room had a view of the MCG!) for my first school visit of the year. This time it was back to Sacred Heart in Sandringham- great kids, great teachers and a great way to start the year. They even have a sc ..

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

So here we are at the end of another year's adventures. Christmas is just four days away now. Two of my granddaughters, Cecilia (aged 6) and Eden (aged 8) have done a Christmas Nativity picture each. Eleanor has kept up her tradition of Christmas family sketches,  ..

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The ex-student gallery making me feel old!

Each year at this time, especially as I visit schools in Sydney's west and southwest, I'm often told by children in the workshops that I taught their mum and dad years ago. In the evening we often get to catch up. This year I met up with Allen Flood who I taught in 1985 and 1 ..

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