Andrew Piper (bass), Sally Cameron (soprano), Naomi Crellin (soprano) & Nick Begbie (tenor)

The Idea of North

Kangaroo Valley Hall, 7.30pm Saturday July 4 2009
tickets - $30, $20 (concession) - from Kangaroo Valley Supermarket
or by mail order: download
this form and post it, with a cheque, to KVRP, PO Box 6159 Kangaroo Valley NSW 2577
enquiries: call [02] 4465 1299 or email concert organiser Martin Wesley-Smith

menu: introduction | TION website | KVRP | KVRP projects | other KVRP events

by Martin Wesley-Smith

When I was a university student I sang and played in a folk group that performed, in Sydney and elsewhere, in coffee lounges such as The Troubador in Rushcutters Bay, The Copperfield in Newtown, and The Last Straw in Neutral Bay. After a gig at the Straw my group met three brothers and a sister - Begbies - who sang together in a group called The Kinsfolk. We all quickly became firm friends. Later, guitarist Ross Begbie married Bloss, a friend of mine from Adelaide. Time passed, and one of their kids developed into a brilliant and good-looking tenor called Nick who became a founding member of The Idea of North. Thus I have a personal interest in the group. But I also have a musical one: one of my ambitions as a youth was to sing in a jazz vocal quartet like The Four Freshmen or The Hi-Los. It turned out, however, that I lacked the voice for such an endeavour and hence I had to concentrate on other areas of music. Listening to The Idea of North today reminds me of what might have been had I been dealt a better card from Mother Nature's pack ...

This is one of the world's best vocal groups! I've listened to most of them, and enjoyed them all, but TION has freshness and vitality, and superb vocal skills, and perfect intonation, great arrangements and Andrew Piper (and Nick Begbie, Sally Cameron and Naomi Crellin). These qualities lift them to the top! It was a delight to hear them in Kangaroo Valley last year, not just for me but for the other 219 people who attended (that's a full house in Kangaroo Valley Hall). More than a delight: a thrill, a most memorable experience. So I'm very pleased that they have consented to come back this year!

Something new: for one of TION's songs - Since You Went Away - they will be joined by a local choir. If you would like to join this choir, see here for details.

For more information about the group, see their website here.


Here are three other dates for your diary (all fund-raising events for projects in East Timor sponsored by the Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership):

1. 7.30pm Saturday August 15 2009 in Kangaroo Valley Hall:
with pianist Robert Constable

2. 2.30pm Sunday August 30 2009 in Kangaroo Valley Hall:
Annalisa Kerrigan's Ireland
singer Annalisa Kerrigan with pianist Dean Sky-Lucas and fiddler Clare O'Meara

3. Saturday September 19:
Trek for Timor
(website still under construction)
The challenge is to walk 50 kms in 24 hours. The trail is through national park & state forest in beautiful Kangaroo Valley and the Southern Highlands.


The Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership

After the destruction and killing which devastated East Timor in September 1999, a small group of KV residents felt a need to help. A partnership was discussed with an East Timorese village, Remexio (a small village in the hills about one hour's drive south of Dili) and the Kangaroo Valley - Remexio Partnership was born. Eight years on (2008), we continue to have a mix of KV locals and associates working with East Timorese in Australia and in East Timor.

The KVRP is a "bottom up" or "grass roots" approach to helping the East Timorese help themselves. We strive to assist the East Timorese achieve dignified living through health, education, justice, employment and ecologically sustainable industry. We selectively try to help in ways that may be of a low priority to the UN and other NGOs.

Rather than large single projects, we pursue small, personal and usually integrated activities. Being substantially self-funded, our material contributions are small. Instead, we rely on sharing our existing skills in projects or in day-to-day situations.

We try to foster long-term personal relationships with East Timorese people and actively encourage this approach in others. That part which is conducted in Australia is the provision of education and training to those who have appropriate interests and aptitudes for leadership and mentoring roles back in East Timor.

Much of our involvement is now outside of Remexio, in other parts of East Timor, as well as in active networking within Australia. We now enjoy ongoing relationships with numerous individuals and activities. Along the way we have tried to identify the best and worst of our respective Australian and East Timorese lifestyles, to better influence both our paths into the future.

The violent "situation" in Dili, that drastically worsened in May 2006, provided us all with significant and new challenges in safety and communication. Yet clearly, the needs of the East Timorese people became even more acute, highlighting the importance and urgency of continuing and extending our Timorese relationships.

Paul Turnock (02 4465 1357)



Remexio kids While we cover all our own expenses such as air fares, accommodation etc as well as all administration overheads, we welcome donations from others. If you can spare a few dollars - or a lot - please make your cheque payable to

KV East Timor Assistance
If you send your donation to

John George
1255 Moss Vale Road
Kangaroo Valley
NSW 2577

and include your address then we'll make sure you get a receipt from AFAP (The Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific), allowing you to claim a tax deduction. You may also donate by making a payment directly into our bank account - for details, see here.

100% of funds raised from the public go directly towards helping the East Timorese and are fully accounted for. Donors may request that their funds be directed towards particular areas of their own special interest, such as health, education etc.




One of our current projects is the provision of scholarships for students from Remexio to the Teachers College in Baucau, East Timor. Agostinha, Eduarda, and Virginia (left) are among the first recipients of these. Their costs from October to December 2007, for example, included, for the three of them combined, college registration: US$75; fees: $180; photocopying: $45; note paper: $5; lodging ($10/person/month): $90; food: $40; gas, phone card: $15; and bus fares (for one trip home each month): $54. That's about AUD200 per student per tri-semester, or $600 per year (which is 20 concert tickets @ $30). It's more now, of course. Two generous donors are helping us with these expenses, but we need more support ...

We believe that education is one of the key areas to be developed if East Timor is to make the transition from a war-ravaged divided country to one that's peaceful and prosperous. Helping Timorese learn to teach others is one of the most useful contributions we can make.

Remexio District Village Lighting Project

Last year Brian Bailey was in Timor-Leste working with ATA (Alternative Technology Association) installing solar lighting systems. Read his report here (.pdf, 936KB, amended, from the December 2008 edition of the Kangaroo Valley Voice). An extract:

We identified approximately one hundred and twenty houses in need of lighting. The group has made the mistake in the past of contributing to selected individuals in a community, and found that this can cause more problems than it solves. The only solution is to offer solar units to every one of the hundred and twenty ...

With each household making an initial payment (plus a monthly servicing fee), the cost per unit will be more than $150. Thus we need to find more than $18,000. In fact we're aiming for $30,000 so that we can expand the project to more communities within the Remexio area.

Read more here, particularly the bit at the end about how to make a tax-deductible donation!


The Idea of North

7.30pm Saturday 4th July 2009
Kangaroo Valley Hall
Kangaroo Valley

ticketing info


html by Wee Willy Wally
page last updated April 23 2009
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