Purga Music

Creative Communities

2015 Creative Communities Workshops

Participate in developing creative arts and music workshops for school holidays. Contact us for further information.

2014 Drumming Circles

Occupational Therapy drumming circles for children -- to develop coordination, balance, timing. Contact us if you are interested to participate.

10 year Anniversary Purga Music Museum

On 6 September, 2013, we are celebrating the 10 year Anniversary of the opening of the Purga Music Museum.

Please send links to You Tube videos and recordings of local music for posting on this website.

Resourcing Music Occupations 2013

Purga Music resources people's music occupations in Ipswich City and surrounding areas. Contact us for 2013 Calendar.

Resourcing Cultural Engagement with Music

Some exciting developments are underway. A Study of the Needs of Indigenous Australian Children for Web-based Early Childhood Music Development
commenced in late 2012, with the development of music tutorials for Gunawirra Service in Sydney (see http://trackingthemilkyway.com/music-page/).

This is part of resourcing peoples' cultural engagement with music. 

Key Questions for research and development:
1. Given the rate of socio-cultural change in the 21st Century; how can we best support musical development for Indigenous Australian children (0-12 years) in relation to the transactions between the people, the environment, and music occupations at identified sites of cultural significance?
2. How can various online technologies support and enable Indigenous Australian children’s musical development, or are there better low-tech or non-technological alternatives for specific

Latest publication:
Kirkwood, S and Miller A (2014) The impact of new technologies on the musical learning of Indigenous Australian Children. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood Online, 39(1), 94-101.

The Big Flood Song

Local people in Ipswich, Toowoomba and Brisbane helped create the BIG FLOOD SONG for a community recovery sing-a-long to the well-known tune of "Click Goes the Shears." Read more 

Big flood song 2011 (Click on picture to view Powerpoint)


Purga Music Story and Harold Blair

"The Purga Music Story and Harold Blair" was produced through creative collaboration with people who have associations with Purga through the Purga Aboriginal Mission, Purga Elders & Descendants Aboriginal Corporation, Purga Friends Association, and those who visit the local area. A copy is available through the Purga Music Museum in Ipswich, or the Music Australia database of the National Library of Australia. Also available for borrowing through Ipswich Library and University of Queensland Library. Photocopies of the Harold Blair Papers have been sourced from the National Library of Australia for private research in the local area.

Purga Creek - Ipswich Floods January 2011

Our sympathy goes out to all those neighbours and people affected by the flood  in Ipswich City recently. Fortunately, Purga Creek has returned within its banks and roads are open again. Great to hear the Mayor report on TV that they had a singing competition in the Evacuation centre in Ipswich Showgrounds during the crisis.  Volunteer musicians and singers may be able to help keep people's spirits strong. Ipswich choirs are awesome! Music Health Australia support services are available through www.musichealth.com.au (email kirkwood13@bigpond.com). Purga is our base for community music development and we welcome new members to the Creative Communities team. Research is underway into community-based flood recovery sing-a-long (see Public Health Research Conference presentation).


Thesis - Frameworks for culturally engaged community music practice in rural Ipswich

Thanks to those who have assisted with community music projects in rural Ipswich from 2003-2009. Sandra Kirkwood's thesis has now been released online. Please send feedback to keep this discussion going. What are suitable frameworks for community music; and what do you see as the future of music for Ipswich?


New Purga History page

Visitors to the Purga Music Museum often request details of general history of the locality to assist with family history and other research inquiries. A new page was started in 2009 as a place for displaying Local Purga History. The information currently includes school enrollment details for the Purga Aboriginal School and the Purga State School. Please advise if you have further information for posting on the website. A catalogue of resources in the Purga Music Museum and private collections is under development. Contact us for details.

Music Health Australia

A new service called Music Health Australia commenced in 2008. Details available at www.musichealth.com.au.

People who are interested in Music Health can register to apply for membership and join the Music Health email group. Occupational Therapy and Music Health services are now available in Ipswich and surrounding areas.


Creative Communities Reference Group

A study commenced in 2007, entitled, "Frameworks for culturally-engaged community music practice in rural Ipswich, Australia". The project involved critical reflection on participatory music projects that were carried out in Ipswich.  The aim was to support the implementation of the Music Action Plan for rural Ipswich through developing practice frameworks for community music that were meaningful and relevant to people living in the area. Sandra Kirkwood completed an M.Phil thesis in August, 2009, that will soon be available online through the Australasian Digital Theses website at http://adt.caul.edu.au/.

Ipswich Rural Music Project - RADF

A study of contemporary music in rural Ipswich was carried out from July - Dec, 2006. This involved running several focus groups to understand what musicking was occuring in the area, and to brainstorm what people would like to see happen with community music in future. Sandra Kirkwood observed and documented music events over a six month period. The outcome was that a Music Action Plan was developed for rural Ipswich through community consultation and participatory action research. Findings were reported back to Ipswich City Council, Arts Queensland, community groups and stakeholders. The reports are available by contacting us, and also published online in the Appendix to "Frameworks for Culturally Engaged Community Music Practice in Rural Ipswich" Thesis (Kirkwood, 2009).

I am thankful for sponsorship from Ipswich City Council and Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), in-kind support from Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre. I also wish to thank those who came together to form an advisory Creative Communities team. The information from this project was used to write a book entitled "Creative Music Communities of the 21st Century." The plan is to update the book for possible publication in 2010, so please send in further details of contemporary music in Ipswich and surrounding areas.


Presentation by Sandra Kirkwood at the National Allied Health Conference, 18-20 July, 2007, Tasmania, Australia.

Creative Communities Creative Communities: What does it mean?


The Purga Music Project commenced in 2003. A research team of people who used to live at Purga, and Purga Aboriginal Elders and Descendants told stories about their memories of music at Purga. The information has been collated into a community education resource package, "The Purga Music Story and Harold Blair," and a historical display that is housed in the Purga Community Cultural Centre. See the link to 'news articles' on this website for stories about the music history of rural Ipswich.