Upstanders Assembly

The Ellenbrook Secondary College Choir was joined by Carmel School on Monday, August 5 for a very special performance at a whole school assembly. Together they sang a rendition of ‘The Partisan Song,’ which has been translated into 28 languages around the world since its creation. However, our assembly was the first time ever it was delivered partly in Noongar! The choir also collectively sang in English, Hebrew and Yiddish.

You can view a video of the performance on our Facebook page here.

‘The Partisan Song’ is known as a song of strength and defiance, with its origins coming from Nazi resistance fighters in the forests of Belarus during WW2. We thank ECU Senior Research Officer and Research Project Manager, Jesse John Fleay for translating the Noongar portion of the song and local composer Suzanne Kosowitz, for her arrangement of it.

Visiting teacher and Jewish studies expert, Nance Adler, also spoke about this historical period in depth to a couple of our Year 12 Humanities and Social Science classes on the day. She introduced the word ‘upstander’ to them and explained it’s essentially, the opposite of a ‘bystander.’ It’s a term to celebrate the people who choose to stand up and take action in trying or challenging times, rather than sitting idly by.¬†

Ms. Adler resides in Seattle, USA and is visiting Perth currently thanks to sponsorship from the US Government. She is also presenting talks at ECU, UWA, The University of Notre Dame and other schools while she is here. Ms. Adler works closely with Eli Rabinowitz, the Founder of the We Are Here! Foundation, who helped coordinate the translation of ‘The Partisan Song’ into Noongar by tying the song together with the inspiring story of William Cooper, an Aboriginal activist.¬†

We thank Lance Turner (great grandson of William Cooper), City of Swan Deputy Mayor Kevin Bailey, Cr Cate McCullough, Cr Patty Jones, Annette Livesey on behalf of Christian Porter, Jessica Shaw MLA, Simon Lawrence, Shula Lazar, Michele Galanti, Shirley Atlas, Michael Anderson, Jesse John Fleay, Suzanne Kosowitz, P&C President Adrian Clarke and Department of Education guests for their attendance.