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Q&A with singer-songwriter, St Paul’s student and St Mark’s, Clayfield children’s ministry assistant leader, Naomi-Kate Colledge

Spotlight Q&A

Meet Naomi-Kate Colledge and find out about her various Diocesan roles, her forthcoming festival performances, future plans, secret skill and what she does in her free time

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Naomi-Kate Colledge is a talented singer-songwriter who attends St Paul’s School and St Mark’s, Clayfield, where she serves in a number of roles. She is one of the inspiring artists who will be sharing her talents during the On Earth Festival, which is being run by our Justice Unit at St Francis College in October.

What are your current Anglican Church Southern Queensland roles?

I live at Clayfield in the St Mark’s rectory and attend St Paul’s School. I’m still new at St Paul’s, so I am still finding my feet, but I am hoping for a leadership role in the Music Department in my senior years. At church I’m a Kids Plus + Assistant Leader and an occasional altar server and singer. I am starting to learn audio visual skills for livestreaming.

What projects and activities are you currently engaged in at St Paul’s School and in your parish and wider Diocesan faith community?

St Mark’s has created an all-ages service called “Let’s be Frank” which has had a service at Clayfield and another at Aspley-Albany Creek where other parishes are invited to participate. I’ve been part of the singing and dramas for these. I’ve attended Ichthus camps for the past seven years and hope to join the leadership team soon.

The On Earth Festival is something I’m really looking forward to, as I’m excited to be part of a bigger project connecting lots of people with creation, faith and the arts.

Naomi-Kate Colledge sang in the St John’s Cathedral Girls’ Choir in 2018

How are you contributing to the On Earth Festival?

I’ll be singing – mostly covers, but a couple of originals also. Singing gives me so much joy and I love to share that.

What are you most looking forward to at the On Earth Festival?

Actually, I really have missed the Woodford Folk Festival for the last couple of years, so I’m hoping there’s a bit of that vibe going down…and a bit more! I might get to the Baroona Farm gardening workshop. I’m especially looking forward to the huge variety of entertainment.

How do faith, music and justice intersect for you in your life?

I first really sang in church. As a baby I used to clap at the end of every hymn and yell, “Yay!” I try to remember that God has blessed me with song. When I perform, I feel free and let loose. I’ve loved singing at Ichthus camps, Through song I can communicate with God naturally. One New Year’s sunrise at Woodford, I just felt a great sense of peace and purpose as we sang the New Year in.

Naomi-Kate Colledge on Senior Ichthus Camp in 2021

What are your plans after you graduate from St Paul’s School?

Eventually, I would love to be a Primary Educator and use music in that space. At this stage I would like to do a Bachelor of Music in Performance or Songwriting at JMC Academy at South Brisbane, and then move on to studying education.

‘The Bizarre Galahs’ busking at Carseldine Markets in 2016 – Naomi and her sister Sophia Colledge

This year’s Diocesan theme is ‘Being Together: Nurturing Relationships’. What are some practical ways that we can all communicate with each other to build trust?

The more activities we can share across age groups, the better. I attend the second Sunday morning service at St Mark’s (9.15am). However, it’s great to get all parishioners together for trivia nights, at our village fair and at combined services. I love chatting with older people and sharing stories.

What is your favourite scripture verse and why?

John 13.34-35: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

It’s so important to be inclusive – because Jesus was! When we love, we share God’s love. And when people are loving to us, we can learn more about God, too.

What person of faith inspires you the most and why?

My mum is a priest, and she was my school chaplain at St Margaret’s for over 10 years. Everyone liked how she was engaging and she made faith more enjoyable. She helped all that church stuff make sense. I like seeing her now with older people and younger people and she’s good at helping them to explore faith in their own way.

Naomi-Kate and her family at St John’s Cathedral in 2021, with (L-R) Naomi-Kate, Richard, The Rev’d Canon Nicki and Sophia Colledge

What is the kindest gesture you have ever received or witnessed?

When I was about six years of age, I had some teeth surgery. I came home to a helium balloon that said, “Get well soon. Love, Squiggle”. I kept that balloon for as long as a I could, even once the air had gone, and I never did find out who left it there!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?

“Don’t hold back” is the seniors’ advice to our school community this year. As a new kid I have found it really encouraging. Even though it’s a catchphrase and we hear it all the time, it’s had a really positive effect on me.

What do you do in your free time to recharge and relax?

I scroll the internet for YouTubes of The Voice Kids from around the world. I can now sing an entire song in Dutch, just by listening (but I don’t know what it means!)

If you found yourself on a deserted island, what three things would you choose to have with you?

Fire starter, Pink Batty (my old toy rabbit) and my family.

Naomi in her budgie jumper: famous Anglican Youth merchandise from the 1980s

Where do you do your best thinking?

Singing while roller skating (especially during home learning in lockdowns).

If you are having a bad day, what do you do to cheer yourself up?

I find sitting with my dog Dibley makes me feel clean from all stress and worry.

What is your secret skill?

I can sing a whole song in Russian. Again, I don’t know what the words mean!

What’s your unanswerable question – the question you are always asking yourself?

Why does gluten exist?? I have coeliac disease.

Editor’s note: Book online now to hear Naomi-Kate Colledge perform at the On Earth Festival on Saturday 16 October at St Francis College in Milton.

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