Hunter children’s band promote inclusion and acceptance

Nick Gill, Matt McLaren, Pamalyn Hyde, Komiti Levai and Stef Tuyl are The Quokkas.

HUNTER children’s band The Quokkas launched their first album, ‘Songs For Everyone’, on Sunday, releasing eighteen upbeat songs aimed at teaching the next generation about acceptance and inclusion.

Former AFL player, Channel 7 TV news reporter and Hit network breakfast radio host Nick Gill has been the driving force in the formation of the band.

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“It started just in my family via a discussion with my wife about the media our kids were consuming.

“We realised that kids aren’t born with prejudice, they learn it and we need to do what we can to stamp it out before it has a chance to grow,” said Nick, who is also a songwriter and children’s book author.

Joining the talented Nick is Pamalyn Hyde, a proud Torres Strait Islander and the niece of Aussie music royalty Christine Anu.

Also joining The Quokkas line up is disability advocate Matt McLaren, a blind music producer, keys player, singer and a former runner up on Australia’s Got Talent.

Komiti Levai, a world-class vocalist from Samoa and judge on Channel 7’s All Together Now, and Stef Tuyl, a Dutch music therapist who works with children with disabilities, round out the band.

Since starting just over a year ago, the group has released 36 tracks, amassed over two million views on their videos, two million streams, and gigged regularly around the Hunter.

A musical mash-up unlike any other, the five-piece band of professional musicians, with different cultural backgrounds and physical abilities, are focused on helping the next generation of Aussie children.

With songs like ‘Everybody’s Welcome’, ‘I Like You Just The Way You Are’, ‘Celebrate (that you’re one of a kind)’ and ‘Different Families’, The Quokkas are helping children sing, laugh, dance, and be a positive force for our world.

“Children aren’t born with prejudice, prejudice is learnt,” said Matt McLaren.

“We want to normalise diversity.

“People from different cultures, different abilities and different walks of life.

“The best time to do this is during early childhood and that’s one of the key reasons we do what we do,” said Matt.


The Quokkas share an important message about diversity.

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