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June 2010

Wow, here we are at the end of June, time sure does fly, June saw us working across three communities in Central Arnhem plus Katherine through a collaborative partnership with Katherine Regional Arts, Group Schools N.T, Jawoyn Aboriginal Association and Djilpin Arts.We worked on a strategy to support school retention through providing programs in the schools in school time and  after school in Youth Centres to provide access for those young people who are not attending school or are early school leavers.  

The project saw participation by, one hundred and four young people  ,ages 5yrs to 25 years. Outcomes included increased school attendance, skills development and in one community, we worked with the young people to write and record a road safety song which the Dance Artists Travers  Ross and  Nicole (Lamb ) choreographed and taught the young people a dance routine.  This was then performed at the Barunga Cultural & Sports Festival where first prize of $500 for the school was awarded for the performance.

Also young men and women from community worked alongside our team as paid tutors and will continue to work with the young people in their community to provide some continuity between our visits.

Miss Lamb and participants                                           Young men with plant dyed pandanus for weaving

Dancing Feet

Meanwhile, across the Mid North Coast of NSW, CrossCurrents, Ripples and Touching Base have continued with workshops and programs in digital storytelling, visual arts , dance, circus arts and music.

Limbering up                                        Literacy is Fun                          Creating Graffiti Art

The Creative Well ten week program with the Thunghutti community at Bellbrook has concluded with the women and girls having participated in visual arts and digital arts, while learning about healthy eating asthma, diabetes, dealing with  grief and women’s rights in the case of domestic violence.  The latter was delivered by Ruth Nolan and the ‘Knowledge is Power’ program.  Many thanks to the support of  the Thunghutti Aboriginal Land Council, Rural Primary Health, North Coast Area Health, Aboriginal Health and Outreach TAFE.

The ten week program Live Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Circus Mooves project, a partnership with Port Macquarie/Hasting Councils and Rural Primary Health  in four communities plus the Biripai and Bunyah Aboriginal Land Councils has been completed for 2010.  The program will be delivered again in 2011.

More News of Miss Christine Wright, the seventeen year old Dunghutti woman who has been the mentored tutor on the Bellbrook project, with a little encouragement, Miss Christine is the first Dunghutti young woman to become a member of the Kempsey Council Youth Advisory Council

‘Looking Back to the Future’, the intergenerational digital story telling project which focuses on early onset dementia  participants in the  Aboriginal community commenced after consultation with Aboriginal Aged Care and Red Dove.  The project is a partnership with Nambucca Valley Community Social Council and  is funded through the Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing.   Slippry Sirkus in a collaboration with Macksville TAFE, delivered a Digital Story Telling training program to eleven young people at Macksville TAFE.  These young people will be invited to  participate technicians to support the participants to produce their stories.

Slippry Sirkus returns to Central Arnhem in July to collaborate with the Wugularr (Beswick) community , Djilpin Arts & the Australian Shakespeare Company on a four week community project  that will accumulate in a cross cultural performance of a creation story which includes  Anuradha Viswanathan (“Anu”) Carnatic (South Indian) Vocals & Tanbura (Indian drone ) and Balakrishnan K.V.  (“Balu”)Indian Percussions & Moresing  and Shellie Morris   singer/songwriter (Black Arm Band). The Festival is held annually at a Sacred Site in Central Arnhem land. The Festival is held annually at a Sacred Site in Central Arnhem land., after our work with the community last July, Slippry Sirkus has been invited to continue to work in the community

The Elders, the community  and the Festival’s  Artistic  Director Tom. E Lewis  will provide cultural consultation and  guidance.

Walking with Spirits, Central Arnhem

This Month’s featured artist is:

Shellie Morris is an Australian Indigenous singer who performs earthy and honest songs. Shellie has a beautiful voice and her soulful enigmatic acoustic ballads are guaranteed to delight the listener. The Australian newspaper described her as ‘an aboriginal chanteuse of rare seriousness and grace’. She has performed everywhere from rural outback Australia to London Festival Hall and the Sydney Opera House with great reviews.

Shellie is currently a featured artist with the Black Arm Band. (a collaboration of Australia’s top indigenous artists and jazz musicians) Her song Swept Away was orchestrated and performed in 2008 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

A documentary film on Shellie’s life and music was commissioned and broadcast nationally in 2009 as well as her concert at the Sydney Opera house with Gurrumul Yunupingu. She has released two albums to date and is currently writing the music for her third CD.

In addition to this Shellie performed and co-wrote and the music Liberty Songs a collaboration between refugees from Liberia and indigenous Australian women.

Shellie is also an ambassador for the Fred Hollows foundation a organisation undertaking community-based work with blindness prevention in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. She also works with Indigenous communities and youth throughout Australia, helping young people to write music about their experiences.

In 2004 and 2005 Shellie was awarded the Female Musician of the Year at the N.T. Indigenous music awards. Her album Waiting Road was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2007 Deadly Awards. In 2010 Shellie performed her song Swept Away at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with the Black arm band. Shellie has performed at WomadUK and this year at WomAdelaide and has shared the bill and sang with touring artists of the calibre of Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach, Grinspoon, Vicka and Linda Bull, You am I, Tiddas, Jimmy Little, Bluehouse, Rebecca's Empire and Magic Dirt, Chris Bailey (The Saints) Shane Howard (Goanna).

'Handle With Care' Project

‘The Journey' shares insights from the young people from the sixteen communities who participated in this two year project.




Have a look at the images that capture some of  the many project highlights

Click to view Images

Media Comment


There has been very positive responses to our projects across a broad sector of the community

View samples here

Making Music

Listen to the songs created by the young people about the lives, their families and their communities.

Bourke Girls Track