ALWAYS WAS, ALWAYS WILL BE ABORIGINAL LAND.
We acknowledge the Darug people of the Darug nation – the Traditional Custodians of this land we work in and also pay our respect to elders past, present and emerging.
Note from FUNPARK Curator
2020 has brought on new challenges not only for our program – but globally.
Despite setbacks, FUNPARK continues to commit to the community of Bidwill, Mount Druitt. Since its inception in 2014, FUNPARK has celebrated the lived experiences of our community in the form of a live festival that activates Bidwill Square. FUNPARK offers arts experiences to young people to explore culture, skills and ignite potential.
FUNPARK was underway before the pandemic hit. Workshops, planning and conversations were happening. Kuki cultural artist and musician, Phil Taikarangi was leading drumming workshops in the local highschool, Karen Therese was preparing her eponymous tour through the history of FUNPARK, our artists, production manager and crew were booked, interns ready to go and then – boom. The pandemic hit.
Using place and activation of physical space to gather was not an option for this festival year. The FUNPARK Festival program moved online and was held across eight weeks. From May to June 2020, we engaged 4 artistic teams to run two online workshops each. Workshops included; Parkour & Fitness, Hula Hooping, Samoan story-telling and crafts. As an extension of our workshops, Fun Packs were provided to local families to support their participation.
FUNPARK online also presented the Mount Druitt Press Conference, two curated conversations, featuring five young local leaders. The conversation highlighted the impact of stigma surrounding young people from Mt Druitt. To continue shedding light on the success and diversity of Bidwill, FUNPARK also presented five locally made video works as part of the FUNPARK At Home Cinema series.
I am very proud to share that FUNPARK 2020 was part of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney NIRIN. FUNPARK is led by myself and Robyn Hardge-Scott, who like myself was a local participant of the 2014 FUNPARK festival.
Our coalition of partners are dedicated to the FUNPARK program and will continue to work with the community to build strong and resilient local leaders. We aim to achieve this by encouraging Mt Druitt residents and youth to share the true narratives of our community through unique and critical expressions of Australian culture.
By the Numbers
Moving online created excellent potential for FUNPARK to reach a higher volume of local residents and young people. We’re proud that our attendance and participation was the greatest it has ever been.
NUMBER OF EVENTS: 15
WESTERN SYDNEY ARTISTS EMPLOYED: 14
TOTAL WORKSHOP PARTICIPATION: 8,933
TOTAL AT HOME CINEMA SERIES VIEWS: 584
MT DRUITT PRESS CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE: 2,155
Parkour and Fitness with DMC
Run by members of the Dauntless Movement Crew, these parkour geniuses demonstrated to our participants how to stretch, warm up and do some safe parkour tricks including rolls, cartwheels, handstands and more – all from the comfort of their own backyard.
Artists: Joe Carbone, Jimmy James, Ivanka Djakovic and Alejandro Scarone.
First Workshop: 1051 views
Second Workshop: 461 views
Make your own hoop design!
Before our participants could get their hoop on, Bunny Hoopstar shared ways you can design and personalise your hoop using colourful tape.
Hoop like a rockstar!
Now that our participants have their hoop, all bright and ready to go – Bunny Hoopstar takes them through the basics of hula hooping so they can hoop like a Rockstar!
First Workshop: 639 views
Second Workshop: 343 views
Samoan Centric Story Telling
Lalau Leo Tanoi, a Samoan music artist, shared the story of the ‘Legend of Maui Tietie Talaga’ told from the perspective of the Samoan people. Within this two part workshop Leo shared the history and myths of the tale and teaches the viewers Samoan language greetings, complimented by a short performance.
Artist: Lalau Leo Tanoi
First Workshop: 639 views
Second Workshop: 343 views
Make your very own Puppet
During this workshop the participants learn how to make puppets using things you find around your home such as old socks, paper, a pen and chopsticks.
Upcycling Things Make Even Better Things
Imogen and Jesica show you how to recycle your old t-shirts and bottle caps to make a t-shirt bag and a mobile chime.
Artists: Imogen Ross and Jesica Montalvo
First Workshop: 271 views
Second Workshop: 326 views
In addition to our FUNPARK Online program we made creative packs that would allow our local Bidwill families to participate in our live workshops from the comfort of their own home. Items found in these packs were a hula hoop, a DIY tape kit, quality scissors, glue and more. With the help of Learning Ground and Bidwill Uniting, we were able to find 50 families for the packs and directly deliver the FUN PACKs to their front doors.
Mount Druitt Press Conference
2020 saw the return of the Mount Druitt Press Conference but with a new group of local cultural leaders. The Conference was reimagined as a curated conversation and broadcasted for an online audience. We ran a series of three online workshops in the lead up to the live conversations, providing a safe space for young people to express their opinions and share their lived experiences. During these workshops the speakers chose the key messages they wanted to tackle. We held two, one hour live conversations where they explored issues facing Mt Druitt youth and potential solutions.
Check out some of our favourite quotes from the conversation HERE.
Artists: Daisy Montalvo, Robyn Hardge-Scott, Christina Martinez, Jason Denison and Aaliyah Felipe.
“Better than Q&A” – Karen Therese
“Really great and important dialogue that’s part of the ongoing conversation around Mt Druitt people and communities!” – Michael Cruz
Mt Druitt Press Conference #1: 1512 Views
Mt Druitt Press Conference #2: 643 Views
At Home Cinema Series
Our At Home Cinema series broadcasted six local video works and celebrated the diverse talent found within our community. Each film was either shot in Western Sydney or had a large number of local crew and actors involved.
A cinema poem about a young woman’s migrant journey and her passion for dance. El Baile is a part of a collection of five video works called Beyond Refuge: Dialogues by CuriousWorks.
Beyond Bidwill, Broadening Horizons & Beyond 2770
A series of films that documented the experience of four young people from Mount Druitt hiking through beautiful Tasmanian bush and their spiritual journeys.
A six episode web-series sharing the story of two latina sisters from Mt Druitt as they plan a Quinceanera, a fifteenth birthday party and their struggle with womanhood, class and culture. This is a coming of age story and Australia’s first telenovela.
A short-form dramedy series that explores the complex nature in which culture, ambition, love and of course, hair, intersect.
El Baile: 113 Views
Beyond Bidwill: 221 Views
Broadening Horizons: 22 Views
Beyond Bidwill: 228 Views
FUNPARK Curator: Daisy Montalvo
FUNPARK Engagement and Community Liaison Officer: Robyn Hardge-Scott
Graphic Design: Huy Nguyen
FUNPARK Artists: Bunny Hoopstar, Lalau Leo Tanoi, Imogen Ross, Jesica Montalvo, Joe Carbone, Jimmy James, Ivanka Djakovic, Alejandro Scarone, Adam McPhilbin, Shawn Spina, Sivani Yaddanapudi, Christina Martinez, Jason Denison and Aaliyah Felipe
Coalition Organisations: Bidwill Uniting, Blacktown Arts, Curiousworks, Learning Ground Mt Druitt and PYT Fairfield
Coalition Members: Bec Reidy, Monir Rowshan, Karen Therese, Katy Green Loughrey, Rumbi Mabambe, Stephen Lawler, Debbie Higgison and Caitlin Newton Broad
Partners: Biennale of Sydney and Chifley College Bidwill Campus
FUNPARK is only made possible due to the effort and support of Bidwill residents, local community and art workers.
Special thanks to Uncle Wes Marne, Uncle Greg Simms, Babayaan Aunties, Paschal Dantos Berry, David Echo at Living Bread Ministries, John Dacey, Jason Abbott, Alicia Talbot, Simon Wellington, Jenna Keevers, Mekiafa Oli, Marisa Bouasengphachanh, Therese Wilson, Billy Cheeseman, Jozica Crnec, Michelle Jenkinson, Miranda Aguilar, Vanessa Hyde, Pippa Bailey, Peter Carney at Mt Druitt TAFE and Monique Perusco at Jesuit Social Services.
FUNPARK is generously supported by Create NSW, Crown Foundation, Packer Family Foundation and Australia Council for the Arts.