CONNECTING TO COUNTRY

Grassroots, Multi-Platform, Arts Education

2016 – 2018

Connecting to Country develops the creative and story-telling skills among First Nations young people and their friends in Darug country, Western Sydney, while connecting them to the wisdom of community elders and our shared history.

This partnership between CuriousWorks and Moogahlin Performing Arts is guided by esteemed elders and community partnerships, including FUNPARK based in Bidwill and the Mt Druitt Reconciliation Group.

Through a series of creative workshops and innovative community projects, Connecting to Country offers young people the skills, resources, knowledge and networks to tell their own stories.

CuriousWorks artists began the first film-making workshops in January 2016. Three months later young people took part in a walk and cultural camp, in Darug country stretching from the lower Blue Mountains to Blacktown, known as NgAl Lo Wah Murraytula (Darug for ‘together we share and enjoy’). The walk was initiated by elders Uncle Wes Marne (93 years old) and Aunty Edna Watson (75) as a means of sharing their historical, environmental and cultural knowledge of the Western Sydney landscape.

CONCEPT

“It could just make the kids realise there was another way of life, give them something to brag about. We have Aboriginal children in Western Sydney who have never seen a kangaroo in the bush and that’s a crime…” – Uncle Wes Marne

“As we find our identity and tell our stories in Western Sydney, it is very important to remember the first stories that walked before us, the first Australians’ stories are everyone’s responsibility. Before we take a step for ourselves we must take every step with our indigenous Australians.” – Guido Gonzalez, Curious Creator Mentor & Lead Artist, CuriousWorks

Connecting to Country is being developed through CuriousWorks’ successful Community Arts and Cultural Development model and will intersect with our other programs. This approach should build the artistic and leadership capacity of the project participants to a professional level. Presentation outcomes will include local, private showings and exchanges with other groups of young people. Our Curious Creators will partner with local young people to create a new web series, planned for release in 2018.

Connecting to Country has been made possible with the support of the Nelson Meers Foundation and the Matana Foundation for Young People.

NGAL LO WAH MURRAYTULA WALK AND CULTURAL CAMP

 April 2016

Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

Our office is located on Tharawal country. Our work takes us across Tharawal, Dharug and Eora lands. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we work, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.