Indigenous cultural program knitting together communities

26 March 2015

Canterbury League Club has provided a donation of $5,000 to Alenarra Art Enterprises to help Indigenous youth positively identify with their cultural identity through creative workshops.

For the past two years the Club has been supporting Principal Director and Aboriginal Australian artist, Daren Dunn, as he connects with youth groups within schools, the juvenile justice system, football clubs and Indigenous communities throughout NSW through his ‘Get Black On Ya Feet’ and ‘Indigenous Cultural Art’ programs.

The programs’ workshops, which are centred on Aboriginal Australian art, music, culture and sports, encourage participants to go on a journey of self-assessment, critical reflection and life planning.

“Both art and music have therapeutic qualities that have the capacity to heal the soul and heart that has been broken. Art and music are powerful vehicles for students to express themselves and come to know their situation, thoughts and feelings, and help put life into perspective and find closure,” said Daren Dunn, Principal Director of Alenarra Art Enterprises.

Some of the activities conducted during the workshops include teaching participants how to paint and express themselves by producing Indigenous artworks, and writing and creating music videos that can be shared with their families and the local community.

“I first saw the need 16 years ago while working in a variety of schools across NSW. These programs have been successful in preventing young people from falling through the cracks in the system. This success has come from the program’s ability to keep the students at school – engage them in a positive manner and leave them feeling empowered to learn.”

“Keeping young adults interested in school allows them to receive a well-rounded education and no one can take that away from them – education empowers these young adults to recognise changes within their lives and help them to make better decisions for their future,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.