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Deadly Arts Provides Positive Cultural Connection

Students from Deadly Arts Programs Perform for NAIDOC Week.

The Song Room proudly launched its Deadly Arts programs in Perth in 2018 with the support of LotteryWest. Deadly Arts programs aim to provide opportunities for primary schools to learn about and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and knowledge.

As Deadly Arts is place based, the Perth schools have been exploring local Nyoongar culture. Our programs are delivered by very skilled and experienced Nyoongar teaching artists helping schools to provide positive interaction between staff, students and their local Aboriginal community.

In July 2019 the Song Room held a Deadly Arts NAIDOC concert and four schools came together to celebrate Nyoongar culture. Special guests Madjitil Moorna treated students with an amazing performance of Nyoongar music.

Students perform using skills from their Deadly Arts Program

Deadly Arts offers a rich variety of programs in Perth including:

Story Dolls: delivered by Nyoongar Community Artist Marcelle Riley, this weekly program involves parents and the wider school community gathering to yarn while making traditional Nyoongar dolls. The ‘Story Dolls’ are dyed with local flora and are woven together to create a doll that represent themselves, their loved ones or their ancestors. These dolls are then brought to life through creative play with the school’s early year’s classes.

Aboriginal Music: Led by Nyoongar singer songwriter Lilly Gogos and didgeridoo artist Julien Silburn this program introduces children to both Nyoongar music as well as music of other Aboriginal nations. Boys and girls are taught separately, with the boys learning the didgeridoo and the girls exploring singing and dance.

Nyoongar Art and Mural Making: Led by Nyoongar artist Seantelle Walsh students learn about local art and traditions while creating a school mural. The murals interweave traditional visual story telling techniques with the school’s values and mission.

Nyoongar Culture and Dance: Nyoongar artists Olman and Rickeeta Walley share their culture, language and dance in this engaging program. Students and staff learn a variety of traditional art forms as they explore the history, stories, songs and celebrations of Nyoongar culture.

Parents of Students show off the story dolls they created in their Deadly Arts Program

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