Performing arts participation skyrockets at Hoppers Crossing Secondary College

This year more than 250 students will be part of the school’s Wakakirri Story-Dance production, a program that achieves curriculum outcomes as students prepare a 3–7 minute item to be performed at a professional theatre with other schools. The 2019 competition will be the school’s seventh year.

Read more here.

Courtesy of Education Today, 18 May, 2019.

Many flubs before a touchdown in a performance career

Wakakirri continues to win the patronage of and very precious time from Australia’s performing arts community who recognise the opportunity that the program represents. Wakakirri’s national Story-Dance Challenge provides an accessible opportunity for schools at all levels to engage with the arts and perform on professional stages, and the annual Careers Day was an opportunity for secondary students to further explore career pathways in the arts and entertainment industry.

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Courtesy of Education Today, 10 May, 2019.

Yellow Wiggle joins Wakakirri panel

If you’re a fan of the yellow Wiggle, Emma Watkins, you might be interested to know that she’ll be on the panel of this year’s Wakakirri Story-Dance Challenge. Known for her dancing, Watkins will join Justine Clarke, Andrew McFarlane, Alex Papps and Caroline Kaspar to adjudicate Australia’s largest performing arts challenge for schools.

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Courtesy of Dance Australia, 22 March, 2019.

Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins joins Wakakirri National Panel

The Wiggles are coming to Wakakirri with Emma Watkins the yellow Wiggle joining the 2019 National Panel.

The Wiggles are the world’s favourite children’s entertainment group and Emmy the dancing, drum playing, French speaking, bow wearing Wiggle has charmed audiences everywhere. She is also a passionate advocate for sign language.

Read more here.

Courtesy of Education Today, 18 March, 2019.

A big thing for college

A performance that highlighted the Gurundji tribe’s fight for equality and land rights has earned Carranballac P-9 College a national Wakakirri award.

The Point Cook school took out the Reconciliation Australia/Narragunnawali Story Award for From Little Things, Big Things Grow, which included the songs of Paul Kelly, Kevin Carmody, Yothu Yindi and Ganga Girl.

A group of 36 grade 6 students first performed the piece at a Wakakirri heat at The Clocktower Centre in Moonee Ponds in July, bagging a number of state awards, before being invited to perform at the Wakakirri National Performance Competition Night at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre.

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Courtesy of Star Weekly, December 5, 2018.

Shaun Tan’s praise for Wakakirri’s Story of the Year

Left: Shaun Tan. Right: ‘The Rabbits’.

Wakakirri’s 2018 Secondary Story of the Year winner, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Tumbi Umbi Campus, performed an abstract interpretation of the colonisation of Australia inspired by The Rabbits – the iconic picture book authored by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan.

Shaun Tan was so impressed by the quality of Tumbi Umbi’s performance he sent a special message to the school. Here is his quote in full:

“This is an awesome performance – loved every aspect of it; the lighting, animated elements, costumes, music, and especially the choreography and dancing. At first I was wondering how they could pull off this narrative in seven minutes, but I think it’s done pretty brilliantly by going straight to the core concepts with skilful restraint, and broad enough to have an epic mythological feel about it. Those rabbits are truly terrifying too!

The feeling of bizarre invasion really hits you. And the subtle references to detention were a thought-provoking and elegant metaphor. I’m super impressed that the students themselves did all of this! Amazing. Do pass on my appreciation.” 

Wakakirri’s Natalie Bond receives Minister’s Arts Education Award

Natalie Brennan_Wakakirri_Education South AustraliaWakakirri is proud to announce our South Australian Representative Natalie Bond is the winner of the Minister’s Arts Education Primary Award 2018.

Natalie is the backbone of our South Australian shows, which are some of the biggest Wakakirri shows in the country. Congratulations Natalie and thank you for everything you do!

The prestigious Minister’s Arts Education Awards are in recognition of outstanding achievement and endeavour in arts in education. The awards recognise excellence in teaching in improving children and young people’s learning. The awards aim to highlight outstanding achievement, creativity and leadership of teaching and learning in arts education.



TLSC Tumbi Umbi_Wakakirri_Hachette Australia_Shaun Tan

Teaching, learning and accepting Australia’s true histories since colonisation can be challenging, but plays a key part in promoting reconciliation in the classroom and within the wider community.

An exemplar of how historical truth-telling can be achieved in the educational community context has been demonstrated by Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Tumbi Umbi Campus’ performance for Wakakirri – Australia’s largest performing arts event for primary and secondary schools in Australia. Each year Reconciliation Australia proudly supports the Reconciliation Story Award. This year’s Wakakirri Performance saw 240 schools hit the stage at 40 events in professional theatres across the country, with Tumbi Umbi deservedly winning the Reconciliation Story Award and the Story of the Year in the secondary school category.

Read more here. 

Courtesy of Narragunnawali News, 4 December, 2018.

Prof Tom Calma speaks to Bumma Bippera about Wakakirri

Bumma Bippera_Tom Calma_Wakakirri

Wakakirri’s Festival Patron Professor Tom Calma spoke to Bumma Bippera Radio’s National TalkBlack program about Wakakirri’s 2018 season and the winners of the Reconciliation Award.

Courtesy of Bumma Bippera 98.7FM / National Indigenous Radio Serivce, 14 November, 2018.