Australia’s largest performing arts challenge for schools, Wakakirri, is delighted to announce the 2019 National Panel.
Emma Watkins joins the panel for the first time this year. Watkins is best known for her role as the yellow Wiggle and the first female in The Wiggles, the world’s favourite children’s entertainment group. The effervescent singing, dancing, drum playing, French speaking, bow wearing Wiggle has charmed audiences across the globe and is a passionate advocate for sign language.
WAKAKIRRI RETURNS TO GEELONG IN 2019
Australia’s biggest performing arts event for Primary and Secondary schools will be back at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) in 2019! Wakakirri returns to Geelong following a brief hiatus in 2018 while renovations have been completed at GPAC.
The recent multi-million dollar redevelopment has elevated GPAC to a world-class venue, and with Wakakirri local school students will have the opportunity to perform on the same stage as renowned international performers.
CELEBRATION OF RECONCILIATION & PERFORMING ARTS EXCELLENCE AT TLSC TUMBI UMBI
…Tumbi Umbi not only won the national Reconciliation Story Award in Wakakirri’s 2018 Story Dance Challenge, the Central Coast school also took out Story of the Year, Wakakirri’s top award.
Special guests including Wakakirri’s Festival Director Adam Loxley and Tessa Keenan from Reconciliation Australia joined teachers, students and families for a special assembly to celebrate the achievements of the 70+ students who worked on this year’s Story Dance production.
Tumbi Umbi’s Wakakirri item is an abstract interpretation of the colonisation of Australia inspired by The Rabbits, the iconic picture book authored by John Marsden. The book’s illustrator Shaun Tan was so impressed he sent a special message to the school, describing it as an “awesome performance”.
MANGO HILL STATE SCHOOL CELEBRATES WAKAKIRRI WIN
On Friday November 2nd 2019, Mango Hill State School held a special presentation assembly and morning tea event to mark a significant occasion – winning Story of the Year in Wakakirri.
Special guests included Wakakirri’s Festival Director Adam Loxley; Kerri Jones, A/Executive Director School Autonomy and Improvement, Education Queensland; the Hon Steven Miles MP, Member for Murrumba and Minister for Health; Cr Julie Greer of Moreton Bay Regional Council; and two representatives from Save the Children Australia – Anthea Ingram, Regional Coordinator of Domestic and Family Violence Programs and Kate Spinks, Family Support Worker.
NATIONAL STORY OF THE YEAR WINNER… TUMBI UMBI TAKES THE SECONDARY TITLE
Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Tumbi Umbi Campus has claimed the top award in the biggest performing arts festival for schools in Australia!
Tumbi Umbi took out the top award for their impactful performance ‘The Rabbits’, an abstract interpretation of the colonisation of Australia based on the picture book of the same name by legendary Australian author John Marsden. Tumbi Umbi’s story touched on the harsh truths of Australia’s past and the ongoing social issues still prevalent today, with a message of hope and reconciliation. Wakakirri’s National Panel said it was a “fantastic performance” with “strong and relevant” themes.
NATIONAL STORY OF THE YEAR WINNER… MANGO HILL STATE SCHOOL TAKES THE PRIMARY TITLE
Mango Hill State School in Queensland has claimed the top award in the biggest performing arts festival for schools in Australia! Wakakirri is Australia’s largest performing arts event for primary and secondary schools.
Mango Hill State School took out Story of the Year with their inspiring performance ‘What About the Children?’, in which a young boy discovers a way to make a difference when he learns about children who have been left homeless after a hurricane in Haiti. This was the school’s fifth year participating in Wakakirri and their first time winning Story of the Year.
SUPPORTING THE CREATIVE SKILLS OF YOUNG VICTORIANS
Young Victorians will have more opportunities to gain skills in performing and creative arts, design and event management, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s continued support of the Wakakirri Secondary School Challenge.
Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a further $600,000 investment over three years, which will help fund this exciting and unique program until 2022.
Media Release Courtesy of the Hon Jenny Mikakos MLC. Wednesday 12 September, 2018.
VOTING NOW OPEN FOR WAKAKIRRI’S 2018 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
Who is the Wakakirri winner in your eyes? Celebrate your favourite performances from Wakakirri’s 2018 Primary and Secondary Challenges by casting your vote for People’s Choice!
… The public now has the opportunity to support their school and share their favourite performances with the People’s Choice Award. Voting is easy – from Monday September 24th simply head to Wakakirri’s website and ‘People’s Choice’, then select your school, and like and share the video.
WAKAKIRRI ANNOUNCES SYDNEY PRIMARY STORY DANCE CHALLENGE WINNERS
Wakakirri is proud to announce Sydney’s Primary winners for the 2018 Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge – Mater Dei Catholic Primary School, Strathfield North Public School, Dural Public School, St Philip’s Christian College Gosford, St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Panania, Gymea Bay Public School and Dapto Public School.
Twenty-two schools from across Sydney were invited to the Quaycentre at Sydney Olympic Park over two nights (September 18 & 19) to perform their award-winning Wakakirri Story Dance productions (a Story Dance is a 3-7 minute performance telling a story through dance and drama).
WAKAKIRRI ANNOUNCES VICTORIAN PRIMARY STORY DANCE CHALLENGE WINNERS
Wakakirri is proud to announce Victoria’s Primary Challenge winners for the 2018 Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge.
Ten finalist primary schools from around the state were invited to perform their award-winning Story Dances* at The Palais Theatre in St Kilda on Wednesday September 12th, for the chance to be nominated for the coveted national Story of the Year Award. (*A Story Dance is a short performance telling a story through a combination of dance, drama and creative movement.)
Jells Park Primary School, Hallam Primary School and Frankston Heights Primary School were named as the region’s winners. Each school impressed the judges with their original Story Dance productions expressing students’ thoughts, ideas and aspirations.
WAKAKIRRI ANNOUNCES VICTORIAN SECONDARY STORY DANCE CHALLENGE WINNERS
Wakakirri is proud to announce Victoria’s Secondary Challenge winners for the 2018 Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge.
Nine finalist schools from around the state were invited to The Palais theatre on Monday September 11th to perform their award-winning Wakakirri Story Dances for the chance to be nominated for the coveted national Story of the Year Award. (A Story Dance is a short performance telling a story through a combination of dance, drama and creative movement.)
Hoppers Crossing Secondary College, Dromana College and Mount Erin Secondary College were named as the region’s winners. Each school impressed the judges with their original Story Dance productions expressing students’ thoughts, ideas and aspirations.
WAKAKIRRI ANNOUNCES SYDNEY SECONDARY STORY DANCE CHALLENGE WINNERS
Wakakirri is proud to announce the Sydney Region’s Secondary Challenge winners winners for the 2018 Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge.
Six schools from around the region, spreading from the inner city up to the Central Coast and out to the Blue Mountains, were invited back to NIDA on September 10th to perform their award-winning Wakakirri Story Dances for the chance to be nominated for the coveted national Story of the Year Award.
Katoomba High School and Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Tumbi Umbi Campus were both named as the region’s winners for their impressive original productions.
WAKAKIRRI ANNOUNCES BRISBANE STORY DANCE CHALLENGE WINNERS
Wakakirri is proud to announce Brisbane’s winners for the 2018 Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge.
Mango Hill State School, Enoggera State School, St Laurence’s College, Kingston State School and Grand Avenue State School are the region’s Wakakirri winners.
Twelve schools were invited to the Logan Entertainment Centre over two nights earlier in September to perform their award-winning Wakakirri Story Dance productions.
MUFFIN BREAK AND WAKAKIRRI ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP
Muffin Break and Wakakirri are proud to announce they are joining forces. Muffin Break are sponsoring Wakakirri as a Major Partner as of May 2018, supporting Wakakirri’s mission to bring the benefits of performing arts and storytelling to every school in Australia.
As part of the partnership, Muffin Break have committed to sponsor disadvantaged schools to create their own Story Dance productions to perform at the national Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge.
WAKAKIRRI TO INSPIRE NEXT GENERATION AT PERFORMING ARTS CAREERS DAY
Prominent members of the entertainment industry will be sharing insights with the next generation of Australian stars at Wakakirri’s Performing Arts Careers Day at The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in May 2018.
A free event for secondary students in Victoria, schools are invited to bring along a team of students and teachers to a special day where they will be inspired, encouraged and informed about what it takes to succeed in the entertainment industry.
Joining the panel are actor Michala Banas (Upper Middle Bogan, Nowhere Boys, McLeod’s Daughters), stage and screen star Joshua Horner (Dancing With The Stars), actor, writer and singer Alex Papps (Play School, Home and Away), and dancer and choreographer Jason Coleman (So You Think You Can Dance, Choreographer for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies).
WAKAKIRRI IS COMING TO BENDIGO’S ULUMBARRA THEATRE
Wakakirri is pleased to announce the addition of Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre as a venue for 2018. Local school students will be taking the stage to perform their original Story Dance productions in front of Wakakirri’s expert panel and an audience of family, friends and community.
Wakakirri’s Story Dance Challenge runs annually from July through September at various venues around the country, asking primary and secondary schools to create ‘Story Dances’ that reflect the ideas and aspirations of their students. Participating schools are in the running to take out awards at regional and national levels, including the illustrious ‘Story of the Year’ award.
NATIONAL ‘STORY OF THE YEAR!’ WINNER… MOUNT ANNAN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE (NSW) HAS TAKEN THE SECONDARY TITLE!
Hello this is HUGE NEWS! The decision has been made and MOUNT ANNAN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE has claimed the biggest prize in the largest performing arts event for schools in Australia!
Now in its 25th year, Wakakirri (an aboriginal word meaning ‘dance’) has involved over 20,000 primary and secondary students in 240 schools across the country.
MOUNT ANNAN brilliantly bought to life their dance performance titled ‘The Greatest Gift you can Give’ which celebrated a powerful story of Australian mateship. National panel judges Josh Horner and Rachel Beck said this show-stopping highly creative performance was ‘An incredible production number performed with sincerity and gusto highlighting the real essence of mateship!’
NATIONAL ‘STORY OF THE YEAR!’ WINNER… CHAPEL HILL STATE SCHOOL (QLD) HAS TAKEN THE PRIMARY TITLE!
Hello this is HUGE NEWS! The decision has been made and Chapel Hill State School has claimed the biggest prize in the largest performing arts event for schools in Australia!
Now in its 25th year for primary aged students, Wakakirri (an aboriginal word meaning ‘dance’) has involved over 20,000 primary and secondary students in 240 schools across the country.
Chapel Hill obviously did exactly that with their story dance ttingly titled ‘Turning Heads, Making Waves’ about the extraordinarily gifted Australian swimmers Cate and Bronte Campbell… from their childhood growing up in Malawi and going on all the way to win gold at the Rio Olympics. So how great that today Chapel Hill have themselves won this gold title with their show-stopping highly creative performance.
AUSTRALIA HAS SPOKEN…
TWO VICTORIAN SCHOOLS have taken the title of PEOPLE’S CHOICE NATIONAL WINNER!
Hello this is BIG NEWS! The decision has been made and Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School and Hoppers Crossing Secondary College have claimed the audience prize in the largest performing arts event for schools in Australia!
Now in its 25th year, Wakakirri (an aboriginal word meaning ‘dance’) has involved over 20,000 primary and secondary students in 240 schools across the country. Votes flooded in from far and wide and today two inspirational performances have been heralded as the crowd favourites!
Upper Ferntree Gully chose to brilliantly tell their story dance titled ’Winds of Change’ about how a cyclone tragedy powerfully brings together a community.
Secondary winner Hoppers Crossing performed their poignant story dance titled ’Journey to Freedom’ focusing on the emotional plight of migrant resettlement.
YOU CHOOSE THE WINNER! 2017 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
8th September, 2017
Who is the Wakakirri winner in your eyes? This is an opportunity for the broader community to vote for their favourite Story Dances. By creating a video highlights package of every single school’s performance, the Wakakirri team want to enable a wider audience to see how participating students… we prefer to call them superstars… perceive the world around them.
The People’s Choice Awards were launched in 2015 receiving over 30,000 likes on Facebook alone! This year every school’s video will be available to share on Facebook from midday on September 25th, 2017 with voting closing at midnight on the 16th October, 2017. The Story Dance film that receives the most Facebook shares will be named this year’s People’s Choice Award winner! There will be one school chosen for the Primary Challenge and one for the Secondary Challenge nationally. The People’s Choice Awards will be announced in an exclusive Waka TV ‘Story of the Year’ episode on the 20th October, 2017.
TUGGERAH LAKES SECONDARY COLLEGE WINS STATE FINAL OF WAKAKIRRI STORY-DANCE FESTIVAL
8th September, 2017
Last night, 70 students from Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College danced their way to a place in the national final of the Wakakirri Story-Dance Festival after being crowned NSW champions with their performance Define Smart.
With only 7 minutes to convey a complete story, the students from Years 7-10 used movement and props to explore the notion that standardised tests, exam scores and their data capture the essence of intelligence. The performance encouraged the audience to see the myriad of ways that aptitude and excellence can be demonstrated through careers as diverse as construction workers to prima ballerinas.
Australian stage and television singer-actress Rachael Beck to share secrets with rising stars
2nd May, 2017
This month entertainment industry professionals including Rachael Beck will come together with secondary students from around Victoria to reflect upon what it takes to make it as a professional performer in today’s world.
The talk forms part of the 2017 Wakakirri Careers Day and Season Launch event being held at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art for schools participating in the 2017 Wakakirri Secondary School Challenge.
WAKAKIRRI EXTENDS IT’S REACH TO NEWCASTLE AND THE SHOALHAVEN
The two newest NSW venues for 2017 will be the Civic Theatre, Newcastle and Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, hosting performances across August. The Civic Theatre will host Wakakirri on Wednesday 30 August 2017 and the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre will host from Thursday, 10th August 2017.
Wakakirri currently plays in five other NSW venues, with another 11 venues participating nationwide. The 2016 spread of NSW schools who participated in Wakakirri included schools located on the Central Coast, Newcastle and Shoalhaven regions. These schools travelled to venues in Sydney or Wollongong to perform in 2016.
WAKAKIRRI NATIONAL AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED
20th October, 2016
The 2016 winners were announced in two special Waka TV episodes on the Wakakirri website at 11am Thursday 20 October 2017. The Waka TV episodes feature National Panel Representatives Justine Clarke, James Elmer, Mark Wilson, Ian Knowles and Michael Cormick.
The recipients of the Story Of The Year Awards are as follows:
PRIMARY SCHOOL RECIPIENT OF STORY OF THE YEAR: Dapto Public School, NSW
NSW SECONDARY SCHOOL RECIPIENT OF STORY OF THE YEAR: Northmead Creative & Performing Arts High School, NSW
SCREEN CHALLENGE STORY OF THE YEAR RECIPIENT: Wondall Heights State School, QLD
Schools also won Special Awards and Category Awards. Read more here.
2016 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
26th September, 2016
The Wakakirri People’s Choice Awards celebrate the excellence of the 2016 Primary and Secondary Story Dance Challenges.
This is an opportunity for the broader community to vote for their favourite Story Dances. By creating a video highlights package of every single school’s Story Dance performance, we also hope to enable a wider audience to see how participating students perceive the world around them.
The People’s Choice Awards were launched in 2015 receiving over 30,000 likes on Facebook alone!
STUDENTS NATIONWIDE TACKLE TOUGH TOPICS
AT THE ANNUAL WAKAKIRRI PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL
15 August 2016
Primary and secondary students across Australia have expressed the issues important to them, in performances for the 2016 Wakakirri performing arts festival. The festival runs from August through September 2016 at various venues around the country.
Each year hundreds of schools across Australia create Story Dances for Wakakirri that reflect their students’ thoughts, ideas and aspirations. A Wakakirri Story Dance is a 3-7 minute performance using any combination of dance, creative movement, acting, music, props, costumes, sets, and in some cases, film, projections and singing.
Dances this year deal with topics including refugees, mental health, diversity, bullying and the cost of social media in modern life.
#WE LOVE WAKA COMPETITION
The 2016 performance season for the Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge is up and running! Share your show day photos, smiles and behind the scenes chaos with us and the world!….#welovewaka competition
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS ANNOUNCED!
For Release – Immediate Release, Tuesday 8th December, 2015:
The inaugural Wakakirri People’s Choice Awards celebrate the excellence of the 2015 Primary and Secondary Story Dance Challenges.
This year we provided an opportunity for the broader community to vote for their favourites in the first ever Wakakirri People’s Choice Award. By creating a video highlights package of every single school’s Story Dance performance, we also hoped to enable a wider audience to see how participating students perceive the world around them.
We have been overwhelmed by the response to this year’s Awards. Tens of thousands of people have liked and shared their favourite clips via our website and through social media. Midway through the voting we learned that the videos had already been shared more than 30,000 times on Facebook alone! As a result of this overwhelming level of support to all of those who took part, we have decided to present 3 schools in every state and territory with People’s Choice Awards.
The Victorian Government is once again proud to be a major partner of the Wakakirri Secondary School Challenge in Victoria
April 16, 2015
Through Wakakirri, young people are supported to develop their leadership and communication skills and encouraged to reach for their dreams in the performing and creative arts industry.
Wakakirri gives young people a voice through the creation and sharing of stories – and by this process develops community awareness, positive lifestyle choices and provides hands-on training for young people at a crucial time in their personal development.
Events like the Wakakirri Secondary School Challenge make a real difference to the lives of young people, enabling and empowering them to participate in society in productive and creative ways.
These are important outcomes that align with the Victorian Government’s commitment to create opportunities for young people to participate in the community and the economy.
Wakakirri recognises the outstanding and extraordinary contribution that so many young people make to our state. These young people will inspire and excite and once again prove that through hard work, innovation and creativity, they are making their mark on Victoria.
Youth Central, the Victorian Government website for young people, offers a range of information and advice about things like jobs, study, travel, money and events in all parts of Victoria, and provides opportunities for young people to participate.
Wakakirri in Victoria continues to grow thanks to Government Support
November 7, 2014
Wakakirri is happy to announce that Victorian Coalition Government will be providing $200,000 towards the Wakakirri Secondary School Challenge for the next two years.
Minister for Youth Affairs Ryan Smith said “It’s important that students in Victoria with a passion for the performing arts have an outlet and by investing in Wakakirri we are ensuring young people can showcase their talents.”
The Wakakirri Secondary School Challenge is the search for the best Story Dance created by an Australian Secondary School.