Inclusion – Co-creating the ‘Youth of Wakka Wakka’ storyline
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article refers to a community elder who has passed.
TAFE Queensland has partnered with Indigenous Artist Robert Langton to capture the stories of the Burnett's youth through art.
The project called Inclusion – Co-creating the ‘Youth of Wakka Wakka’ storyline, is just one activity that TAFE Queensland is undertaking as part of its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The project commenced with a Yarning Circle and Uncle Rocko spoke with eight students, sharing his story of life in the Cherbourg Mission, the changes he has seen in the Community and encouraging their creativity.
“Create your own art. Your own story. You there, from Wiradjuri country – draw the ranges, crossing the border. What would you see? What animals? This is how you paint your story of where you come from,” Uncle Rocko advised.
“Each one of you can create your own story. It doesn’t have to be right or wrong – it just has to be your story,” Uncle Rocko shared with his pupils.
“I’ll teach you how to do line work, do dots and cross-hatching.”
Throughout the project, Uncle Rocko weaved the stories of the students, their schools and the region into a collaborative art piece that was unveiled at the 2022 South Burnett Careers Market on Thursday 21 July.
The project emerged following a conversation between a TAFE Queensland team member and Uncle Rocko, and offered a unique opportunity for local high school students to connect to country, explained TAFE Queensland Regional Director of the Burnett, Sheldon Becker.
“The idea for the collaborative art piece first came about after TAFE Queensland’s Business Development Officer, Evalyn Thompson, spoke with Uncle Rocko and learned of his passion for educating and inspiring today’s youth,” he said.
“As a result of the strong interest and engagement from the region’s high school students, we’ve seen Uncle Rocko’s vision come to life, providing a powerful insight for the participants into local Indigenous culture.”
Students from St John’s Lutheran School, Kingaroy State High School, Nanango State High School and St Mary’s Catholic College were involved in the project.
It’s anticipated that Inclusion – Co-creating the ‘Youth of Wakka Wakka’ will be displayed in campuses across the region.
TAFE Queensland’s vision for reconciliation is underpinned by our mission: to deliver quality education and training that enables the careers of our students and the development of the industries and communities we serve.