Halls Creek is the first regional town in WA to be added to the tour map of the Wakakirri Outback Festival.
The cultural celebration aims to give indigenous young people in remote communities across Australia the opportunity to celebrate their community and culture through creative arts such as scriptwriting, filmmaking, visual arts and performance.
This year it will be held in Halls Creek from September 3, and will end with a short film festival on Friday, September 7.
Former ATSI Social Justice Commissioner and long-time Wakakirri patron Tom Calma said the program had a sustainable living focus and gave indigenous children the opportunity to share their stories with the nation.
The program runs workshops at schools over six to 10 weeks, before helping the community stage a one-day festival including a short film event, local and imported entertainment, career, education and health workshops for students and a community barbecue.
All works produced for the festival are shown to schools in capital cities around Australia in an attempt to bridge cultural divides.
Wakakirri returns to the same communities for three years with the aim of developing students’ self-esteem, career aspirations and healthy lifestyle choices in a manner that resonates with youth culture.
The festival will visit Halls Creek District High School, Fitzroy Crossing District High School, and Ngalangangpum School at Warmun.
Outback festivals have been run for more than five years in Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia.
All film schools get to keep donated filmmaking and computer editing equipment that the production team bring to the location. Wakakirri is in talks with peak community stakeholders in the area, including the Kimberley Language Resource Centre, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Shire representatives, community leaders and media partners.
Next week scriptwriter Liz Warning will visit Halls Creek to work with the children. Wakakirri organisers need people to be involved, especially education and career workshop providers, youth and arts organisations, musicians and artists, cultural learning experience teachers and people to help with set-up and production.