Kids make their own way in filmmaking program

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

By Nick Paton

SINCE 2006, not-for-profit organisation Show Me The Way has been instrumental in connecting youth with their community through custom designed film workshops and mentoring. These empowering programs, facilitated by industry professionals and community members, help to foster important relationships within community, by creating a space for students to appreciate the relevance of formal education.

Students undertaking the workshops and programs are thriving with confidence. Participant Jasmine Meehan said that being part of the Show Me The Way program was amazing.

“This was such a good experience,” Ms Meehan said.

“If I could do it all over again, I would, in a heartbeat.”

For Sharneya Biggs the filmmaking workshops, collaboration with Elders from community and the expertise demonstrated by industry professionals were a game-changer.

“I learnt how to use a camera and it was good to find out about Elders’ stories,” she said.

As part of the Show Me The Way experience, students make short documentary films capturing the life experiences and achievements of local heroes who have inspired them in one way or another.

Upon completion of the program the incredible, original student films are premiered at special screenings at different venues such as the State Library of NSW and the Whitlam Institute, as well as being distributed and available to purchase across Australia.

Show Me The Way is dedicated to giving Aboriginal youth a voice in their quest for treaty and truth, but they are even more serious about Aboriginal cultural safety and inclusion. In May, more than 100 students, faculty, and community members came together to show their support for the first annual Show Me The Way Day at Walgett Community College in NSW.

The event celebrated the completion of the Show Me The Way program by 16 Walgett students from workshops during the previous November.

In July, another successful Show Me The Way Day was held in Menindee NSW. Amanda King, program support from Menindee Central School, said the event was a great experience.

“It gave the kids a taste of another pathway,” Ms King said. “Whether it’s culture, or career opportunities, or a better understanding of the locals in Menindee.”

A Show Me The Way Day was held in Derby, WA, on August 7 featuring a cohort of local heroes including Elders, health providers, Aboriginal language teachers, and culinary enthusiasts.

It is the vision of Show Me The Way to engage young people, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and those from refugee backgrounds, with videos that provide direction and positive messages.

Students produce their own videos about professions and trades helping them to develop critical thinking as they engage with the process of research during the creation of their mini documentaries.

Young people are encouraged by Show Me The Way to take responsibility for their own learning fostering their creative and critical thinking and promoting intercultural understanding.

Over eighty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander films have been produced so far. They are held in many local libraries and the National Library of Australia, for all to be inspired by.

Picture: Students, staff and facilitators at the Menindee Show Me The Way Workshop

Show Me The Way is a media partner of the Koori Mail.

For more information go to showmetheway.org.au