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

My Story Matters 3 DVD Launch

My Story Matters 3 was launched at the State Library of NSW on Friday 26 July. This is the final DVD in the collection of 24 First Nations local hero documentaries from across Australia. The films were made by high school students with the support of industry professionals from Show Me The Way.
These films will be held in the National, states and territories and public libraries across Australia.
Attendees of the launch were from corporate, government, not for profit and community.

New Branding and Website!

Show Me The Way has been really pleased to work with students from Rabbit Hole at Western Sydney University for a number of major design projects this year. Students completing their 4th year in Design were divided into two teams.

The first team worked on designing 2 DVD covers and collateral for the My Story Matters 2 and Looking Out Looking In. You’ll see this amazing artwork soon as they are both due to be launched in the near future (stay tuned !!).

The second team did a brand redesign and website redesign. The students were mentored by Ogilvy. Jason Davey, Head of Digital, and Gina Hughes, UX Lead met with all of the students and provided guidance and feedback for their work. The students were treated to a tour of the agency, including a visit to the print production facilities, and heard first hand from other employees about working in the industry.

We are very impressed with the very high professional quality of the work all of the students produced. We are thrilled to have a new identity and a new site that reflects what we now do.

Heroes star in short films

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

TO celebrate NAIDOC Week, national not-for-profit Show Me The Way (SMTW) launched the DVD My Story Matters at the State Library of NSW.

The DVD features six short films showcasing unsung heroes in Indigenous communities, which were created by First Nations students during SMTW film workshops.

Bundjalung man and SMTW chair Wayne McEwen said over the past 11 years, the organisation had helped make more than 50 films, which are held by the State Library.

“We really encourage schools and libraries to access the stories,” he said.

“They are about people in community as role models and mentors, and the films are produced by school kids. They narrate them and hone their skills in production.

“Our mob can relate to stuff visually. We played a couple of videos the other day at the launch and everyone was excited by the visual aspect.”

The Show Me The Way program empowers Aboriginal students to stay at school and study while remaining culturally relevant. Students learn to see the relevance of education while being mentored by workplace role models.

“The students can develop their career and ask questions and get advice,” Mr McEwen said. “They find a lot of personal growth and can continue in business if that’s their passion. Learning becomes a two way journey for the mentor and the student.

“Some of the learning partners involved with the program have conversations about their own mistakes with the young people and help them at the in start of career. They talk about education, education, life and work, dispelling myths around gender.”

Noonuccal woman Tiarnah Class, a SMTW graduate who now works with Westpac, spoke of how the program had changed her life.

“In 2011 and 2012, I participated in the Show Me The Way program doing a school based traineeship with Westpac,” she said. “It helped me because it’s not every day young Indigenous people get the opportunity to get traineeships in banks or traineeships at all.

“During the program, I was supported every step of the way. Weekly, I had one-on-one time with a Westpac mentor to progress my skills within the bank and the consistent guidance and knowledge about our identities and our Aboriginal backgrounds.”

Mr McEwan said Show Me The Way is funded by donations and hoped that sales of the DVDs through libraries will help to fund future programs.