Tennant Creek film providing new hope for at risk students 


A program developing the film making skills of ‘at risk’ Indigenous students in the Barkly region has been hailed a success in improving self respect, literacy and, for some, employment.

Fifteen students completed a Certificate II in Media and Screen, teaching them filming and editing skills which ended with a public showing of their stories at the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre in Tennant Creek last Thursday evening, May 3.

Students Allan Ward and Waylan Rankin have been offered work at the Winjjakari Music Centre. They will complete a Certificate II in Music at Charles Darwin University (CDU) whilst filming and producing music videos of local bands. Four other students have joined mainstream education at the local high school.

CDU lecturer David Hansen delivered the program in Tennant Creek, funded by the local police and supported through the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), the Tennant Creek High School, the Winanjjikari Music Centre, Northern Territory arts touring company Artback NT and Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation Youth Development Unit (YDU).

David said, ‘Seeing young people totally disengaged getting into something like this and deciding to get into mainstream school is fantastic.’

The hands on, creative and engaging approach of film making was a drawcard for the students. A very high retention rate saw fifteen of the twenty students remain in the course and many with basic IT skills quickly mastered the video editing software.

Stewart Willey, Manager of the Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation Youth Development Unit (YDU) identified and selected participants of the course.

‘Self respect is the most important gain for these students and getting respect from their peers and elders is really big for these guys. You can see some have really blossomed from this project,’ he said.

Patrick McCloskey, Project Manager for Artback NT said the program re-engaged disengaged students.

‘We have found kids are coming back to education through to arts and we need to do whatever it takes to get them back in the classroom with programs like these,’ he said.

Students completing the course:

Alan Ward
Coreck Weston
Tyrone Campbell
Caleb Anderson
Bradley Ward
Kieran Anderson
Hayden Cutta
Richard Williams
Waylon Ward
Glen Noonan
Wesley Cutta
Brendan Anderson
Eddie Ward
Tony Cutta Jnr
Matthew Ward
Shane Johnston
Brenden Anderson
Ray Stokes
Gavin Marshall
Rowan Noonan