MUST-WATCH: Alstonville students' impressive hip-hop video
A MOB of Alstonville High students are celebrating their proud indigenous and Torres Strait Islander culture through hip hop, in an impressive music video produced by One Vision Productions.
During an eight-week "Music for Change" workshop, students worked with Bundjalung elder and cultural mentor, Uncle Rob Brown, who shared his sacred knowledge of culture and language with the students.
The lyrics of the song express the strength and courage of the young Aboriginal students who are taking ownership of their identities and standing strong and proud in their culture and language.
The translation of Bundjalung words and phrases were used to appreciate the ancient ways passed down from elders through generation, and invite other young indigenous youth to keep their own culture and language alive.
Among the 20 students involved in making the track "Gurrama" was Year 9 pupil Jaminey Weatherall who felt the making change workshop allowed her to share the immense pride she has for her culture while changing her for the better.
"I built a lot of confidence during the process of making that video and I improved on working as a team with others," Jaminey said.
"I wanted to be involved because I felt like the people around me were seeing me differently and not believing in me.
"It was a good opportunity to show people I can do good things and be part of something that can make a change."
She hoped the public might want to learn more about indigenous culture by watching the music video.
"People should know more about our culture because this is Aboriginal land - most of our culture was shut off and not talked about, but we want to educate people," she said.
"I definitely want to do more stuff like this in the future.
"I think there should be more of these opportunity in schools, because of the educational experience. People should get involved in these workshops, One Vision lived up to its name."
One Vision facilitator Jamieson Mackenzie said, in terms of the creative process, the students could take all the credit.
"The concept the lyrics, it was all them," Mr Mackenzie said.
"We are basically just there to add some structure... for example, to make sure their words fit the rhythm.
"The kids love it, at every single workshop everyone was a little shy, but by the end there were tears of happiness."
With the word Gurrama meaning respect in English, Mr Mackenzie said the song was about the students showing respect for themselves, their culture and their land.
"It's about just really embracing the pride, that's what we like to teach, is pride which is the opposite of shame," he said.
"We are trying to empower them to have that pride for the oldest civilisation on the planet."
He said the use of native language was extremely educational and an opportunity for listeners to learn some of the Bundjalung language.
"It's so important for non-indigenous kids especially to understand aboriginal culture, and bridge that gap," he said.
"With understanding there is less hate, and by doing things like this it's allowing the broader community to be able to relate more with a culture they might have pushed aside.
"I want to thank the local elders and leader who came in to share stories, knowledge and wisdom with the kids... it inspires us and inspires the kids to write something they are proud of."
The "Music for Change" Program was funded partly by the through the Indigenous advancement strategy (IAS).
After running a workshop at Casino High School last semester, this semester, One Vision Productions will run workshops with students from Cabbage Tree Island, Richmond Rivers, Goonellabah primary and Byron Bay high.
- To check out the music video search "Gurrama" in YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3F5L6lZfyc