All schools city, rural and remote invited to participate
10 April 2006: The search is on for the Australias best story tellers as the nations most popular schools event, Wakakirri National Story Festival, gets set for another golden year. Over 500 schools and thousands of students from primary and secondary schools in cities, remote and rural areas create stories to showcase in a range of competitions. Outstanding works will be televised and published nationally.
Wakakirri, an initiative supported by Department of Family & Community Services (FACS) and Department of Education, Science & Training (DEST), is free to enter, and is now calling for schools to register by 28 April 2006. Go on line to www.wakakirri.com
or call the Wakakirri National Office on Freecall 1800 650 979 - festival dates at end.
This year, the festival will be made up of six separate story based competitions: Story-Dance, Story-Telling, Story-Singing, Story-Writing, Story-Boarding and Story-Film. Schools are invited to create stories, present and share their works at over 100 Wakakirri Festivals held in every state and territory of Australia.
Schools that are more than 3 hours or 200 km from a Wakakirri venue will be classed as part of Outback Wakakirri and are encouraged to enter. These schools can participate by:entering video entries for the Story-Dance competition;
applying for a travel scholarship (up to $10,000);
entering Story-Writing, Story-Boarding and Story-Film along with the rest of Australia.
Outback events this year are being held in Yuendumu and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and another event may be held in Katherine.
Previous outback schools who have participated have included: Tamworth West NSW; Katherine School of the Air NT; Newman WA; Tully QLD; Thursday Island QLD; Wangaratta West VIC; Ross Park, Alice Springs NT; Broken Hill High School NSW; Gunnedah High School NSW; Alyangula Area School, Groote Eyland off the NT coast
Over the past 14 years, Wakakirri has retained its popularity with schools as the festival emphasises creativity and participation rather than big-budget productions. Wakakirri also strongly values environmental education and responsibility.
However, the most exciting development has been the new competition series that has enabled many schools to develop and encourage students to work in different genres:
Story-Dance: the original competition, performed on stage using a creative blend of movement and acting to pre-recorded music or optional live pop vocals;
Story-Telling: a performance of a story on stage in the traditional verbal fashion;
Story-Singing: the performance of an original song that tells a story to acoustic or pre-recorded music;
Story-Writing: an original piece of creative writing that tells a story;
Story-Boarding: using hand drawn cartoons or comic book style storyboards to tell and illustrate an original story;
Story-Film: students film, star, edit and present a five minute story using an film style.
Each competition has a selected panel of experienced judges who are drawn from their industry.
Wakakirris success has continued growing by providing an event that is inclusive, accessible and affordable. Festival Director, Adam Loxley, says, "Our aim is inspire students to be creative and open minded about the world. Weve found that by bringing schools together to share and present stories, a new level of communication and understanding can be achieved".
Schools interested in taking part in the festival this year...experienced or not - can contact the friendly staff at the Wakakirri office who help schools make the right decision.
Adam Loxley adds, "It has been our goal that every Australian school should be able to take part in the Wakakirri National Story Festival. Emphasis is placed on creativity rather than big sets and costumes. Story-telling is the main focus of the festival -- and of course, there is also prize money".
Wakakirri is a word from the Aboriginal Wangaaypuwan people of Australia meaning "to dance", a uniquely Australian word to describe sharing stories through performance and arts.
The rules and guidelines for schools, as well as dates and venues are posted on www.wakakirri.com . Schools and teachers can also contact Wakakirri direct on Freecall 1800 650 979 or (02) 9557-8807