Monthly Archives: November 2013

Just ‘Cos

Delve into the world of Cosplay where people transform into their favourite anime, superhero, gaming and pop culture characters.

Starring:
Katherine Eaton
Cassandra Tang
Andy Wana

Written, Produced and Edited by:
Rachael Buckland
Ada Lee
Louisa Studman
Mary Ward

Filmed on a JVC GY-HM150U Camcorder
Edited on Premiere Pro CS6

Created for academic purposes only. 

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My Backyard – Mumford & Sons (After the Storm)

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NCIE nets the Sydney Kings

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“Growing up in the Virgin Islands, I was told that I could never be a basketball player,” said Leon Trimmingham, Sydney Kings basketball legend. It is this kind of negative message that a new partnership between Sydney Kings and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) seeks to challenge by opening doorways for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to pursue their dreams.

Despite what “Neon Leon” was told, the boy from the small island followed his dream and became a professional basketball player for 14 years, having just recently been named in the Kings’ 25th anniversary team. “Dreams do exist,” Leon said. “I’m a living example that dreams exist.”

Under the partnership, made official on October 15, Sydney Kings players train regularly at NCIE’s extensive sporting facilities. Players also help run local school clinics, holiday programs and afterschool programs where they assist children with reading and homework before going out on court to teach them basketball.

The benefits of sport are both physical and emotional. “When someone’s playing sport, they can’t be out getting in trouble,” said NCIE General Manager, Rohan Tobler. “[Sport is good for] health, fitness, lifestyle, getting outdoors, exercising … but it also teaches structure, responsibility, commitment and sometimes, competitive edge.”

More than that, the partnership is about sharing Aboriginal culture with the Sydney Kings to enable them to best cater to any future Aboriginal basketball stars.

Sydney Kings Administration Manager, Lorraine Landon, welcomed the prospect of having an Aboriginal person playing in their top-10 team. In laying out the career pathway, she said, “It’s important that we understand the culture. It’s not one-size-fits-all. So it is about making sure we understand what’s important to them, how they’re thinking, and allow them to grow at their pace rather than pushing them into something when they’re not ready,” she said.

Rohan Tobler recognised the difficulties faced by young Aboriginal athletes when having to leave family structures to pursue professional sporting careers. “Part of the partnership is about being able to educate the Kings on [Aboriginal culture],” he said. “Together, as partners, we can only strengthen, not just for Indigenous Australians but for all Australians.”

Leon, Rohan and Lorraine all agreed there is a real opportunity for an NCIE kid to become a professional player. But, with the understanding that professional sport is not everyone’s destiny, the dream goes beyond basketball with the broader aim of encouraging kids to make the most of their talents.

“We try to give them a well-rounded experience that shows them that sport is not always the answer,” Rohan said. “Indigenous Australians tend to push towards sports because that’s where most of our role models lie. But the possibility for kids to become a carpenter or a doctor is a lot higher than becoming a professional sportsman if they’re committed. It’s about getting them exposure to different things, showing them what’s out there, how to get fulfilment in life and how to make a living.”

Sydney Kings and NCIE ran a 3on3 basketball tournament for 12-17 year olds on November 2. The finals will be played at the Sydney Kings home game against the Cairns Taipans on November 8 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Published in the South Sydney Herald, p. 16, November 2013.

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Restoring Redfern’s 40,000 years mural

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In 1983, Redfern residents created the iconic 40,000 years mural. Thirty years later, the paint is peeling and graffiti blemishes the cracking wall. But recently, residents have united in a movement to rejuvenate the historical artwork.

Artist Carol Ruff played a key role in planning, designing and painting the 40,000 years mural in 1983. She explains how the now faded original images pay tribute to Redfern’s powerful Aboriginal history of abundance, tragedy, perseverance and accomplishment.

The salient message, “40,000 years is a long, long time/ 40,000 years still on my mind …” is inspired by Joe Geia’s song, “40,000 Years”. “We were trying to say that even before Redfern, Aboriginal people have been there, have been in that area, have known this country, this place,” Ms Ruff said.

The story begins with two Aboriginal feet, symbolising the first feet to ever step on this continent. The following images of spear-hunting, fishing, footsteps, the boats, the woman with a coolamon on her shoulder and the hunter all represent 40,000 years of Aboriginal people walking this country.

With the arrival of the first Europeans, shown by the ship and Aboriginal figures dying, the tone of the mural shifts. “Redfern to The Rocks were probably the first and worst hit areas in Australia of white settlement and people very quickly died from smallpox and other diseases that Europeans brought,” Ms Ruff said. “The Aboriginal community was decimated.”

What follows is a deeply confronting image of a young Aboriginal boy, standing in front of the first church built in the area. “That little boy represents the stolen generations and children being institutionalised,” Ms Ruff said. The image was a particularly powerful statement in the 1980s when many people had not heard of the stolen generations.

But the story does not end there. The street signs of Lawson and Eveleigh Street signify present day Redfern with the boomerang symbolising Aboriginal perseverance. “We’ll never go away, we’re here, we’ve come back, we haven’t lost our culture and we have survived,” Ms Ruff said. Featured in this section are Nana Williams surrounded by land rights colours, the 1983 Redfern All Blacks and an Aboriginal cheerleader. At the end is the tail of the Rainbow Snake, which weaves throughout the whole mural as a symbol of the long surviving history.

Over time the mural has been a significant part of the Redfern landscape. “For years, it was in immaculate condition,” Ms Ruff said. “Everybody respected it and knew if they went near it or made a mark on it that they’d be in big trouble.” It was the weather that started to take its toll on the mural. In response, “people used to go out there with pale blue paint and yellow and black paint and touch it up, not very well, but that was a really nice thing to see,” Ms Ruff recalled.

Now, residents are working to officially refurbish the fading mural. The movement started early this year when the pop-up Redfern Station Community Group (RSCG) set out to beautify Redfern with a community garden and two new murals at Gibbons Street and Redfern Station Platform 10.

Upon approaching NSW RailCorp, who owns the land for these projects, RSCG was told that RailCorp wanted the existing Lawson Street murals rejuvenated before any new murals could be created.

Key RSCG organiser, Desley Haas, accepted the reasoning of RailCorp as “common-sensical”. Residents must consider: “Why are you asking for something new when there’s something old there that you haven’t looked after properly?” she said. RSCG is currently formulating a proposal and seeking funding, preferably from Council.

Though the paint fades and the wall cracks, Aboriginality lives on in Redfern. Now, many South Sydney residents are hoping the iconic 40,000 years mural will also live on as a profound symbol of an ancient and living culture.

Published in the South Sydney Herald, p. 4, November 2013.

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