Creating Creative Industries (CI) opportunities with Indigenous secondary school students

Year: 2017

Author: Grupeta, Maree, Grushka, Kathryn, Lawry, Miranda, Kerrigan, Susan, Shadbolt, Sane, Street, Kristi, Chand, Ari

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper presents an in depth case study focussed on an aspect of a broader Australian Government Department of Education and Training, Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program (HEPPP) (2016-17). The Creative Industries (CI) Project: Creative Industries: Re-imagining Regional and Remote Students' Opportunities involved university academics and their creative industries university mentors mounting a CI Roadshow in regional and remote NSW secondary schools with low SES and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation. The projects two components are: the CI Roadshow travelling to schools with hands-on workshops and a national YOUTUBE video screenings of young Creative Industries Innovators and Entrepreneurs to supplement the mobile exhibition.
A community centre requested that the HEPPP project be extended to an additional secondary school with a largely Indigenous population in a rural area. The rationale was that these students were unlikely to be included in such opportunities due to their location and that the students needed innovative learning opportunities to help them imagine new ideas for future careers. This request required additional funds, with the Wollotuka Institute of the University of Newcastle answering this request.
Many Indigenous students do aim to go to university and attain higher education (Gale, et al., 2013; Harwood, et al., 2015; Nelson & Hay, 2010). However, the dearth of information about university and careers within Indigenous communities and schools (Oliver, et al, 2013) impacts on their significantly lower rates of access, retention and completion in higher education in comparison to non-Indigenous Australians (Behrendt, et al., 2012).

The two components of the project support research affirming the importance of real life learning, "You Can't be what you can't see" (Wilks & Wilson, 2014) in order to offset the impact that rural/remote locations experience that limits the flow and restricts information regarding opportunities for higher education. In addition the project seeks to dispel the myths that CI technological employment opportunities are only located in cities and that innovative careers can occur within ones rural community. This paper reports specifically on the experience of these Indigenous secondary students and their interaction with the opportunities presented by the CI roadshow with a view to assess the benefits of this type of approach to broaden the future prospects of Indigenous students in rural/remote schools.