Go­ing dotty over footy

Abo­rig­i­nal artist Daren Dunn has helped Ersk­ine Park High stu­dents paint foot­balls for the City-Country rugby league match in Tam­worth.

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Jil­lian Mc­Kee

ERSK­INE Park High School has en­listed the help of Abo­rig­i­nal artist Daren Dunn to help steer stu­dents in the right di­rec­tion.

Dunn runs the school­based pro­gram Get Black On Ya Feet, which aims to in­spire stu­dents to em­brace their cul­ture as well as in­crease their at­ten­dance at school.

This year, the stu­dents are paint­ing foot­balls with tra­di­tional in­dige­nous dot de­signs to be used in the City v Country rugby league match in Tam­worth next month.

Teacher Grant Kelly said the stu­dents had been en­joy­ing the pro­gram.

“The kids just love it,” he said. “Some of th­ese kids are re­ally strug­gling and have at­ten­dance con­cerns so we want to use both art and cul­ture to con­nect with them and see if we can im­prove their time at school.

“Daren has been do­ing this in other schools and get­ting enor­mous suc­cess with en­gage­ment at school.”

Dunn has been work­ing in ed­u­ca­tion for more than 25 years and said he had been see­ing some pos­i­tive re­sults al­ready at Ersk­ine Park.

“Eight weeks ago their heads were so low you could have turned them up­side down,” he said.

“Many of the kids are Abo­rig­ines but they don’t know any­thing about their Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage, so we are re­ally blessed to be able to have this pro­gram.”

Dunn said he used the City v Country match as an op­por­tu­nity to en­cour­age lead­er­ship among the group.

“The boys who show the most lead­er­ship will be able to go to the match and have the chance to give the foot­balls away to the teams,” he said.

Pic­ture: Peter Kelly

Ersk­ine Park High School stu­dents Rod­ney Car­lin, Hay­den Day, Tre­mayne Yule and Brendan Thomp­son.

In­dige­nous artist Daren Dunn.

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