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