Big boost for Spinifex Express
An interactive children’s play based on an iconic Pilbara railway line is set to tour communities across the region in coming months after being awarded more than $135,000 in State Government funding.
All Aboard the Spinifex Express, a professional theatre production developed by IBN Aboriginal Corporation, Regional Development Australia Pilbara and the WA Council of Social Service, debuted at the Karijini Experience in April where it was a hit with audiences of all ages.
It has since received a $135,955 grant from the Regional and Remote Touring Fund, which will allow the show to perform in 15 Pilbara communities as early as the end of this month, with partner agencies meeting to sign the memorandum of understanding last week.
Play director Cate Fowler and IBN chairwoman Lorraine Injie said the bi-cultural play had been developed to showcase the Pilbara’s Aboriginal history, language and culture to children under five.
Ms Fowler said it was inspired by a Nyamul “japi song” (travelling song) about the train recorded in 1964, which IBN had spent years translating. “(The song) was about an old train that travelled from Port Hedland to Marble Bar, the most remote train track in the world (that) ran between 1911 and 1952/53,” she said.
The regional tour has been funded by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program administered by the Department of Culture and the Arts in consultation with the Department of Regional Development.
RDA Pilbara chief executive Diane Pentz said the show was an ideal complement to their regional early years education program.
Tour dates will be announced shortly.
IBN and RDA staff affiliated with All Aboard the Spinifex Express Evelyn Kroczek, Lorraine Injie, Debbie Allcott, Diane Pentz, Fiona White-Hartig and Cate Fowler.