Connecting with communities to change lives

An innovative film project which has helped change the lives of eight ‘at risk’ Year 10 students has won a Griffith University Indigenous Community Engagement Award.

“Footprints in Film”, a partnership between Education Queensland and Griffith University, was designed to address the needs of young Indigenous people through the use of alternative educational strategies.

Queensland Governor Quentin Bryce presented the prize to the students, one of 44 inaugural Indigenous Community Engagement Awards on Wednesday, March 21 at the Logan campus.

Loganlea State High School students developed two scripts — Deadline, an urban drama, and Yaargaay, an animated fantasy.

With the help of industry practitioners including Griffith University Associate Lecturer Marcus Waters, Arts Queensland, Janelle Evans Productions and the Australian, Film, Television and Radio School, the students produced Deadline as a short film.

Project leader and Loganlea teacher Jenny Campbell-Shale said the mentorship strengthened the students’ academic confidence and gave them skills in script-writing and short film production.

“They were given the opportunity to see their words become action on the screen. The project gave them confidence, greater mastery of language and the motivation to remain at school and imagine a brighter future,” she said.

Professor Boni Robertson, from Griffith’s Office of Community Partnerships, said the awards acknowledged the contribution of individuals who developed programs and initiatives addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander needs.

“Through its commitment to reconciliation and social justice, Griffith is working in partnership with community Elders and other Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to resolve many of the social concerns faced by Indigenous Australians.

“Many of the Indigenous Community Engagement projects were developed in response to recommendations from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Taskforce Report on Violence, which addressed issues impacting on the cultural, economic and social well-being of Indigenous communities,” Professor Robertson said.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Arts & Education Communications Officer Deborah Marshall 07 3735 5245, 0408 727 734.