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The Colourful dreaming project, delivered by SHINE for Kids, was designed to support Indigenous children in rural New South Wales who have an incarcerated parent, by providing participants with the chance to partake in artistic and cultural activities. The program aimed to significantly improve the life chances of participants and reduce the risk of their future involvement in crime by strengthening social support and cultural connections.
The program was delivered via a number of components.
Part of the project consisted of a support program for at-risk Aboriginal children aged 10-15 years who have a parent in prison, that encouraged them to explore their personal challenges through artwork and increase their sense of cultural identity. Cultural knowledge was transmitted between Aboriginal Elders and children, whilst also promoting contact between the children and imprisoned fathers.
Another component of the project involved increasing public awareness of Wiradjuri culture within the prison system and the wider community via a travelling exhibition of artworks created by the participating children. Each location for the exhibition featured an opening night and invitations that were circulated to the organisation's network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous community groups, prison staff, and members of the public. The project was promoted to the organisation's volunteers and supporters.
Finally, group cultural workshops were additionally conducted, focusing on Wiradjuri clan totems, bush tucker, breathing techniques for playing the didgeridoo, traditional stories, and art
The projects, through all of the above components, aimed to encourage the children to:
This project was made possible by financial support from the Australian Government's Indigenous Culture Support Program. Colourful dreaming was developed and conducted from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 and was delivered in Wagga Wagga, Junee, and Narrandera.
Abstract adapted from SHINE for kids
SHINE for Kids
PO Box 67
Ermington NSW 1700
Ph: (02) 9714 3000
Fax: (02) 9714 3033