The Noongar Pop Culture project involved 2 phases that ran from 2013-2015. Project workshops empowered young Noongar students at Narrogin Senior High School to explore creativity and celebrate culture through engaging with a range of art forms, including contemporary music, dance, fashion design and photography.
The first phase of the project focused on language revival, aiming to inspire students to learn their critically endangered language – Noongar. A team of Aboriginal artists, performers and role models met with students for workshops involving hip hop, creating original tracks with the Noongar language and translating contemporary pop songs. The students filmed and starred in four music videos which were compiled into a CD/DVD pack, and the project gained widespread media coverage on SBS, NITV and ABC.
The second phase of Noongar Pop Culture aimed to motivate students to attend school by empowering them with creative skills. A series of fashion design, dressmaking, upcycling, eco-dyeing, weaving, photography and dance workshops were held for the 17 students who participated, and their new skills were showcased through a photography shoot, fashion parades and exhibitions featuring their handcrafted designs. Curtin University’s current affairs program, Noongar Dandjoo, produced a documentary about the project that aired on NITV in 2015.
Both phases of the Noongar Pop Culture project not only improved students' school attendance rates but also increased their confidence, nurtured their creativity and strengthened their pride in culture.