An attention grabbing pair of sneakers sitting within the desert is the top product of a weeklong celebration of youngsters and their tradition in WA’s Mid West.
- College students from Meekatharra District Excessive Faculty paint sneaker designs
- Workshops give a possibility to speak about about psychological well being, tradition and identification
- Competitors winner now designs soccer boots
Meekatharra District Excessive Faculty college students put their inventive abilities to the check as a part of the city’s inaugural sneaker competitors.
The undertaking was the brainchild of psychological well being clinician Nicholah Wasarirevu, who mentioned the competitors was impressed by Australian streetwear conference Sneaker Land.
“One of many issues I beloved about Sneaker Land was that it created a platform for younger creators, and creatives from various and cultural backgrounds to return collectively and simply share their expertise and join,” she mentioned.
College students acquired a pair of sneakers and labored collectively each Friday to color the sneakers whereas additionally speaking about psychological well being, tradition and identification.
Ms Wasarirevu mentioned the undertaking additionally mirrored the theme of this yr’s NAIDOC Week.
“It was impressed by the 2022 NAIDOC themes to “rise up, get up and present up” for our younger folks in Meekatharra and distant communities, and to amplify younger native artists’ voices by way of artwork,” she mentioned.
“It is crucial that we shift from Western fashions and promote and acknowledge connection to tradition, neighborhood and land.
“That was one of many highlights I used to be capable of see on this undertaking.”
The successful design
Competitors winner Joella Rodney Flanagan mentioned she wished to mirror Meekatharra in her art work.
“I simply consider it as being like, the browns that you just see while you exit bush or while you’re simply driving within the automobile,” she mentioned.
“The dots on the entrance are just like the spirits and the folks that look over us.
“The 2 completely different sorts of circles are like the 2 language teams and the 2 lands that make up Meeka [Meekatharra].”
It was not the primary time Ms Rodney Flanagan, 18, had combined trend together with her art work, having designed a pair of footy boots for her older brother.
“He despatched me sneakers and soccer boots to design as a result of he wished to put on them for the NAIDOC spherical in Port Hedland,” she mentioned.
One aspect was Aboriginal and had all the colors of the Aboriginal flag, and the opposite aspect was Torres Strait Islander-themed.
“All of the boys on his soccer group beloved it and so they wished me to do the footy boots for them.”
Hopes competitors will keep
Meekatharra youth engagement officer Ken Burkenhagen has established an ongoing group for younger folks specializing in artwork, tradition and points that younger folks wish to talk about in a secure atmosphere.
“It is their very own tradition and in some areas, it is a misplaced tradition,” he mentioned.
“Tradition brings household again collectively. It tells the story of the place you come from and who you’re, who your conventional individuals are and the place they arrive from.
“It’s handed down from era to era. That is how our tradition has been taught for 1000’s of years.”
Ms Rodney Flanagan hoped the competitors would turn into a daily occasion.
“Simply to see all the children on the faculty get pleasure from it, actually, you already know, simply warmed my coronary heart.”