Bringing Indigenous Art to Life at The Tech School

September 23, 2022

Written by Rhi Bell – Box Hill Institute, Internal Communications Coordinator

On Tuesday 13 September after three months, the Koorie Program came to life at the end of term showcase at the Yarra Ranges Tech School.

Students from Mooroolbark College, Yarra Hills Secondary College (both campuses), Lilydale High School, Lilydale Heights Secondary College, Healesville High School & Upper Yarra Secondary College used Human Centred Design thinking principles to create Indigenous inspired art and design works utilising traditional techniques and cutting-edge technologies.

Teams brainstormed and begun to ideate before settling on their prototypes. Each team created something to tell stories and bring to life aspects of the indigenous culture that resonated with them.

“We are so proud of the students work through this program which combines the leading-edge technology of Yarra Ranges Tech School with Human Centred Design Thinking. The incorporation of technology to create different elements of the students work and then how they have been brought together was just awesome. We are also thankful for the support that our schools have provided for the program, our industry partners and our BHI colleagues as well; it showcases the power of collaboration in education.” Ashley Van Krieken, Director Yarra Ranges Tech School says.

At the Koorie showcase, Wurundjeri Man Thane Garvey, opened the event with a Welcome to Country.

Standing out from the pack were Upper Yarra Secondary College who created totem poles featuring the four elements: Water, Air, Earth & Fire. This was an impressive collaboration with BHI’s Land Sciences team. With one completed totem pole (water) on display, the team explained their prototype and what they wanted to create next to expand the Indigenous awareness at their school.

A close second was Healesville High School who utilised different technology of laser printer, material transfer to create artwork to tell the story of Bunjil, The Creator. Bunjil created much of south-eastern Australia, the features and animals within it. He also created people, by breathing life into figures moulded from clay.

Ahead of the showcase, a panel took place featuring CSIRO and OONAH meeting place discussing career pathways and the industry.

Afterwards students advocated for other students from other schools to take part and get the same experiences. Brooke Kogelmann, Project Officer for the Lilydale District & Yarra Valley Education Plan shared this feedback with the Yarra Ranges Tech School team.

The next Koorie Program is set to kick off in Term 1, 2023.