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Wiltja students inspire short film

28 May 2018

Following their 20th celebrations last year, Wiltja Anangu Secondary College has been the focus of a film sharing the strong message that when given a voice and opportunities, Aboriginal students from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands can do anything. 

Produced by Glenunga High School graduate and aspiring film maker Jack Davis, the film was launched today by Aboriginal Education Director April Lawrie and the Executive Director of the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Committee (PYEC), Reuben Burton, in line with National Reconciliation Week. 

Manager of Wiltja Boarding Anthony Bennett says the film can be enjoyed and understood whether you are 80 years old or 8 years old; living on the APY Lands or in Adelaide, Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal.

“Regardless of ethnicity, culture or background, the film shows you and helps you to understand the opportunities Wiltja provides for students,” said Anthony.

“The film aims to give communities from the APY Lands an insight into life at Wiltja, to help children, young people and their families to make informed choices about their educational options.”

“Education is invaluable and should be open to everyone, and Wiltja provides Aboriginal students who live in remote communities with opportunities to engage in mainstream schooling in a supportive environment that respects and promotes their culture.” 

The four minute film features students singing, dancing, playing music, participating in sport and learning, participating in community and cultural events, attending Wiltja School  and eventually graduating with their SACE. 

Speaking in the background of the film is Former Director of the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Education Committee (PYEC), Makinti Minutjukur.

“We had the absolute pleasure of working with Makinti to provide a voice behind the beautiful footage that has been obtained of our student’s journey throughout the last year,” Anthony said.

“The film really captures the essence of the student’s educational journey and highlights who they are as learners and members of their communities.”

“Whether or not they decide to continue on their educational journey in Adelaide or go back to the APY Lands to work, they are essentially leaders and role models in their community upon their return and are setting a positive example and attitude towards education for future generations.”

The Wiltja Anangu Secondary College provides Aboriginal students with the opportunity to engage in mainstream urban secondary school within a supportive environment and provides boarding facilities. Wiltja was established by Anangu over 30 years ago and is considered to be an example of best practice throughout Australia. 

Students at Wiltja are able to undertake SACE as well as participate in vocational education and training and out of school hours learning at Wiltja Boarding.