Through mentorship of film practitioners and educational experts, students in Australia and Japan engaged in creative storytelling of their locales through filming.
Participating schools span diverse locations in Australia and Japan, offering compelling stories of places through the eyes of children. Students translated each other’s films (English/Japanese), fostering deeper cross-cultural connection and collaboration via the currency of language.
Community Banashi believes gender, diversity and inclusion are integral to this project as it enables rich cultural exchange across students of different gender and cultural background through the medium of storytelling.
Homelands School Garrthalala as well as Kagami Shogakko are co-educational schools in diverse locations in Australia and Japan ensuring gender, diversity and inclusion of students’ involvement.
Homelands School Garrthalala is located in a remote community in Northern Territory, Australia, comprising Indigenous students, whilst, Kagami Shogakko school comprises Japanese students in a rural setting in the outskirts of the town of Kochi in Japan.
There are often stereotypical views of identity, culture and persona of both Australia and Japan – popular tourist destinations often overshadow interesting areas in both countries, particularly in rural/remote locations. This project addresses this gap by featuring stories of rural locations in Australia/Japan, as seen and told by children. It seeks to be an inclusive endeavour, with a diverse representation of people, culture and languages; giving participants of different areas a chance for their stories to be told.
The stories are uniquely student-created short films, reflecting local landscapes, and student home languages. All films are bilingual (English/Japanese), making these outputs accessible to a wide audience.
The project website will further address this gap, featuring unique images, stories of place and people, that showcases the lesser-seen side of Australia and Japan to a wide global audience.
The projects team comprises academics from RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) and Kochi University (Kochi, Japan): Dr Naomi Wilks-Smith (RMIT Japanese language education expert), Dr Li Ping Thong (RMIT digital media expert), Professor Darren Lingley (Kochi intercultural communication expert), Sean Burgoine (Kochi language education expert).
All four team members are seasoned academics with many years of school/tertiary teaching in both Japan and Australia. Collectively, the team has demonstrable skills and experience, including bilingual English/Japanese abilities, strong networks with schools and education associations across both countries, as well as expertise in digital media. Team members have also collaborated together in the past and were involved in a wide range of funded projects, with evidenced experience of timely completion and delivery of outputs in projects.
Special thanks to Garrthalala Homelands School teachers Lombinga Mununggurr and Taylor McCormack, to the assistant teacher Ganydjira Mununggurr, and to the Principal of Laynhapuy Homelands School Haidee Dentith. Thanks also to all the students from Transition to Year 9, the wonderful storytellers and filmers. And thanks are also extended to the Garrthalala community for their support of and involvement in the project and their generosity in sharing their knowledge, stories, song and dance with us all.
RMIT University, Australia
RMIT University is the lead university of the project. Project academics led the work with Garrthalala Homelands School in Northern Territory and collaborated on all aspects of the broad project across Australia and Japan. RMIT students created the translations from Japanese to English for the subtitles of the Japanese film.
Kochi University, Kochi, Japan
Kochi University is the Japanese project partner. Project academics led the work with Kagami Shogakko and were actively involved in collaborations between Australia and Japan. Kochi University students created the translations from English to Japanese for subtitles of the Australian film.
Garrthalala Homelands School, Northern Territory, Australia
Garrthalala Homelands School is a participant in the project. Garrthalala Homelands School is located in a remote community in Northern Territory, Australia, comprising Indigenous students. Staff, students and community members collaborated in the project to create a filmed community story.
Kagami Shogakko, Kochi, Japan
Kagami Shogakko (primary school) is a participant in the project. Kagami Shogakko comprises Japanese students in a rural mountain village setting in the outskirts of Kochi in Japan. Staff, students and community members collaborated in the project to create a filmed community story.