Indigenous students make sure their ideas count, to ensure Every day counts
If you think the Every day counts animation is pretty deadly, you can thank some of your fellow students.
The animation was developed with the help of some very creative Solid Pathways students, who worked closely with Indigenous creative agency Gilimbaa to create the Every day counts campaign.
These three artistic Solid Pathways students joined forces to help develop the animation and comic book that promotes the benefits of regular school attendance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students across the state.
The centrepiece of the campaign is an animation featuring the voices of NRL footy players Sam Thaiday, Greg Inglis, Will Chambers and Jamie Soward. The comic book adaptation of the animation features the players, plus Johnathan Thurston.
Desiree Drew and Terrell McKellar in Year 10 at Brisbane Bayside State College and Talon Wilson in Year 8 at Mabel Park State High School spent time in workshops with Gilimbaa to ensure the Department of Education and Training's animation would strike the right note with their peers.
Talon said he gained a great deal from the experience.
“I got to do what I loved – drawing! I also got to use tools that I hadn’t used before for doing sketches.
“I assisted in designing some scenes for the comic and editing the scripts, and I gave suggestions on how things could be laid out.
“Before I entered the program, I thought of becoming an artist, or even becoming an architect, and the work I did has inspired me to pursue this in the future.”
Desiree said she enjoyed working on the conceptual aspect of the project.
“My role in developing the animation was coming up with storyline ideas to make sure it was interesting for kids, teenagers and parents.
“I was happy to be involved. It was inspiring to make comics as I enjoy drawing and coming up with story ideas as a hobby.
“It was great discussing ideas with the other students and getting to know each other.
“When I leave school, one of my ambitions is to get a music degree and join the Australian Army Band.”
Terrell agreed that the best thing about the workshops was working as a team and coming up with ideas that the group liked.
“Myself and Desi both helped make edits to the script and came up with new things along with Talon, who helped with the design.
“When I leave high school, I hope to go to university and do a media degree because I realised I like doing events like this. After that, I would like to study law and become a lawyer.”
Gilimbaa project manager Ian Watson found the students’ input invaluable to the project.
“The involvement of this talented group of young Indigenous students was perhaps the highlight of the project for me.
“They provided energy, creativity, and a real understanding of the language and images that would resonate with their peers.
“It was exciting to see them working with Gilimbaa artists and illustrators, with each learning from the other and swapping ideas.”
As part of the campaign’s development, Gilimbaa also consulted with Indigenous students from Brisbane, Cairns/Yarrabah and Weipa/Napranum to produce the final creative. In addition, other Solid Pathways students had the opportunity to provide input during a special university experience event day at the University of Queensland.
Solid Pathways is a state schools program for high achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.