Teamwork. This was the message of our week spent in Areyonga and a theme prevalent throughout our time spent in the remote Indigenous town. Both in and out of the classroom, teamwork and leadership was prevalent every day. The team on this trip consisted of two pro basketballers, two travelling musicians, a teacher, a yogi, another corporate, and the two of us. Our goal was to bring a message of healthy living to the students of Areyonga Primary School, but through this life-changing experience we feel like we gained so much more than we gave.
The music video
The highlight of the week for both the kids and the Red Dust team was working together to make a music video. When we weren’t in the classroom, we were singing, dancing and filming. Based on the kids’ faces and their enthusiasm for the video, this was literally the highlight of the year. By the end of the week, we couldn’t stop constantly singing the catchy tune.
“We do it better together. We are Areyonga.
My turn to step up, your turn to lead.
We make a mighty team, we do it better together.”
Seeing the sights – Munta Munta & Helicopter Hill
Our first excursion with the children was to Munta Munta – the local waterhole. The children (and a few of the community dogs) were keen to take us Red Dusters to the best place to cool off after a big day in the classroom. Within seconds of arriving the children were back flipping and diving into the water, splashing and laughing as they escaped the heat.
The following day we made the trek up Helicopter Hill, led by the barefoot children. It was incredible to see the children climb the hill with ease ensuring that the Red Dust team got up the hill safely, pointing out the best route and the unstable rocks to avoid. Once we reached the top of hill, everybody stopped. The view was absolutely breathtaking. Looking out at the community from the top of the hill with the team and the children is a moment we will never forget.
In the community – Art centre and community BBQ
The community art centre is a place of pure talent. The women in the community spend time in the art centre expressing their creativity and telling stories through their unique and beautiful dot painting. Needless to say, the Areyonga art centre had a surge in revenue during our time there.
The community BBQ is tradition for any Red Dust visit held on the school grounds and everyone in the community is invited. It was amazing to sit down with the women Elders as they shared stories and gave us a little piece of their history in exchange for a cup of tea and a roo tail. The young men of the community used the music room to play their music and perform to the community.
To end the evening, the community were invited into the classroom for the premier showing of the music video ‘We Are Areyonga’. The whole community cheered and laughed as they watched the video, we hope you do to https://vimeo.com/301138880.
We would both like to thank the firm for this amazing and genuinely life-changing experience. Such a fantastic cause, and such a great opportunity for the lucky McGrathNicol staff who get to be a part of it in the future.