I often think how incredibly lucky I am to have the life I have, be the person I am and be living in the environment I’m in. I’m surrounded by so many talented, inspiring and just damn amazing people, young and old.
But here’s a bit of a shout out to some local Riverlanders who I think are just pretty awesome and make living here that much nicer….
First of all the lovely Shaylee Leach, who’s just completed an arts admin trainee ship with Riverland Youth Theatre (it’s her last day today!) before she heads off this weekend to her new home in Adelaide to study Visual Arts at Uni SA! Congratulations to her not only for getting her first preference at Uni but she’s also been successful in being chosen as one of the 2011 JUMP Mentee’s (You might remember I was a 2010 JUMPer – take a look at PressureLands to hear about what I got up to) Shaylee will be working with her very talented mentor Deborah Paauwe to develop exhibition ready photographic artworks.
Shaylee is also part of a ‘rocking band’ with Jessica (Weedy) Weidenhofer. And when you add me, the 3 of us make up the Riverland Youth Connect Team. Riverland Youth Connect is a website created, developed & maintained by young people for young people as part of the Online Community Youth Spaces project delivered and supported by the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition. The Online Community Youth Spaces project is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Youth Forum.
The Online Community Youth Spaces is a new project that aims to tap into the power of technology to connect young people by supporting young people (or groups of young people) to use their creativity to develop a website promoting youth involvement and positive images of young people in their local community. There were only 10 positions across Australia and we were the only group in South Australia to be successful!! Check it out here (and get involved!)
Also keeping with the JUMP theme, another Riverlander (who we’ve just lost to Adelaide but I’ll continue to claim her) is the very talented and generous Kelly Menhennett. Kelly was a 2010 JUMPer with me and she has a beautiful velvet ‘rootsy’ voice. Her music and vocals not only capture the essence of the Riverland but also explore and weave her experiences traveling to various corners of the world. Her album ‘Word of Mine’ launched late last year here in the Riverland at the Mallee Fowl and also in Adelaide can be purchased here. Well worth the buy.
Then there’s Miss Taylor Schramm – visual artist extraordinaire – her art work was so popular at an RYT gala dinner that one particular person who missed out had a mini tantrum!
Jamahl Pollard is another visual artist, not only are his works stunning but even more so considering that Jamahl is legally blind! His work is beautiful irrespective of this but pretty impressive considering his left eye is artificial and his right has only 6.4% peripheral vision, although he can see in detail about 30cm (a rulers length away). Jamahl also teaches art classes and is involved with art therapy, check out his website for all the details and to view his work.
Another talented musician (who’s also left for the Big Smoke, but again I’m claiming him as ours) is Mr Michael Cook. He’s also a bit of dance fiend and teaches dance and music – not sure where you can purchase his debut CD but I’ll find our and link it here.
Also for some all round talent you can’t go past the PressureLands cast – check our their YouTube channel and here’s a sneak peak from the work in progress showing:
Here’s some other great stuff created and inspired in the Riverland:
LetterBanks – A project with Riverland Youth Theatre which paired up young & old to explore life in the Riverland through a letter writing exchange. Letters were then used to create a huge projection screen on the Bank of the Murray where interviews with the participants were filmed and projection nightly for week. The following is short snippet from that projection.
Some fun films from a one half day film making workshop again with Riverland Youth Theatre:
Greenies Have Feelings Too
Hard to Swallow
And a project by me and my creative & life partner Nic Tubb – who inspires me always and every day to be a better version of myself and to lend my skills to building a better world:
There are oodles more but not everyone has something online I can link you to! But I love promoting our people so if you are a Riverlander doing cool stuff email me with some links to your work and I’d love to promote you here and also if you’re under 30 on Riverland Youth Connect.