Balund-a , Dad, First Morning at Balund-a, I Grew Up by Myself, MY MUM, In The Hollow, Classes Unstructures, Dreaming Time, Untitled, Mother Nature is my Friend, Untitled, Ancient Times, Ancient Ways, Balund-a , The Warrior, Poetical Correction, MY KIDS, The Ice Age, HOME, On the Road of Life, Sorry for the pain, My Brother Backer, MAR, 5 Alive a Week, One Day, Home is Where the Hurt Is, Balund-a , bad sign, Alcohol Took My Freedom, Bundjalung Bigambul, Being Black, MUM, SILENT CRYING, Untitled
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Dreams, the window to our souls
Dreaming of the past, Dreaming of the present, Always dreaming
Dreaming of the future. Daydreaming, Always dreaming
Good dreams, bad dreams, real dreams.
~ excerpt from Dreaming Time by Andrew W.
In July, The Red Room Company returned to Balund-a with Murri poet, Lionel Fogarty, and musician Joe Geia for a special NAIDOC Week series of Unlocked poetry workshops. Lionel and Joe are both pionering activists and leading spokespeople for Indigenous rights in all areas.
With support from The Funding Network and generous indivdiuals, Unlocked returned to Balund-a for a special series of NAIDOC week workshops. The program ran from the 5th -8th July with three full day workshops of poetry, language, music and art, culminating on the fourth day with a community-led event by local Elders - Chris Walker, Maurice Robinson, and Muriel Exton. As with the first program at Balund-a, Unlocked played an important role in connecting Indigenous communities and celebrating cultural connection with Elders.
Across the week, Lionel Fogarty led the writing aspects of the workshop, while Joe and Jan Levy facilitated activities with elements of song, musical performance, and visual arts. As with all Unlocked programs, these three dimensions of the workshop are included in the Balund-a Unlocked Anthology.
In North-Eastern NSW, Balund-a is not a prison or a correctional facility but rather a culturally aware and community oriented program aimed at reducing the re-offending rates of both male and female offenders aged from 18 to 40. The program's full name, 'Bugilmah Burube Wullinje Balund-a', rougly translates to ‘Be good now you have a second chance down by the river’.
This song was written by the students during the workshops with the guidance of Lionel Fogarty and Joe Geia. Listen here »
The Koori Mail featured Unlocked @ Balund-a in their NAIDOC Week Special. Click here tor read the article »
As with all the Unlocked programs, The Red Room Company will be publishing a print anthology of the poetry created during the workshops. Unlocked Anthologies are given to the students and their friends and family as part of their journey towards rehabilitation and positive creative expresssion. Limited editions of the books are also available through our online store.