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 pioneering activists and leading spokespeople for Indigenous rights in all areas.
With support from The Funding Network and generous individuals, 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', roughly 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 to 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.
Balund-a , Dad, First Morning at Balund-a, I Grew Up by Myself, MY MUM, Dreaming Time, Mother Nature is my Friend, In The Hollow, Classes Unstructures, Untitled, Untitled, Ancient Times, Ancient Ways, My Brother Backer, The Warrior, Poetical Correction, Balund-a , MY KIDS, The Ice Age, HOME, On the Road of Life, Sorry for the pain, 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
Visit our online store to purchase publications and materials from this project. Red Room Poetry is a not-for-profit organisation. All funds raised support the ongoing work of Red Room Poetry.