National school music program Music : Count Us In (MCUI) has forged a new partnership with the arts and cultural collective Garrijimanha to develop indigenous resources for the 2020 program focusing on the Yamatji Nation.
Garrijimanha’s Founder and Manager, Chelsy Atkins (pictured), is a proud Yamatji Widi and Wongi descendent from Western Australia. As part of a musical family Chelsy was introduced to sharing cultural wisdoms through song from a young age by her father Mark Atkins, who is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most accomplished didgeridoo players and indigenous performers.
Chelsy, with her organisation Garrijimanha, has worked in a variety of education settings to create arts and cultural resources and programs in a variety of school and community settings. During 2020 she will co-create a resource package for MCUI with Yamatji students and Elders/knowledge holders of Western Australia.
“It is an honor to be Garrijimanha (Standing Together) with Music Australia and the Indigenous elders, leaders and knowledge holders of the Yamatji nation for the 2020 ‘Count Us In’ project.
I’m excited about the social and cultural benefits that will come from this project, and the opportunity we have to contribute to the preservation, presentation and recognition of Australian Indigenous culture.” – Chelsy Atkins
Yamatji Country is situated in the Mid –West region of Western Australia, covering nearly one fifth of Western Australia, stretching from Carnarvon in the north to Meekatharra in the east, to Jurien in the south and has been home to many groups/tribes of aboriginal people over thousands of years. Recently, the Yamatji people became the first nation to unite and be granted native title, a ‘Land Use Agreement’ and Settlement Package. This represents the culmination of a fight for acknowledgement that has spanned over 2.5 decades.
Teachers and schools nationwide can register now for MCUI 2020, it is a free program with resources released from early July for use in Terms 3 & 4.