Indigenous people out there who take the initiative to move away from country to attend university. “To actually apply is a huge thing, so I believe it’s very important for us as storytellers to make sure that our story is portrayed wholeheartedly out to the Australian community, and that’s why I really loved being a part of this production.”
colour to a mother of five who is a full-time mother as well as a student. There’s a humanitarian theme in the film. We’re talking about people and their real issues. I don’t think it targets racism specifically, but I think by suggestion it does.”
Catalyst for conversations
FirstDegree Program Lead Kara King described the students in the film as trailblazers. “These students are the first in their families, sometimes first in their communities, to come to university and I think sharing their stories and understanding the unique journey they have to come to university, some of the challenges they face, and how they navigate university, is really important on a number of levels. “It’s inspiring for current students who may be struggling to see how somebody else is coping and to know that they’re not alone, but it’s also really important for potential Indigenous students back in community to see that it is possible to come to university. “We hope that sharing stories like this makes it easier for students to talk about and share their experience with family and community back home. We hope it can work as a catalyst to encourage conversations about what it’s like to be an Indigenous tertiary student.” The Front Line will be screened in transition projects for Indigenous students, by schools, community and mentoring programs, and will be airing in the Northern Territory on Aboriginal Broadcasting Australia media channels.
Change through storytelling
Toby Finlayson is co-founder of Desert Pea Media. Graduating from a Bachelor of Arts Communications (Theatre and Media) in 2004, Toby has been working in remote Indigenous communities around Australia and the world to create social change through collaborative storytelling. “The Front Line is a collaborative project working with Indigenous students at Charles Sturt University to unpack some of the issues Indigenous people face when attending tertiary education. “It’s a pretty powerful and evocative production about Indigenous people’s struggles to attend university. “For lots of the people involved in the project, they’ve had no family members finish school let alone go to university, so the gap in education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is pretty massive. The film talks about why that is and how Indigenous people can find strength and pride, and some of the tools they’ve acquired to pave new ground and to be leaders.” Toby believes the power of the film lies in the personal journeys of the students featured. “The film ranges from issues about identity and skin
CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY ALUMNI