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This Is Northern New South Wales

Hip-hop music and north coast youth mix it up

_69A736910 North coast Indigenous youth are about to embark on a life changing journey; set to amplify local hip-hop culture thanks to an inspiring partnership between Lennox Head-based OneVisionProductions and world-class tertiary educators SAE Institute, Byron Bay.

This collaboration will deliver a Certificate III in Music Production for Indigenous youth aged 17-24 – providing a unique opportunity for participants to gain vocational skills and real experience working in the Music Industry, and the opportunity to pursue further tertiary education.

The first batch of students started their studies on February 3. Thanks to a further initiative by non-profit organisation OneVisionProductions, local Indigenous kids will also get the opportunity to engage in an innovative hip-hop and multi-media ‘Music for Change’ program at six north coast high schools this year.The workshop program was initiated as a result of funding from the Federal Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy. This unique project offers a 10-week hip-hop workshop where students write, perform and film their own hip-hop song and accompanying film clip, which will be distributed through local radio, NITV and social media outlets. OneVisionProductions is well known throughout the Northern Rivers region as an organisation that empowers and educates at-risk youth using multi-media platforms to create peer-led social change.

Mark Robertson, CEO of OneVisionProductions, says hip-work workshops offer an attractive and culturally relevant medium for youth to identify personal and social issues that impact their lives, and the opportunity to create their own solutions. Mark, also known as MC Dingo, has run hip-hop workshops in more than 30 remote communities over the years and has seen the dramatic improvement in young lives from finding passion inside themselves. “Our hip hop programs encourage participants to ‘name their world’ – express how they see society and how they are impacted by the life in which they live,” says Mark. “By working together, they also gain valuable life and vocational skills, confidence and the ability to overcome personal barriers to achieving goals.”

Mark states that, “hip-hop has the unique ability to speak to the marginalised voices in society, it is a chance for poetry to be heard, the oppressed to be recognised and inspiration to become the forefront of positive change.

Dusty Mconie, from Nortec Youth Service says, “OneVisionProductions’ programs have provided opportunities and mentorship to the most disadvantaged young people in our communities. We have observed many young people time and time again go through an invaluable journey of self growth and discovery, experiencing success and actualising their dreams.”

These high impact workshops attract youth either already disengaged from mainstream education, battling social or physical isolation and other youth who, for various reasons are at risk of ‘falling through the gap’.  The Ngulingah Aboriginal Land Council CEO, Cedrick Hinton says, “programs such as these … are really needed as they explore culture, provide opportunity and create passion through the arts.

For more about One Vision Productions click here:

For a previous story by Common Ground on the incredible work being done in our region by Mark Robertson and One Vision click here: