Jon Ford

Jon Ford

Minister for Employment Protection; Regional Development; Fisheries; the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne

    Music - a way of life in the regions

    24/09/2007 12:00 AM

    Regional Development Minister Jon Ford today announced that the Western Australian Government would provide $40,000 for regional workshops to help indigenous youth in regional communities to build life skills through music.

    Regional workshops would be held in October in Kununurra and Wyndham, with participants joining in from surrounding indigenous communities.

    Participants would be involved in creative activities such as music production, song-writing, dance and performances.

    Regional workshops were also held in Roebourne and Karratha in the Pilbara region during the July school holidays.

    Mr Ford said that this was a great initiative that had enormous appeal to youth, while at the same time, helping to achieve many positive social outcomes.

    “Benefits to be gained from creative skills development include enhanced creativity, development of aesthetic sensibilities, improved communication skills, greater self-awareness and self-confidence,” Mr Ford said.

    Participants would complete a dream reality workbook as part of the creative process, which would help each young person identify a plan for their future.

    A community concert and CD of recordings would be produced at each workshop, providing young people with public recognition of their talents.

    Kimberley MLA Carol Martin, who presented the cheque in Kununurra today to the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley, said arts practice and cultural activities such as music workshops were important for the wellbeing of regional, rural and remote communities.

    “Most importantly, they provide vibrancy and a sense of pride and belonging, as well as stimulation and increased wellbeing,” Ms Martin said.

    “I hope that these workshops will continue to be the catalyst for positive changes in their young lives and encourage them to think about opportunities for careers in the arts.”

    Funding has been made available from the Western Australian Regional Initiatives Scheme (WARIS), which is designed to assist non-capital works projects that bring benefits across two or more regions of the State.

    Further information about the WARIS is available from the Department of Local Government and Regional Development on 9217 1500 or visit

    Minister's office: 9213 7200