To: The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard

Save Wakakirri Festival for primary schools

Save Wakakirri Festival for primary schools

Dear Prime Minister,

The Hon Peter Garrett, Minister for Schools, has cancelled annual funding of the Wakakirri National Story Festival for primary schools in 2013. This means the entire Wakakirri program, including it's Outback program for Indigenous students is in real danger of being cancelled. Wakakirri is a regular part of the Primary school calendar and 20,000 students around Australia will be affected. We ask that you reverse this decision.

Wakakirri is an institution in Australian primary schools. It has been providing a service for 20 years and is still growing. There is no way the Government could run an equivalent national program that achieves the educational outcomes, environmental awareness, and teacher satisfaction that Wakakirri achieves for $100k a year. In a country that is aiming to educate it's children to be innovative and open minded, letting Wakakirri disappear due to lack of funding is a backward step.

The Australian Government claims to be taking a strong stand on climate change and spearheading an 'education revolution'. Wakakirri is all about promoting sustainability and innovative teaching. Wakakirri also helps teachers meet many of the new National Curriculum outcomes. So why stop funding it?

The Australian Government is claiming to be financially responsible. Wakakirri offers a national program to every school in Australia for a whole year with just $100K of government funding . This is less than what the Government spends advertising the Carbon Tax on TV in one day.

Wakakirri has been a champion of a sustainable future since 1992. Over 300,000 students from 1,200 schools have participated and it's still going strong. The Federal Governments support has been solid up until now. Please don't abandon a great program to balance a budget.

Why is this important?

How many times have you watched a child dancing, singing or acting in Wakakirri and thought “I wish they we had this kind of thing when I was a kid?” Research has shown time and time again that the arts are an important factor in the development of children’s full potential across all areas of the curriculum. The arts are not just nice things to have to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Let’s not deny the next generation this opportunity.

How it will be delivered

We will email the signatures to the PM

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Reasons for signing

  • Whilst never having had the opportunity to be a part of this festival myself, I attended a school during my senior years where this festival was enjoyed by the entire primary school. The joy that those children experienced, and the team building skills they gained was an absolute delight to watch. They reveled in the opportunity to create something amazing for others to see, and then interact with other school students from around the state. Please don't take this away from them!
  • I was a filmmaker with the 2012 Outback festival. This program reached broadly into the school and community I worked in. There were some kids that really saw what it was all about. They will have been touched forever by the experience to discover the world of filmmaking and self expression with these skills and tools. If anything expanding media literacy and contemporary forms of communication will empower these individuals and give a stronger voice to these remote communities. Lg