At the end of March 2020 – post phase one of the 15th consecutive annual Moorambilla Voices skills development tour it became incredibly clear that the normal mode of delivery for the program was about to undergo significant change due to the emerging restrictions unfolding for COVID 19 risk mitigation.
By April Moorambilla Voices as an organisation made the decisive and empowering decision to support all of its associated artists and create pedagogically sequential 20-30 minute modules in consultation with the Artistic Director. 29 Artists were eventually employed to create these modules as the backbone of the 2020/21 program. These modules subsequently connected our established and emerging artists to our regional children and theircommunities, offering skills, humour, hope and a sense of connection at a time when the arts ecology felt like itwas fraying beyond repair. These modules were made with exceptional generosity and expertise by theassociated artists. Each showcasing the specialised artistry, integrity and immense capacity of the individual artist delivered in a way that was sequential, empowering and palatable for regional children and youth already experiencing isolation, lack of resources and opportunity before COVID19.
This bold decision ensured our artists were deriving income during lockdown and beyond and ensured that we could offer connection and support to our regional children with minimal devices and internet capacity. After much regional consultation we developed a mode of delivery that was ultimately taken up by 70% of our normal candidates – a very pleasing result.
The incredible artists involved in the 2020/21 modules were Alice Chance, Amy Flannery, Andrew Howes, Andrew O’Connor, Anna Fraser, Anton Lock, Ben Burton, Cathie Colless, Tracy Loughlin, Cheyne Halloran, Courtney Scheu, Dane Simpson, Cheyne Halloran, Elizabeth Jigalin, Elliott Orr, Emily Flannery, Frank Wright, Hannah Fraser, Jacob Williams, Josie Gibson, Kerryn Joyce, Kevin Barker, Michelle Leonard OAM, Neville Williams-Boney, Noni Carroll, Oscar Sweeney, Sophie Unsen, Tainga Savage and Thomas Royce-Hampton. They produced over 57.5 hours of online content all mapped to the NSW Syllabus, created as a national resource for future generations.
In March 2020 floodwaters were swiftly moving across the region that had until that point been a dust bowl, in April 2021 the same region experienced the might of a mouse plague and now floods again in December 2021, yet still the resilience and commitment to creativity and connection has been maintained by our communities and the Moorambilla team. Now all 157 of the Moorambilla Magic Modules have been mapped to the NSW performing arts syllabus (music and dance), as well as visual arts, drama and English syllabus’s to further support their use in the classroom. Now regional educators who have the will to engage with the creative arts, but sadly not the skill can engage in professional development at school with a sequential empowering resource, a resource where 42% of the content is first nations led, created or consulted and where every artist has an understanding and connection to the region.