Yorta Yorta man Neil Morris wished he had had the opportunity to experiment with his artistic talent growing up in Mooroopna.
The culture keeper, musician and poet gave that opportunity to a handful of young Indigenous children at a recently held music development program at Rumbalara Co-operative.
‘‘I’m fortunate to be in this position and I’m excited to work with Mooroopna kids,’’ he said.
The Indigenous Music Development Program was an initiative of Mr Morris’ and he was joined by renowned producer, drummer and DJ Davey Norris aka Dizz1 as well as Brett Watkins who does performance, didgeridoo and dance for school groups.
The two-day program provided a unique opportunity for young Indigenous people to learn the fundamentals of music production and create their own original compositions over a weekend of fun, hands-on workshops with the experienced professional Indigenous artists.
‘‘I had good opportunities to pursue my arts,’’ Mr Morris said who now lives and works in Melbourne.
‘‘Song creation has always been core to Indigenous culture and identity.
‘‘We have designed this project to use a variety of traditional and contemporary mediums that will both encourage creativity and expression, and empower Indigenous youth in their Indigenous identities.’’
The sessions took place overlooking the river and bushland at Rumbalara in Mooroopna where Mr Morris’ family moved in the 1950s.
Mr Morris’ mother also grew up at Rumbalara.
‘‘It’s been great to come back and work with young people in the community I grew up in,’’ he said.
The project was supported by Multicultural Arts Victoria’s emerge and state of culture programs and was funded by Gandel Philanthropy and Australia Council for the Arts.