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Byron Shire
October 5, 2022

Jarjums empowered to speak up with rapper JK-47

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JK47 with students at the ‘Muggi (strong) Culture, Deadly Futures’ program. Photo Crystal Appo

This year’s ‘Muggi (strong) Culture, Deadly Futures’ program focussed on Aboriginal and Torres Strait jarjums, from kindy to year 12, engaging with cultural knowledge and skills ad empowering and motivating jarjums to speak up.

Mullumbimby Primary School teacher and organiser, Hope Woods, told The Echo, ‘The highlight of the program was having international rapper, JK-47 perform and yarn with our jarjums. He is a rapper, musician, and inspiring activist from Tweed Heads. He shared a strong message of the importance of getting in touch with yourself, being proud of who you rather than trying to emulate someone else.’

Around 70 jarjums from local schools gathered at Ocean Shores Public School on September 14 to enjoy a day of workshops, performances and yarn-ups.

‘The day’s program expanded cultural knowledge and skills, empowered and motivated jarjums to speak up. It also provided a safe and enjoyable space to have fun, build trust and deepen belonging and connections with other students, parents, elders and the wider community,’ said Ms Hope.

‘The jarjums from Mullumbimby Public had an awesome day. Here is what they had to say:

Remy Humphreys: ‘Scotty and Harley taught me how to do the goanna and paint up. My favourite part of the day was trying Dean’s freshly cooked fish and kangaroo that was wrapped in banana leafe and paper bark – it was delicious.”

Alon Parr: ‘My favorite part of the day was watching my cousin, KK47 perform.”

MarliO Meara: ‘Eating the fish straight from the fire was my favourite part. It was YUM!”

Zaria Fowler: “I liked putting the ochre on me.”

Jinja Jones: “I loved eating the mud crab, fish, damper, learning cultural dances and listening to Uncle Franc.”

Tristan: “When JK-47 rapped, it was deadly and inspiring. I remember he said to ‘follow your

culture and it will just keep sucking you in. The culture helped him find his strength by being who he is and not trying be like other people’.”

‘Parents and Elders enjoyed the day as much as the jarjums. The day ended with a farewell

blessing, dance with everyone participating. It was a deadly day where everyone felt heard, valued and safe. No-one wanted it to end!,’ said Ms Woods.

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