Student Voices for Recovery was a student-led bushfire recovery program to support student recovery, wellbeing and connection in the Local Government Areas of Gippsland, Alpine and Towong. It provided the opportunity for 20 regional Victoria creative industry workers to undertake a six-month residency in Victorian government schools impacted by the 2019/20 Eastern Victoria fires.
The program was delivered by Regional Arts Victoria in partnership with Department of Education and Training. Creative Workers were partnered with participating schools to work with students over a six-month period (Terms 2 & 3, 2022) to design and deliver a creative project led by the students. Professional development in student-led art practice and trauma informed training was provided, along with ongoing peer to peer support and networking opportunities for community engagement.
The goals of the program were to:
- Give students affected by the 2019/20 Eastern Victoria bushfires an opportunity to engage with creativity and reconnect with their peers, school community and learning.
- Engage students in artistic practice to support their wellbeing and connection to their community and evaluate the effectiveness of student-led practice in the disaster recovery context.
20 Creative Workers were recruited and trained by Regional Arts Victoria to to deliver a student-led arts experience across 26 schools. These are:
- Kylie Biltris who engaged with Talgarno Primary School and Tallangatta Secondary College through a visual arts practice.
- Justin Brady who engaged with Mallacoota P-12 College through a music practice.
- Aimee Chan who engaged with Bethanga Primary School through children’s literature and multi-media arts practice.
- Linden Dean who engaged with Lucknow Primary School through a visual arts practice.
- Sarah Foley who engaged with Bairnsdale West Primary School through a visual arts practice.
- Chris Henderson who engaged with Myrtleford P-12 College and Orbost North Primary School through a visual arts practice.
- Tracey Johnson who engaged with Swift Creek P-12 School through a visual arts practice.
- Karen Jones and Kylie Ahne (The Crackpots) who engaged with Harrietville Primary School through a visual arts practice.
- Harley Kewish who engaged with Tambo Upper Primary School through a visual arts practice.
- Susie Losch who engaged with Dederang Primary School through an environmental visual arts practice.
- Deidre Marshall who engaged with Bairnsdale Primary School 754 and Bruthen Primary School through a performing arts practice.
- Jasmine McMillan who engaged with Clifton Creek Primary School through a visual arts practice.
- Lee Nickless who engaged with Lakes Entrance Primary School, Lakes Entrance Secondary School and Marlo Primary School through a visual arts and projection art practice.
- Alison Plasto who engaged with Mount Beauty Primary School and Corryong College through a videography practice.
- Jennifer South who engaged with Nungurner Primary School through a performing arts practice.
- Brooke Taylor who engaged with East Gippsland Specialist School through a visual arts practice.
- Ronda Teakel who engaged with Walwa Primary School through a visual arts practice.
- Tiffany Thatcher who engaged with Newmerella Primary School through a performing arts practice.
- Pinky Wittingslow who engaged with Tawonga Primary School through a sustainable visual arts practice.