Drumming goes from strength-to-strength

The beating of drums will be the music of choice as Anglicare Victoria’s Gippsland team aims to empower Latrobe Valley’s indigenous youth.

For the first time this October, Gippsland staff will run a 10-week ‘Drumbeat’ program aimed at diverting young Aboriginal people away from anti-social or criminal behaviour.

Anglicare Gippsland community services manager Nancy Oosterhof said participants were expected to build respectful relationships and develop self-confidence.

“Our focus will be around empowering individuals, hopefully seeing an increase in confidence and an ability to be able to express themselves,” Ms Oosterhof said.

“And develop some really mutual and respectful relationships.

“The other thing we would really like to see are some real strong connections culturally to their community as well.”

Drumbeat is an acronym for Discovering Relationships Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes and Thoughts.

It was first developed in 2003 and is now offered in more than 500 locations across Australia, with accredited facilitators training participants in communication, team work and social responsibility.

Ms Oosterhof said the Gippsland team decided to offer Drumbeat after exploring “innovative activities and ways to engage with some of the Koorie youth in the community”.

After successfully applying for the State Government’s community safety fund grant and receiving $2930, Koorie youth justice worker Marianne Campbell is ready to re-empower youth.

“We are really excited about this opportunity,” Ms Oosterhof said.

“Young people can express themselves and use non-verbal ways to communicate how they’re feeling or what their responses are to issues or anything they are experiencing.

“It’s a way for them to be able to use musicality to communicate.”

Drumbeat encourages participants to self-regulate their behaviour by using rhythm games, improvisation and performance to learn life skills.

The program is set to begin on 15 October and will be held at Kommal, a Latrobe Valley Aboriginal community hub.

Although most participants are already involved in Anglicare’s Koorie Youth Justice Program, enquiries are welcome.

Phone Anglicare Victoria Gippsland on 5135 9555 or visit the office on 162 Commercial Road, Morwell.