Help us to support the Project with your tax- deductible donation. Due to its inaccessibility, Titjikala Community does not currently have music tuition. Soundstream will facilitate the employment of a teacher to visit the community to give regular music lessons, towards long-term performance projects.
The Titjikala Project has been endorsed by the Australian Cultural Foundation (ACF).
Donations can be made through the ACF website: www.australianculturalfund.org.au/projects/titjikalaproject
What Is the Titjikala Project
Gabriella Smart has a 50 year connection with Titjikala Community through her foster brother, Lincoln Boko, and his family. The Titjikala Project is an initiative by Titjikala Community (NT) in partnership with Soundstream that aims to address crucial concerns and key future aspirations of this remote Aboriginal community through a holistic approach that is centred on cross-cultural music making.
The Project’s vision is to develop a sustainable and long-term culture of empowerment and dignity through arts for health, with the Titjikala community. It builds on several previously successful projects that demonstrate the capacity of this community to achieve meaningful and positive outcomes if given the necessary level of support.
In recent years, Titjikala has increasingly become recognised as a community that possesses the people and leadership potential required to address the significant social and economic issues facing Anangu peoples living in remote communities in the Northern Territory. This is reflected in their significant and long-term partnership with Tidy Towns. This association began in the 1990s and culminated in 2013 and 2014 with Titjikala being named the Territory Tidy Town. In 1999, Titjikala School was awarded the Garth Boomer Award (honouring the memory of Garth Boomer, who promoted the cause of collaborative teaching and learning).
Respected Aboriginlal and other artists will be invited to develop events in full consultation with the community, including Warren H Williams, Trevor Adamson, Gurrumul Yunupingu, APY Choir, Elena Kats Chernin, Cathy Milliken, Derek Pascoe, Jon Rose, and Meryl Tankard.
The development of a Ruined Piano Sanctuary at Titjikala not only provides locals with a community park to gather in the evenings (at present no such location exists), but a ready-made outdoor amphitheatre for music events, drawing tourists, visitors from Alice Springs and the local population.
Photographs courtesy of Nick Shimmin
Artistic Director of Soundstream, Gabriella Smart, has an enduring connection with the Community spanning 50 years. In her own words, Smart outlines her vision of the Project:
“I envisage empowerment of the Titjikala Community, spanning a generation or more, through engagement with the arts that reflects the spiritual beliefs and aspirations of the community. This transformation is not limited to the education, creation, performance and touring of music. It will develop the infrastructure of the community to create employment opportunities through tourism and audience development.
It will allow members of the community to engage with the outside world on their own terms, with the confidence that comes of education and practical advocacy; to have cultural engagement with others that places their own culture at the centre; and to put Titjikala on the map. The outside world will know the community through their rich culture, creativity, success, and strength.”
About Titjikala Community
Titjikala is a small Aboriginal community located approximately 110 kilometers south of Alice Springs on the route of the Overland Telegraph Line (1872); the Great Northern Railway (Ghan) line (1926-1980) and the present day 4×4 tourist routes to Chambers Pillar. Titjikala community has a population of around 200 people made up of a number of Anangu groups including Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Luritja, and Southern Arrernte people.
Titjikala has struggled to overcome issues associated with unemployment and the negative social characteristics that emerged in this context: alcoholism, family violence, poor educational outcomes and a culture of passive welfare entitlement. Despite these setbacks, the people of Titjikala have demonstrated a strong desire to break free of this cycle and to empower their future.
Unley Physiotherapy has become a proud sponsor of the Titjikala Project.
They are sourcing second hand instruments for the community, and supporting a campaign to raise money for music lessons through the Australian Cultural Foundation.