'In collaboration with Worawa Aboriginal College, St Martins presents a work that overturns common assumptions about First Nations’ girls. In 2017 St Martins was invited to run workshops at Worawa and so began a relationship with the school and some of its Year 10-12 girls, who come from the remotest parts of Australia and board in Healesville to get an education, grow in confidence and claim ownership of their identities and abilities. Many leave home being the first or only girl to get a secondary school education. They hope to finish Year 12, continue onto tertiary study or go back as leaders in their own communities.
'Balit Liwurruk: Strong Girl is a performance made with a mix of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists that speaks out about strong and smart girls. Often the girls are multilingual, with English not their first language. Aunty Lois Peeler, the school’s principal, Aboriginal Elder and sister of founder Hyllis Maris (Wurundjeri and Yorta Yorta woman), refers to the girls holding the ‘parallel realities’ of Aboriginal lore and Western culture - at the school they learn to ‘walk the two worlds’. With these coexisting realities as a departure point, the project asks what it takes to carry language and culture whilst being a girl today.
'In a rite of passage from girl to woman, twelve girls turn the classic myth of Hercules inside out, repossessing its masculine notions of being strong into their very own 12 tests of strength. Balit: Liwurruk: Strong Girl is an invitation to contemplate the Herculean determination, depth and pride of girls emerging from Country across our vast Australian continent.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.