Indigenous stories, history, culture and language have been interwoven as part of a Warrnambool College art program.
Years nine and ten art and photography students participated in the six-week Indigenous Perspectives Project.
Indigenous Elder Uncle Locky Eccles, Warrnambool City Council Indigenous language facilitator Mel Steffensen and Ngarrindjeri woman and south-west artist Emma Stenhouse ran the sessions.
Students visited Warrnambool's historically-significant Indigenous site Moyjil-Point Ritchie where they drew inspiration from the environment, collecting items and taking photos to use in their art. They also learnt about the culture and stories from the area.
Visual arts teacher Anthea Rafferty, who initiated the program last year, said it had opened students' eyes, sparking an interest in local Indigenous history, helping to create conversations and awareness.
"It's having an Elder on country telling his story about the Indigenous connection to the Moyjil area and then it's about the story of the students standing on country and listening to Uncle Locky and then creating their own story through art making and learning about culture and language."
She said at the start of an onsite photography session, two of the 48 students knew about Moyjil-Point Ritchie and now they all had an understanding of its rich history.
"They can stand on country with an Elder. They can practice Peek Whurrong language and learn about the colours," she said. "We're really being inspired by our local Indigenous people. They're our inspiration."
Students studied printmaking, photography, weaving, wood burning and painting.
Mrs Rafferty said some of the students' painting and photography was collaged onto seven Indigenous story poles which included topical words in Peek Whurrong and English language.
"Wood burning is a traditional practice that local Peek Whurrong people did and they used the chevron pattern as well," Mrs Rafferty said. "There was a lot of line and mark making predominantly as well."
Mrs Rafferty said it was vital to have an Indigenous perspective at the heart of the college curriculum, "embedding their stories and looking through an Indigenous lens".
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