Readings Foundation Update: Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company

This week we’re featuring updates from the community organisations and projects that the Readings Foundation supported in 2009.

Today we’re hearing from Margi Lardi of Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company , which received a $20,000 grant from the foundation.

When Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company received one of the 2009 inaugural grants from The Readings Foundation, we were elated. This was our opportunity to draw out the ‘stifled stories’ of disengaged young people in rural northeast Victoria and give them a safe space to rekindle their personal narratives and promote confidence and positivity. What has eventuated is heartening and often, very moving.

Somebody’s Daughter Theatre and young people from HighWater Theatre in Wodonga run intensive drama workshop sessions for students nominated by the schools as being at serious risk of dropping out before completing Year 9. About 30 students have been involved overall, with a core group of approximately 15 students. Along with the workshops, all these participants have been making significant contributions to the development of resource materials for the program including a DVD (currently being edited) on bullying and violence – an issue identified by the school community as being of major concern.

In the words of Year 9 Level Coordinator… ‘I have watched the students who were part of this program become more engaged in all aspects of school. One student told me he felt safe in the group, that he knew he was not judged and that it helped him stop stealing. Other students felt it helped their self-confidence and I would agree with this as I have seen a marked increase in these students’ interactions within the classroom. Many other teachers have commented on the same thing.’