It's a Rap

28 November 2011

The Colly Crew

Collarenebri Central School's reputation as home to some of the nation's best rappers continues to grow.

The school is one of the winners of GenerationOne's Hands Across Australia competition, netting the school $15,000 for its efforts.

Winning in the reform category (new for 2011) with its artistic interpretation of the Hands Across Australia theme song, the school impressed the judges.

According to the judges, "the school community joined together to produce a fantastic rap which addressed the issues of employment and education in Aboriginal communities".

The Colly Crew

Collarenebri Central School principal David Bieler said he was proud of the student rappers who are known as the Colly Crew.

"The students have achieved a great deal of success through our Step-By-Step program this year, and it is good to see the positive flow-on effects this has had on student attendance," he said.

The Aboriginal education officer at Collarenebri Central School, Roslyn McGregor, said the school had made a commitment to ending the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous students.

"So, it is fantastic to see the students stepping up and challenging not only themselves but challenging each and every member of the Collarenebri community to engage in ending disparity and closing that gap," she said.

Improved literacy

Rob Baiton, English teacher at Collarenebri, said the raps had been instrumental in engaging students in the classroom.

"The reality is that the students involved in this project have been able to significantly improve their literacy skills and this is going to be important in helping them complete their schooling and securing gainful employment," Mr Baiton said.

This year has been a busy and full year for the Colly Crew. In 2011 the crew was a headline act at the Stylin' Up festival in Brisbane, the lead-off act at the NAIDOC Ball, Vibe Alive, and a featured Indigenous act at the Creative Arts in Public Education Regional Spectacular (CAPERS).

Distance no barrier

GenerationOne CEO Tim Gartrell also awarded a commendation to schools that demonstrated a strong partnership.

Hume Public School and North Sydney Demonstration School impressed him with their ties - achieved by using Connected Classrooms technology -  even though the schools were located more than 500 kilometres apart.

Mr Gartrell said the schools demonstrated the important role everyone could play in working together to end Aboriginal disadvantage.

To see all the winning entries go to the GenerationOne website.

Photo: The Colly Crew - courtesy of the National Indigenous Times.

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