Project Wanga is a mob-led, 6 week story and truth telling program for young First Nations people aged 16-35 on Larrakia Country. Wanga (pronounced “WUNG-AH”) in Burarra language of West Arnhem land means to talk, speak, make noise, be heard. This project will be designed by Menah Mckenzie, Ray-Ray Mckenzie and Calum Mckenzie, all aged 18-26 from the community of Maningrida west Arnhem land.
Writing poetry can be healing and transformative because poems reflect the voice of the soul. Writing poetry is also a way to nurture a mindfulness practice because when writing poems, we have the chance to unleash the unconscious mind.
Wanga amplifies young voices to tell their stories on our strengths, our power, our love, our joy but also allows the listener to hear our challenges, our pain, our grief, our history and our way forward. Participants will be empowered to write their truth via poetry, song, spoken word or journal entry, with a safe platform for voices to be shared and stories to be told. The longer term vision is for the stories to be captured in podcast episodes and videos.
“Wanga will help young people to know their strength but also their gentleness and how they can harness both into their voice, their stance, their identity and the way they share their story or show up in the world. Our voices will be heard, our stories will continue to be told.”
Menah McKenzie, Anbarra-dIyama woman (she/her), 26 years old.