Aboriginal cultural educator and actor Nathalie McLean designed a creative way to teach Australia's youngest people about the world's oldest culture.
“I am a born storyteller, coming from a long line of traditional storytellers.
While I lived in Queensland I studied a year each in education, psychology and journalism – and I was unhappy in all of them.
But everything fell into place when I switched to arts at VU after moving to Melbourne. Most of my prior learning was recognised and I was able to focus on subjects that I really loved – performing arts, writing and radio production.
VU opened doors to great networking opportunities. I was lectured by and worked closely with industry professionals including performers, published authors and radio producers.
I was encouraged and supported by the Moondani Balluk Indigenous academic unit. They helped me to understand life at VU and put me on the path to my creative industries degree.
As an Indigenous woman, as a person in a new city, as a student, and in my career I have overcome many challenges. Being part of a supportive community is key, as is choosing the right direction, and of course never giving up!
In 2017, I set up my cultural education business – Junjurri Workshop – an interactive art, performance and storytelling workshop for pre-school and primary school children, based on my Aboriginal culture.
It can also be linked to national curriculum standards so that educators can use it as a learning tool.
I've also recently finished performing in two shows with Complete Works Theatre Company, and I'm excited to be part of an upcoming project in the Melbourne Fringe Festival.”