Youth on Assignment: EYESEE Project, Australia. Day Three
- By Student Nicholas Walton-Healey, RMIT University, Melbourne
As part of WPO's ongoing Youth on Assignment projects, we sent student, Nicholas Walton-Healey from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia along with his professor Mark Galer to Darwin, Australia, to document the latest EYE SEE project in partnership with Unicef and Sony.
Walking along the pier, on our way back to the hotel after dinner, I sensed a quiet feeling of achievement or accomplishment. As a group – comprised of several nationalities and ages – I thought we’d done remarkably well. Throughout the duration of the program, spirits remained high. Issues or challenges were openly discussed and more typically than not, resolved swiftly. In my own mind, this new, commercially-orientated feather sat a little easier in my cap: I felt as though I had placed myself in a position to both complete the brief that was expected of me as well as create something that could seriously explore the set of social or contextual issues that initially gave rise to the program and the implications that it’s had for the community (or group of communities) in which it took place.
Of course, any attempt at predicting the latter would be premature. Over the duration of the program, I saw, or heard, first-hand from key members of the community, the kick that these kids got from participating in this program. It will be hard to forget the smiles that broke out across elder faces when they too saw this or any one of the many photographs the children took. But it is equally difficult however, to ignore the extent to which these communities are isolated or divorced from the ‘real’ world and the opportunities that this isolation denies the youth. Though the ultimate goal may still yet be far away, this is surely a step – be it a tentative and minor one – in the right direction.
All images © Nicholas Walton-Healey