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    OPPORTUNITIES: Making the most of a Warracknabeal Creative Circuit ‘makerspace’ program are, from left, Coco Malcom, Sidney Ogilvie, Elsa Byron, Elli Ogilvie and Georgia Evans.

Warracknabeal creative circuit bridges the gap

BY DYLAN DE JONG 

Making, imagination and play are key concepts of a creative and collaborative project emerging in Warracknabeal. 

Community-led project Warracknabeal Creative Circuit has started in the town to improve access to art, science and technology for people of all ages. 

A team of Monash University researchers developed the ‘makerspace’ program in partnership with Yarriambiack Shire Council and Working Heritage. The program ties into a Monash project to re-establish the town’s heritage courthouse into an ‘art hotel’.



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Warracknabeal resident and circuit manager Janelle Inkster joined the researchers to help run a series of workshops out of a dedicated creative space in Scott Street. 

Ms Inkster said the pilot program would provide the community with access to low-cost technology and craft for up to 12 months. 

“We’re hoping people will take part in inductions, learn how to use the equipment and then think about ways they can use that space to learn a new hobby or even create their own side business,” she said. 

“Monash University was looking at smaller communities, potentially ones that did not have an artistic or creative hub in them, for this project.”

Ms Inkster said 3D printers, robots, cutting machines, audio-visual equipment, computerised sewing, drones, drills and drawing supplies would be accessible in the creative space.   

“There will be LEGO workshops that will expand into robotics and there will be other workshops that focus on 3D modelling,” she said. 

“On Friday night we scheduled a workshop teaching students how to use an iPhone to make movies. These workshops are for anyone who wants to learn.”

The program will combine creative practice researchers, artists, designers, educators, social innovators and contemporary makers to trial programs with the community, across all ages.

Ms Inkster said Monash University designed the program to meet a need in Warracknabeal to provide more creative outlets for the community. 

“The researchers identified that Warracknabeal doesn’t have many structures in place to do with organised art,” she said. 

“In Warracknabeal, we don’t always have the fantastic opportunities that Melbourne people might get. 

“There are definitely individuals interested in art or already established in the area, but there’s not a lot of opportunities for people here.”

Ms Inkster said she hoped the program would expose young people to a range of opportunities. 

“Kids need to see that there’s more out there than what we’re exposed to by our own social group or family upbringing,” she said. 

“It’s just giving kids in Warracknabeal the exposure to art to show them they don’t have to go away to a private school to be successful at any of their passions.” 

The entire June 9, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!