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Case Studies Light on Country | RAF Case Study (2018)

A group of senior female arts students from Derby District High School spent a night on Country, learning professional photography skills with Camera Story, culminating in an exhibition of their work at the school.

A Quick Response Grant recipient, via the Regional Arts Fund, as managed by Regional Arts WA.

The project 'Light On Country' saw Derby District High School partner with Perth-based charity Camera Story to facilitate a specialised artist camp with the young Indigenous women from the Aboriginal Engagement Program. The school used the Regional Arts Fund Quick Response Grant to expand an existing workshops program to include an overnight campout on Country to build capacity, confidence and skills in an environment that was comfortable, safe and away from the distractions of the student’s everyday lives.

The group of selected art students travelled to Windjana Gorge for one night, where they engaged in photographic skills development, professional and personal development, and creative collaboration. They were mentored in their experience by established Indigenous and non-Indigenous local artists and art workers who provided feedback and positive reinforcement.

. The project gave students the opportunity to get creative with night photography, painting with light and projections in a bush setting. It exposed them to photographic techniques, media skills and computer literacy and connected them to established artists from the Kimberley region.

Culturally the project encouraged the students to work together to explore their Country through a new creative lens. The students examined different photographic techniques, their relationship to landscape, their community and to each other. They delved into their cultural history through the use of ochre and found creative ways to connect this with the land and themselves.

The main objective of 'Light On Country' was to engage students in a meaningful project, develop vocational skills, stimulate positive mental health, initiate a space of collaboration and creative reconciliation, and introduce them to inspiring (local, female) professionals. It was a huge success.

“These students come from large families and they are the role models within their families. As a community we need to see these young people succeed. It is integral for our community that these students are strong, proud and culturally aware” - Angela Bollam, art teacher Derby District High School


  • Increased confidence in students, developing a sense of pride, pace and purpose. Providing a mental health boost.
  • Vocational training through enhanced practical photographic and artistic skills.
  • Relationships developed between students and professional artists.
  • Collaboration and communication between students from differing family backgrounds.
  • Increased interest in attending school.
  • Exhibition at school, providing a platform for family and community pride.

Applicant location: Derby, WA
Project Location: Derby & Windjana Gorge, WA
Amount of RAF support: $4000
Total project cost: $6950

Regional Arts WA Horizontal
Light On Country
Painting with light around Koreta. 2018. Photographers: Katie Breckon, Nerelle Umbagai, Tegan Riley & Antazrah Marshall