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How This Music Academy Teaches Indigenous Kids To 'Walk In Two Worlds'

"I honestly believe music just crosses all boundaries," said Qynn Bearmann, CEO and Mentor at The Boonderu Music Academy.

Based at Roebourne District High School in Western Australia, the academy has a progressive approach to education for indigenous kids, as you see in the short film above.

Recognising Aboriginal culture is based on song and story telling, the school encourages the kids to enjoy school through the use of music, and then worry about grades later.

"For these kids, we don't know what they've experienced, or we can't even begin to imagine with some of them. So you just do music, it gets them in. Then we look at school work and attendance," said Bearmann.

While education is important, The Boonderu Music Academy also believe it's equally important to maintain, learn and respect their culture.

The school boasts an 80% school attendance rate and explain that they're about teaching indigenous kids to walk in two worlds.

"My generation have learned now, that to live in this society, we must walk in two worlds. We must learn to adapt to be white man world, in that way, but then as soon as we get home, doing what our old people have done for 45,000 years -- going out bush, hunting, singing law and ceremony songs... that is the key to the survival of our Aboriginal people," said Kendall Smith, one of the mentors and music teachers at the academy.

"While everyone else was learning how to drink and do drugs, we sort of kept to ourselves and played music. We were trying to find another way," Smith said.

His Father, Marshall Smith, Banjima Elder, said he loves seeing the kids thrive in this environment.

"Just the interest those kids have with rhythm and music. It's awesome to just watch them beating the drums in a way that if they keep going they'll get better and better."

To learn more about The Boonderu Music Academy head here.

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