"It's a kind of journey that the viewer is supposed to go on, to follow and find some kind of personal meaning, in themselves, about what this animation is about..." Psychologist
These animations have been developed to help the viewer gain more insight into the experience of social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal children and their families.
The cultural consultants engaged in the project collaborated with the KidsMatter team to “develop the conceptual framework for the animations including the scripting of its themes, sub-themes and key messages in line with the KidsMatter framework. Cultural consultants drew on their own life and professional experiences to contribute deep understandings of social and emotional wellbeing from an Indigenous worldview.” (InPsych, October 2014).
Everyone is different
It is important to note that some of these stories may trigger feelings and other reactions in the viewer, and those reactions will vary from person to person, depending on their culture, background and context. The following scenarios provide some examples of different reactions that may arise after watching one or more of the animations.
Miles is 12 years old. He recently watched “Digby” and wasn’t sure how to feel. He used to go to school with a boy about Digby’s age. The boy was always late to school. Miles had shared lunch with him on several occasions as he often didn’t have any and while Miles was playing with his friends, noticed this boy often sitting by himself. Miles always felt a bit sad and guilty about that boy.
After watching “Digby”, and learning that there was a lot going on at home for Digby, Miles felt sad and regretted that he didn’t do more for the boy who went to his school.
Miles decided he would speak to his uncle about how he was feeling.
While fishing that afternoon, Miles told his uncle about the animation he’d watched and how it made him feel. His uncle decided to support Miles to talk to an experienced person about his feelings.
They visited the Aboriginal Liaison Officer who worked at Miles’ school. Miles’ uncle also used some information pamphlets that he collected from the community health service to talk more to Miles about social and emotional wellbeing and how families can support one another to stay safe and healthy.
Jenny is the Wellbeing Co-ordinator at her school. She has organised a professional development session for four of her teaching staff (one Aboriginal Liaison Officer and three non-Aboriginal teachers). In preparation for the session, Jenny consulted the Aboriginal Liaison Officer about using the animations as a tool to explore Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing. Her intention was to spark conversation about social and emotional wellbeing at school, including how to improve connection to the Aboriginal students and families who attend the school.
After watching the animations focused on resilience, a teacher turned to the Aboriginal Liaison Officer and commented that it must be hard for her. The Aboriginal Liaison Officer explained that her experience has been quite different from the stories depicted in the animations and that, while some of the animations reflected challenges experienced by some Aboriginal people, they did not reflect the stories of all Aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal Liaison Officer commented that after watching the resilience animations, she saw positive stories of hope and strength.
Special viewing considerations
Viewing the animations can trigger feelings and other reactions for viewers who may identify with certain themes or key messages contained within the content. This may be different for each viewer, and may include uncomfortable or distressing feelings such as sadness, anger or guilt, as well as positive feelings such as confidence, pride, connection and hope.
The animations may trigger these emotions for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal viewers. While the stories depicted in these videos have been guided by the cultural consultants involved in this project it is important to remember that they do not necessarily reflect the experiences of all Aboriginal people.
After viewing the animations, you may wish to consider the following questions:
- Who is somebody in your community or education setting you trust and can talk to if you feel affected by any of the content contained in these videos?
- Who is somebody you feel comfortable talking to if you are unsure how to use or talk sensitively about these animations?
- What plans does your centre have for those who may experience strong emotions watching these animations?