Help students in Merrylands East bring their stories to life!

By Merrylands East Public School

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Great Imagination meets Digital Storytelling.

The students at Merrylands East Public School come from many different backgrounds. The surrounding catchment area is rich in cultural diversity. English may not be a first language and for many, Australia has proven the safe haven in which young people with vastly different experiences share their stories. Two years ago, Media students from Macquarie University reached out to children at Merrylands East Public School, introducing them to Digital Storytelling. Its been fantastic! Year 6 students have created, collaborated, shared! They have learnt the techniques, using media to effectively bring their stories to life. In fact its been so engaging that this year they have decided to include Year 4 students as well!

But, boundless enthusiasm meets real world obstacles!

The Digital Storytelling Program at Merrylands East Public School has the support of the Administration, the Students, the Community and Macquarie University.

What it doesn't have is funding.

The students have been making do with outdated iPads to do the filming. Unfortunately the students have no access to computers for editing work and learning professional media skills. Students share very limited resources on a half day field trip to Macquarie University, just once during the course of the programme.

Their enthusiasm is boundless! The rewards are tangible as they learn real world skills in this competitive field from experts like Dr. Iqbal Barkat, a lecturer in Screen Media at Macquarie University who is leading the program. However, lack of access to the fundamental technology has frustrated their efforts to really progress and grow. Its slowed down the momentum and got in the way of involving more children from the school.

There's a will, so there must be a way!

We're committed to continuing this amazing experience with these children and involving even more students as the program continues.

They need the proper equipment though, without it these young visionaries will slow to a crawl.

We are looking to purchase Mac computers and camera's for the school so they can create a professional studio on campus that their students can access regularly. They will have more time to be creative, to edit and finish more of their work and to progress to even more sophisticated learning.

We are giving these children a voice, another channel to tell their stories and define their place in the world. We are building confidence to share what matters, and to eventually tackle the bigger questions in their communities.

Programs like these are the many positive steps that take children from diverse, often disadvantaged backgrounds and help them become thoughtful, confident, expressive adults. There are countless great talents just waiting to shine!

You can make a difference!

Yes! You! With your generous contribution, we will purchase...

  • 4 x Sony Hi Definition 4k Handycams with sound recording accessories and tripods.
  • 6 x i5 iMac's with 21" screens - perfect for editing

This equipment will give students the freedom they need to develop their skills and craft their wonderful stories into digital media works. Establishing the Digital Media Lab opens the door to many more students and is the perfect way to commemorate the 90 Year Anniversary of Merrylands East Public School and its continuing commitment to learning through innovation and technology.

You'll become a part of the journey!

The new Digital Media Lab will recognise your contribution.

  • For Donations of $10 to $50 – your name will be credited in the films that the students make and you will be sent an individual link to the stories.
  • $51 to $100 - you'll get the credit above but you'll also be invited on a special tour of the amazingly progressive Merrylands East Public School conducted by principal John Goh.
  • $101 to $500 - you'll get your name in the credits and be invited on the school tour AND you'll also have your name acknowledged on a permanent plaque at the new Digital Media Lab. They'll send you a special printed photograph of this plaque!
  • $501 and above - You'll get all of the above AND be invited to attend the school’s 90th Anniversary Celebration and receive a certificate of appreciation at the ceremony.

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Team Members


Iqbal Barkat

Kokila De Silva