Western NSW students have finger on the Pulse

Public school students in western NSW continue to benefit from an Arts Unit initiative bringing exposure and opportunity to the regions. Alyssa Terese reports.

Students on stage in costume pointing their fingers into the air. Students on stage in costume pointing their fingers into the air.
Image: Performers on stage at Pulse Moree.

Following a successful launch in 2023, the NSW Department of Education arts showcase, Pulse Far West, returned to the regions and took centre stage in Mildura, Broken Hill and Moree in April and May.

More than 1600 students from Kindergarten to Year 6 participated in workshops, rehearsals and live performances in dance, drama and music.

Pulse Far West supports the delivery of increased high-quality arts resources, workshops and performance opportunities to public school students living in the state’s western regions.

The Department’s Arts Coordination Officer, Peter Hayward, said 25 principal performers (vocalists, dancers and members of the showband) from Sydney’s Pulse Alive 2024 helped facilitate the workshops and performed alongside local students.

“Some of the feedback from schools last year included that the event was ‘truly life-changing’ and that the students and parents ‘beaming faces said it all’,” he said.

“All workshops were facilitated by industry professionals and tutors from the Department, and it’s a great opportunity for students to step into opportunities within the annual Schools Spectacular show and beyond.”

Former Morgan Street Public School student, Zahra Cawley, was among those to benefit from the Pulse program.

The former Broken Hill resident participated in Pulse 2023 and, following a successful audition, was selected as a featured dancer in the 2023 Schools Spectacular ‘Fabulous Birthday’ segment.

Students sitting on a floor playing drums. Students sitting on a floor playing drums.
Image: Drummers at Pulse Sunraysia.

Croppa Creek Public School Principal, Michael Sky, said Pulse Moree was a chance for students to shine on stage.

“There’s not too many broader creative arts opportunities in Moree, so the workshops our students participated in, and the final performance, was something completely different to anything they’ve been exposed to before,” Mr Sky said.

“The parents who attended the final performance were amazed by how good it was, and I have no doubt attendance will grow next year following the positive feedback from the parents and those involved in the performances.

“The level of professionalism brought by the Pulse team was next level and it was fantastic to see the student talent across Moree.”

One of Mr Sky’s students, Milly Gall, performed in the dance ensemble. Milly said she enjoyed learning the different moves and joining in with other schools.

“I was nervous and excited to perform on the stage, and I can't wait to take part again next year,” Milly said.

Executive Principal at Dareton Public School, Michael Coleman, said Pulse had been a “truly life-changing experience” for his students.

“Seeing the kids achieve, trust, grow and just have an equal opportunity was incredible,” Mr Coleman said.

Pulse Sunraysia (Mildura) was on 4 April, followed by Pulse Moree on 9 May and Pulse Broken Hill on 16 May. For further information, visit https://artsunit.nsw.edu.au/pulse-alive

Students near sculpture in the desert. Students near sculpture in the desert.
Image: Some of the performers from Pulse Broken Hill.
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