Thames students to perform haka in support of remote Aboriginal communities

Students of Thames South School will kick off a rally against the closure of remote Aboriginal communities today with a performance described as a ‘flashmob fusion haka with didgeridoo.’

This event will add to the multiple marches, protests and online campaigns that have been held across the globe calling for the Western Australian government to withdraw its decision to close hundreds of Aboriginal communities.

Assistant Principal at Thames South School, Barbara Hetaraka says, "For the past two weeks we've been learning about the communities in Western Australia and the political stance of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.”

Hetaraka says the protest rally is an opportunity for the students and the wider community to show their support for the Aboriginal people and create further public awareness in Thames and elsewhere regarding this issue.

“Our aim is to create warrior scholars sound in their cultural identity, making our kids change agents in what's happening in their world here and being connected to indigenous folk world-wide."

According to the protest rally media release, a Thames resident, Denise Messiter of Ngāti Pukenga ki Waiau has lived in Kalumbru, Western Australia since January, working with the community at the Strong Womens Centre.

She says to show the support from the Hauraki region a letter written by the women elders of Kalumburu Strong Women's Group will be read out at the rally today which begins at 3pm.

Organisers say the rally will be followed by a special koha screening at Thames Cinema of "Utopia", an epic film by award winning film-maker John Pilger, about a remote outback Aboriginal community.