Aboriginal Youth Development Program

Circus, dance, theatre and culture guiding the next generation of young aboriginal performers.

In partnership with the Noongar led Champion Centre in Armadale, we are delivering a circus and dance training program to Aboriginal youth that encourages a connection to Country and culture through art, music, dance and stories.

This program strengthens the physicality of the young participants and encourages them to feel connected through their bodies and minds. By participating in activities and performance training that promotes respect, pride and cultural strength, young Aboriginal people are encouraged to engage emotionally and imaginatively.

Community and kinship are at the heart of this program.

It recognises leadership within the Aboriginal community and supports Aboriginal people to be in key roles – program managers, circus and dance trainers, and elders.

Guiding this program is Aboriginal contemporary dance artist, Moopa (Ian) Wilkes, supported by circus trainers who are trained in Social Circus. Together this creative team is infusing circus arts with Aboriginal culture to actively nurture and grow understanding and awareness of Aboriginal arts and culture.

This unique program will develop a growth in confidence for its participants, along with a sense of pride from their achievements.

Together we are offering the building blocks on which the Noongar community can nurture the next generation of Aboriginal artists and cultural leaders.


Together we are storytellers








“We are developing a troupe of Aboriginal youth with circus and dance skills underpinned by a sense of belonging. The program facilitates sharing of cultural knowledge and skills between generations and lets our creative stories and cultural knowledge come together.” – Ian Wilkes, Program Director

Support our Aboriginal Youth Development Program


Aboriginal Youth Training Program Outcomes

CircusWA’s Aboriginal Youth Training Program uses the power of culturally based programs to engage, connect and strengthen communities.

The Training Program creates pathways for Aboriginal Youth of all abilities to participate in the arts in a way that is inclusive and enhances participants’ sense of well-being.

There is a growing body of evidence showing participation in arts and culture supports these outcomes. Key research links showing arts and culture support these outcomes, and inquiries demonstrating the importance of valuing culture, can be read on the Australia Council for the Arts website.

We envision and expect that the accomplishment of our activities will lead to the following long-term impacts outlined here