Woolloomooloo Kids Are Hip Hop Naturals

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14th November 2008, 07:02pm - Views: 1038

Woolloomooloo kids are hip hop naturals

A group of local Woolloomooloo children aged between four and ten years have been spending their

Saturday afternoons immersed in hip hop culture, with a series of workshops guest starring prominent

Australian hip hop artists. 

Meeting every weekend at the Juanita Neilsen Centre in Woolloomooloo, the group, who have dubbed

themselves the Woollo Kids, have learnt to write their own rhymes, freestyle, and rap to a beat, and have

already recorded two original songs.

The workshops, which are run by CuzCo, focus on the five elements of hip hop – rapping, DJing, beat-

boxing, break dancing and graffiti art. Dance will be the focus of the coming weeks for the group, with a visit

this Saturday from special guest and renowned Australian hip hop dancer Nacho Pop, who has featured on

the TV program So You Think You Can Dance.  

The workshops are being sponsored and facilitated by The Benevolent Society through its Woolloomooloo

Community Connector program, which aims to  help disadvantaged families and kids to build their skills and

develop informal support networks. 

The project is run in partnership with City of Sydney Council staff at the Juanita Neilsen Centre Children’s

Program, who help facilitate the workshops and provide the space where the workshops are held.  The City

and The Benevolent Society are working closely together to build strong and positive relationships with the

local community.

Stella Despinidis-Kemp, program coordinator for The Benevolent Society’s Woolloomooloo Community

Connector, says she has already seen encouraging results from the hip hop program. 

“Anywhere from 12 to 20 Woollo Kids have been turning up each week full of enthusiasm for the days

events, and it’s great to see some of the older children have taken on a mentoring role for the younger


“As well as engaging them in a positive and creative community activity, the workshops are also helping

develop their literacy and movement skills which will improve self confidence,” said Ms Despinidis-Kemp.

Local hip hop artists Wire MC and Choo Choo have been impressed with the children’s enthusiasm and


“These kids are have learnt really quickly how to channel their creativity and express themselves through hip

hop; this genre of music is relevant and exciting to them,” said workshop leader, Cesar Bassi (aka Choo


“Young people are comfortable in using hip hop music and culture to create narratives about their own lives

and express what’s going on in their world.”

After their final workshop, the children will perform their songs Swing To The Beat and All In This Together 

to their friends and family, at a community Christmas barbeque on December 11. 

The Woolloomooloo Community Connector program, which is funded by Families NSW and delivered by

The Benevolent Society, has been working with families in the area for over 18 months, running activities

such as the highly successful Mothers Day lunch, and a Circus Skills workshop for children. Projects

planned for the future include an early literacy project, where primary school students will visit a local

childcare centre to read to a group of toddlers, and expressive therapy workshops which will provide children

with the opportunity for self expression through art, music, dance and drama therapies.

For more information, contact Erin Schrieber, ph 0410 003 934

Media Release

14 November 2008

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Registered Office

The Benevolent Society

           PO Box 171 Paddington NSW 2021

Paddington NSW 2021                                  Donations 1800 819 633                                                       ABN 95 084 695 045

The Benevolent Society

Established in 1813, The Benevolent Society is Australia’s first

charity. Nearly two centuries after

we first started helping the destitute and homeless in colonial Sydney, our 800 staff and 900

volunteers continue to support more around 16,000 children and adults each year in New South

Wales and in Queensland. 

The Benevolent Society works with women, children, families, older people, people with a disability

and those who care for them, and people affected by adoption.  We support vulnerable and

disadvantaged people across the lifespan to build on their strengths and lead happy and fulfilling

lives. We help to connect communities through support groups, volunteer visiting programs and

community projects.  

Our vision is that every person is healthy, safe, connected and has a meaningful and productive

role in their community.

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