Parkes school students have left a lasting impression on renowned Indigenous performer Mitch Tambo, who was in Parkes last week for Youth Week.
Parkes Shire Council - in partnership with Parkes Library, NSW Family and Community Services and the Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People - invited the Indigenous dancer, singer and didgeridoo player to the shire, who's also a Gamilaraay/Birri Gubba man currently based in Melbourne.
Mitch presented two free interactive workshops in the Coventry Room on Wednesday to 120 students in Years 6, 7 and 8 from Parkes High School and local primary schools, as part of this year's Youth Week celebrations.
He gave the students a brief introduction to Aboriginal history and culture, before he involved participants in some song and dance, trying ochre - traditional paint and listening to Mitch play the yidaki or didgeridoo.
He was also particularly thrilled to hear the students singing and using the Wiradjuri language, something he said he doesn't see too often.
"It was beautiful, it warms your spirit [hearing the students speak the language]," he said.
"Especially when it's coming from a room of students who most are probably not Aboriginal.
"But you can tell they've been learning the language and that they take great pride in it.
"A lot of our language is gone and to hear the Wiradjuri language is alive here, it's a beautiful thing."
Mitch works all over Australia, mostly in rural and remote communities, teaching kids about culture through music. He has also featured on Triple J's Unearthed with his original music, attends festivals overseas and was a presenter and host of two children's TV series.
Mitch said it was refreshing to be in the country.
"The kids were awesome, they were very receptive," he said.
"I love coming out to the country, I would love to come back and do something in Peak Hill."
Youth Week is a celebration of young people in every state and territory across the country. It is an opportunity for young people to share ideas, attend live events, have their voices heard on issues of concern to them, showcase their talents and celebrate their contribution to the community.