'Yishu' Arts Festival

'Yishu' Arts Festival

 “On behalf of Westall Secondary College I wish to acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present, and people of the Kulin nation, and recognise them as the custodians of the land on which we are meeting” read by Jasmine Thickens.


Thank you to the Boon Wurrung Foundation and Boon Wurrung Land and Sea Council for giving us the opportunity to embrace our indigenous heritage with a traditional Smoking Ceremony and didgeridoo performance.


Outside the Sports Centre, David Tournier burned native leaves from the land to celebrate and commemorate the significance of the 2019 ‘Yishu’ Arts Festival.


Students and staff walked through the smoke to be cleansed and to ward off bad spirits. Sean Ryan opened the beginning of our programme with a breathtaking didgeridoo performance.


Phil Egan from Dance Factory lead a group of students to a performance of incredible ‘hip hop’ dance moves. Strings Ensemble, ‘Batukada’ Drums, solo Keyboard performance by Jorden Khauv, Flute Duet – Emily Khauv and Mai Dinh played the theme from the ‘Titanic’, Mr Tugiono and students performed ‘Tears in Heaven’, whilst the Chinese LOTE department showcased fashion and traditional Chinese dancing. The 4 C’s, Cook Island dance group stole the afternoon with their beautiful dancing, singing and drum show.


The week ahead followed with a number of Arts activities running daily at lunchtime:


Arts Blitz – ‘4 legged clay animal’ and ‘painting’ by Ms Wagenfeld was a real success. Students had 30 minutes to create a masterpiece using paint on board, and 30 minutes to create a clay sculpture. We had a ‘full’ room for the Arts Blitz painting session! The winners of the Staff ‘Mini Canvas’ Competition – 1st prize: Ms Kotsiou, 2nd prize: Mr Richardson, 3rd prize: Ms Moore. Congratulations!


The forever popular T-shirt Transfers, Badge Making, Friendship Bracelets, ‘Cultural Pebbles’, ‘Shrink me Plastic’ and ‘Henna’, kept students busy creating at lunchtime. Hundreds of students participated in the ‘Green City Lego Challenge’ brought to Westall by Moore LEGO Education. Students flocked to ‘Jimbo’s Photobooth on Thursday taking instant photographs with props and friends. Staff and students enjoyed the ‘Long Lunch’ designed and catered by Food Technology. Chinese Masks and Chinese Calligraphy took place in C1 with Ms Zeng and Ms Wagenfeld. The week came to a close with the popular ‘Fashion Parade’.  Staff Association put on a morning tea to celebrate the success of the week - scrumptious dumplings, made by Ms Zeng, were enticing and soooo delicious!!!!


Thank you to all the amazing students, who participated and contributed in many way to this incredible week – to name a few Sally, Angie, Baran, Raymond and Lizzy. To the wonderful staff who made this week possible – Ms Besley, Ms Zeng, Mr Richardson, Ms Tetoros, Ms Lynette and Ms Read, Mr Alex, Mr Lanarus, Ms Simadri and Ms Dewhurst.


Thank you to the staff who walked the red carpet  - Ms Jarvis, Ms Patricia, Mr Clarke (best performance), Ms Gatsios (best design), Mr Bandara (best dressed), Ms Besley and Ms Ifandis (spray artists).


Thank you to everyone for yet another great ‘Yishu’ Arts Festival 2019.


Ms Helen Ifandis

Arts Coordinator


2019 Yishu Festival Chinese workshops


During the Yishu Festival (our Arts and LOTE week), Junior Chinese classes participated in mask-making workshops to create colourful animals. We learned that the different animals symbolize different meanings, for example, lions represent strength, stability and superiority, while tigers portrays bravery and power, and dragons mean excellence, generosity and powers over water and fire. We designed and cut colour paper to produce plate masks that exhibited our individual creativity and uniqueness.


By Thu Vu and Sunny Zhang (Year 8)




A group of Year 9 to 11 girls were encouraged to attend some sessions of Chinese traditional dance workshops to perform in the Opening Ceremony of Yishu Festival. The Chinese dance group sacrificed their lunch time to learn from the choreographer and rehearsed dancing during iCreate time. Thanks to all staff for your support to our dance group. Thanks to our beautiful dance group for your stunning performance!


Ms Minnie Zeng

LOTE Teacher




On the 19th of September, students from the elective Chinese class took part in the calligraphy workshop for the Yishu Festival. The instructors for the workshop brought a huge canvas for us to express our inner artistic side. We were also given smaller canvases for us to practise on before we began drawing on the big canvas. They showed us some bamboo drawings and panda drawings to provide inspiration for our own work.


By Louis Ng and Katie Sun (Year 10)