When the weather Gods turned nasty on the final day of a long shoot, Red Engine Creative turned to Stage and Screen to find light at the end of the tunnel.
TRAVEL THAT IS TRULY LIFE CHANGING
Dotted across the outback are remote communities being forever changed by Stage and Screen client – Indigenous Hip Hop Projects.
Who are Indigenous Hip Hop Projects (IHHP)?
Started in 2006, IHHP was created to be a catalyst for positive change in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. IHHP work with community stakeholders to run programs using dance, music and creative activities to identify future youth leaders, teach new skills and engage with communities to communicate vital health messages about drugs, alcohol, smoking, domestic violence, bowel cancer, diabetes, trachoma, truancy, mental wellbeing, youth suicide, the environment and more.
How do you plan travel to a place you have never heard of?
IHHP have been a Stage and Screen client for 12 years and for ten of those years Travel Manager Carmel Page has been kept busy finding travel options to destinations she has never heard of. Travelling to these very remote communities, IHHP hold weeklong workshops based around hip hop music and dance, taking a troupe of five or six performers with them.
Getting the IHHP team in and out of some of the most isolated communities in Australia, requires a lot of planning and can mean a two to three day journey. Firstly flights are booked to get the performers to a regional airline hub such as Darwin, Cairns, Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha, Kalgoorlie, Ceduna, Townsville or Alice Springs. Then small regional airlines are used, with flights as frequent as once a day, or as infrequent as only a couple of times a week – depending on the destination. Then even after landing, the team can have a long drive ahead of them.
Overcoming the tyranny of distance
As IHHP are engaged by schools, festivals, Aboriginal community-run corporations, health services and local shires to specifically address community issues, getting the most from every single travel dollar is essential. While budgets are tight, the number of airlines servicing remote communities can be very limited and their isolation means they can be costly to get to.
So Stage and Screen are accustomed to thinking outside of the box to investigate and cost all options open to them. For example, it can be the same price, or even cheaper, to book a charter flight for a group – rather than paying for seven individual fares on a regional airline. This can get them closer to their final destination and sometimes it’s just not possible to get the entire IHHP group on the one regional flight.
Prepared for anything
When travellers are relying on just one carrier to get them in and out of a remote location, delays and disruptions inevitably happen. Aircraft issues and also extreme weather, be it a cyclone or a dust storm, mean that IHHP regularly call on the dedicated Stage and Screen after hours service.
“The beauty of Stage and Screen is that they are a unique, niche travel management company – and although we don’t have millions of dollars to spend, the service we get is exceptional,” said IHHP Director, Dion Brownfield.
While there are many challenges to booking this type of travel, the outcomes achieved through IHHP workshops are a source of pride for all at Stage and Screen who work on the account. To date IHHP have engaged thousands of youth across 28 communities in the Kimberley, while also working with over 300 communities across every state and territory. Using their unique combination of energy and enthusiasm, IHHP enable young people to make their own healthy life choices and maximise educational and economic opportunities.