2005 – Present
The early 2000s saw an influx of students into the college from a range of countries including Afghanistan and The Sudan but the Pacific Islands students were the most numerous. While most of these students came to Australia via New Zealand many also came directly from their island homes of Samoa and The Cook Islands.
Our curriculum did not have the time and space to enable any exploration or celebration of these cultures and so the students formed an alternative student council to try to meet specific needs: many students needed the time and space to play music, sing and dance, and maintain their very rich cultural traditions within the confines of this new environment.
The formation of “Polyhood” was the result of a group of Pacific Island students, led by Angelina and Jonathan Eli, wanting to be able to showcase and celebrate the cultures of their home islands and to be seen and heard in the college as a united and strong student voice.
Polyhood has continued to grow: the annual highlight is the Polyhood performance that presents singing and dancing, contemporary and traditional. Past students return to be part of Polyhood and external members of the Pacific Island community also contribute to this exceptional performance/celebration. The 2016 show was the best yet with a completely full house and an atmosphere that nearly took the roof off the theatre. This performance is student driven and organised, and in recent years has been overseen by teacher Annette Evans.
Polyhood, established in 2005 by Jonathan and Angelina, and Hilary Baxter, was continued by Mary Tortoni and Polyhood students and is now maintained by Annette Evans. But it could not have developed into such a vibrant and energetic collection of student voice and performance without the ten years of support from Sefulufa Fa’amausili.