Wakakirri Ambassadors

Wakakirri enjoys the support of some of Australia’s leading industry professionals who give their time as part of our National Panel to encourage the next performing arts generation. Wakakirri Ambassadors partner with Wakakirri in various ways including participating in Performing Arts Careers Day, mentoring workshops and activities on Show Days, appearing in Waka TV, marketing and advocacy.

The Wakakirri Story-Dance Association Inc

What is the WSDAI?

The WSDAI is a not-for-profit organisation (since 2004) that uses storytelling, the oldest form of learning, as its focus for providing innovative educational programs to schools in a manner that resonates with contemporary youth culture.

The WSDAI Committee

The WSDAI Committee is governed by individuals from business, the arts and education sectors. As an incorporated association, the WSDAI produces an annual report and is publicly accountable.

What does Wakakirri mean?

The Aboriginal word Wakakirri means ‘to dance’ according to the Wangaaypuwan people from Cobar NSW. It was chosen to give the event a distinctly Australian feel.

A Word from our Patron

In the opinion of Professor Tom Calma AO “Wakakirri develops our young kids to be the leaders of the future.” Alongside his role at Wakakirri, Professor Calma is also the Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia.

Our Aim

The WSDAI presents the Wakakirri Challenge to provide an education program for schools that develops student engagement and wellbeing through the sharing of stories and participation in the performing arts.

Wakakirri Challenge Team

Adam Loxley is Wakakirri’s founder and Festival Director. He leads a small team to make Wakakirri happen each year.


Wakakirri fosters a range of positive outcomes for not only students but also their schools and broader communities. These outcomes are measured and analysed via a number or sources including teacher interviews and surveys, school case studies and observation reports.

Student Engagement

  • Encourages enthusiasm for learning through creativity
  • Increases school pride, strengthens student relationships, builds community within the school
  • Opportunities for students to accept responsibility and demonstrate leadership
  • Fosters student inclusion, there are roles for a broad range of physical and creative skills
  • Provides an opportunity to explore career pathways and develop career aspirations

Emotional Wellbeing

  • Students experience the feeling of achievement and intense satisfaction that comes from creating something significant
  • Encourages personal growth including resilience and acceptance of responsibility
  • Engagement in rehearsals and performance fosters a strong sense of camaraderie and friendship
  • Performing onstage in front of an audience creates lifelong memories and improves students’ self-esteem

Physical Wellbeing

  • Introduces new forms of physical expression including various dance or dramatic movement forms
  • Provides a fun alternative to traditional PE or sport and similarly fosters physical fitness
  • Provides student recognition at an inter-school level similar to district sports carnivals
  • Students learn the value of physical inclusiveness and that people of all abilities can contribute to the team effort

Community Impact

  • Engages students to explore and develop a deeper understanding of social issues relevant to them
  • Provides a platform for students to express their views and share them with a large audience
  • Teaches agency when advocating for a meaningful topic
  • Promotes respect, empathy and awareness of cultural diversity, human rights & sustainability
  • Establishes identity and a sense of engagement with society

Social Engagement

  • Provides a hands-on experiential learning approach that actively engages students in sustainable practices
  • Enables students to respect and embrace difference, and to establish identity and a sense of engagement with society
  • Promotes cross cultural appreciation, valuation of their own and other communities ideas
  • Greater empathy and awareness of cultural diversity, human rights & sustainability

Arts Education & Curriculum

  • Schools that lack resources to deliver arts curriculum are provided with an equitable and accessible option that builds their internal capacity
  • Develops creative and innovative thinking
  • Students develop a deeper understanding of their story theme through the process of creating and sharing their Story-Dance
  • Provides a positive life experience that fosters a lifelong love of art

Meet the WSDAI Committee Members

The Wakakirri Story-Dance Association Incorporated Committee (WSDAI) is made up of independent board members from business, the Arts and education sectors. As an incorporated association, Wakakirri produces an annual report and is publicly accountable.

Download the 2022 Annual Report2021 Annual Report  |  2020 Annual Report  |  2019 Annual Report  |  2018 Annual Report  |  2017 Annual Report

Wakakirri Partners

Wakakirri Alumni Members

Over our nearly 30 year history, some of the young artists who have participated in Wakakirri at school have gone on to pursue vocations in the arts.Our alumni have an impressive list of achievements across all the creative and performing arts including dance, drama and musical theatre. At Wakakirri we believe that it is important to inspire students and provide opportunities to develop their skills and ambitions. We are proud of every young superstar that joins our Story-Dance Festival but here are a few of those superstars that are making a splash on stage and screen.

Thanks for our partners