Mahogany Rise

Our extended school residency program with Mahogany Rise Primary School in Frankston North spanned six years, from 2011 to 2017.

Through our annual projects, we worked creatively and collaboratively with all year levels (kindergarten to Year 6), resulting in many surprising and unexpected outcomes.

A Mahogany Rise school residency photo. A child wrapped in black paper smiles at the camera.

Emphasis was placed on building positive relationships between the primary school and Monterey Secondary College as children transitioned from one to the other; nurturing a long-term creative culture in both schools led by teachers and students. 

The program evolved over six years to explore the challenges that the children faced as they moved from primary to secondary school. It focused on resilience during periods of change and transition and exploring the children’s identities. Projects took shape in diverse forms, including shadow puppet adventures into unknown worlds, the transformation of a school hall into an unrecognisable maze, and a VJ, film and dance performance at Frankston Arts Centre.

Polyglot commissioned evaluations for the individual projects and an independent academic longitudinal evaluation of the program. The longitudinal evaluation can be found on our Impact page.

The Mahogany Rise school residency program was seed funded by Creative Victoria and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The project received additional support from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Newsboys Foundation, Merlyn Myer Fund, Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Australian Communities Foundation and The University of Melbourne.

  • Did you discover something new about yourself? Child: That I’m a good person.

    Evaluation interview

  • I think the summation of the whole process, there’s a wonderful body of work that’s been created. There’s a wonderful body of experience that’s been created for the individuals, for the students and the teachers and the community that have come and watched and been a part of that… Or even for me, because that thing’s pushing me into some new areas of thought that maybe I hadn’t confronted before, or hadn’t thought about before, hadn’t given the kids the options to do, so I think that richness around all of that is very important.

    John Culley, Principal, Mahogany Rise Primary School, 2017

Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.