The Circus Comes to Town

A week of action-packed activities, empowerment, and fun!

Last week, the community of Utju experienced an exciting and informative program centered around safe touch, consent, and body autonomy. Accompanied by the Solid State Circus team, Andy and Hemlock, and AFLW player Ally Anderson, the program was a huge success, leaving the participants with new skills, knowledge, and confidence.

The school-based program began with an introduction to circus and safety, emphasising the role of consent in every aspect of life. The students were divided into groups and participated in acrobatic skills and activities that required respect, communication, and trust. The team specifically chose skills that allowed the students to gain an understanding of permission, requests and what constitutes safe, unsafe and unwanted touch. Elders from the community translated the session into Pitjantjatjara, the local language.  

Ally Anderson in Utju

Circus arts can be a great vehicle to explore ideas surrounding consent, appropriate touch, and the power of saying no. The activities not only educated the students on an important topic but also allowed them to build on their confidence and resilience by exposing them to new skills and interests.

In addition to the circus activities, the team led a series of AFL workshops to further establish an understanding of safe touch in a fun and engaging way. The community of Utju loves their footy, so the workshops were a great way to bring everyone together. After school, Ally ran footy training sessions with the boy’s team, but after seeing the training in action, the girls from the community suggested she train them as well. The sessions were a huge success, with a women’s AFL match concluding the week.

Ally Anderson taking students through an AFL drill

To finish the week, Hemilock delivered asurprise circus performance at a community BBQ. The program was an outstandingdemonstration of how education and entertainment can seamlessly blend together.

Do you want to contribute to the Red Dust story?

Help us develop more community-led workshops for our future leaders.



Thank you to the following supporters of this project:

  • Solid State Circus
  • Areyonga School
  • Mac Youth