Beyond the Walls

Our cutting edge work with young people in the Youth Justice System has led to sold out shows at Redfern Community Centre and the Sydney Opera House.

Our work with young people in Youth Justice Centres provides incarcerated young people with the unique opportunity to positively contribute to their community and the greater Australian society, it changes lives and can lead to a reduction in recidivism.

Professional First Nation Australian dancers, performers and producers led the project, following direction from young people in custody in NSW to create authentic dance pieces culminating in performances in Greater Sydney, Campbelltown and Gosford.

Message sticks

Message Sticks

Phunktional has been working closely with the young people in Reiby (Dharug country) and Frank Baxter (Darkiinjung country) Youth Justice Centre. The project has seen the young people create and choreograph 11 different and unique dance pieces with seven professional dancers.

Each centre was presented with a traditional message stick for the young people to add their symbols, artwork and stories which would be then presented by local Elder to the Centre’s for keepsake as a reminder of the positive and cultural journey they have embarked on throughout the Beyond the Walls project.

Phunktional has put a modern twist on passing on delivering messages for the purpose of the Beyond the Walls production. Welcome to our digital message stick platform.

Australia Map

DEADLY Everyone has done such great work to create powerful stories and messages for people to carry in their hearts and mind forever. The messages, creativity and talent by all involved in this project is awesome and inspiring! Thank you for the great gift to society. All of you have opened the door of success and opportunity to go further and achieve even more success, so always believe in yourselves positively and keep your dreams and ambitions alive. Would love to see more of this again in the future and on social media. All the best from peoples of Ngunnawal and Wiradjuri mobs.

December 16, 2022


Really enjoyed everyone’s performance in the show at SDC. The stories were communicated clearly through impressive collaboration and evident teamwork. Each performer’s personal and authentic movement skills, creativity and styles shine through. I hope you’ll all continue!

December 15, 2022


A beautiful way to bring light to such important stories, those of our young First Nations children. So courageous of them all to share their stories and have them showcased on stage. Very moved by the performances! A great display of unique creativity, sharing stories through movement and song. Needs a bigger stage to reach more people. A very important message to share! Loved it!

December 15, 2022


I loved the performance at naughty noodle Haus. The dancing was superb, the dancers were dynamic and inspiring. I loved that culture was the central theme of each composition and that it bought audience and dancers together in an emotional bond. What a fantastic program. So great to see these young people have a chance to express themselves in such a powerful way. Well done to all who assisted them in the journey,

December 13, 2022


Thank you for sharing your creativity with us. It was very clever how you brought multiple ideas together to connect with your audience and impart powerful messages. You engaged my emotions and I felt wonderful watching your performances tonight. Thank you – You can be very proud of what you have achieved! All the very best and I hope you continue with this work.

December 15, 2022


This production was absolutely amazing!
I love the fact that this production gave our young people inside a voice and showcased the amazing talent we have being the oldest storytellers on earth.
I’m so proud of you all!!

December 15, 2022


Your show was so moving and all the dancers are so talented I wish you all the best of luck in the future you are all very creative keep it up! Hope you all have a merry Christmas.

December 15, 2022


Deadly my little brothers, I’m from Bourke and work in Sydney. I was lucky enough to see your work. When you fullas get out make sure you stick at it with deadly work like this or whatever you want, look what happens when you put your minds to something, so powerful unk. Proud of ya brothers.

December 15, 2022


Wow – I was transformed to another place and space! Mesmerizing performances. I love the collaborations and also the work that was performed by the young men from Baxter.
A real testament to the unwavering power of creativity to shine through all circumstances.
Many thanks

December 13, 2022


You all did a deadly job and should be so incredibly proud of your achievements. Know you’re all talented and have a bright future ahead!

December 15, 2022


So thankful I was able to watch this amazing performance. Absolutely amazing, congratulations. Brought me to tears more than once. Big love to you all x

December 15, 2022


Fantastic work straight from the heart I received all your message sticks

December 15, 2022


The show as a whole was so deadly, you mob at Frank Baxter and Reiby should be so proud of yourselves. I was getting flashbacks of being in juvenile detention and I got teary when your messages were played but thank you for sharing stories and expressing yourselves.

December 15, 2022


Absolutely loved the production. It was awesome to see such a diverse range of performances, all of which celebrated culture in their own way.
The choreographers (and dancers and producers) are clearly incredibly talented. Well done to all!

December 14, 2022


The performance was deadly, i cried when everyone was stripped to their greens the song choices were so powerful, I would definitely say that the creators should become youth leaders in the community when they come home. I really believe they can help create change.

December 12, 2022


Thank you for such awesome and inspiring pieces. The costumes the story the choreography. The films. Just beautiful.

December 13, 2022


That was an awesome show!! I feel privileged to have witnessed such a wonderful performance.

December 10, 2022


So inspiring! Powerful and heartfelt story telling. Thank you for sharing your deadly talent and stories

December 13, 2022


Thank you for sharing this amazing story. I was enthralled and moved. The grace, courage, skill and style of the work will stay with us.

December 14, 2022