According to the 2016 Census, more than 6,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples live in the ACT, with just over half of that figure being women. This NAIDOC Week, we’re inviting Canberrans and those from the surrounding region to join us in celebrating the often unrecognised contributions these women make to our communities and our lives.
Belconnen Arts Centre is coordinating an open photographic exhibition that will position the stories of these women front and centre, be they Elders, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, daughters, colleagues or friends. Digital photo entries are welcomed from people of all ages and cultural backgrounds who would like to celebrate an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander woman. Perhaps they have mentored, inspired or supported you; maybe they are a cherished relative or they have helped you to turn a corner in your life?
“It’s been wonderful seeing the entries start to come in,” says Belconnen Arts Centre’s Creative Producer for NAIDOC Week events, Michele Grimston. “There’s so much love out there for so many amazing ATSI women, we feel really honoured to be trusted with sharing these stories with the public, and giving people the opportunity to understand some of the unsung work that goes on in our community.”
One of the first entries received was an image of Lee-Anne Daley from West Belconnen Family & Child Centre, who works tirelessly providing support for children and families in the Belconnen community, and who has also been instrumental in building NAIDOC Week celebrations in the region over the past three years. Because of her, we can come together to celebrate NAIDOC Week as a community in North Canberra!
The exhibition will be unveiled at the free community celebration NAIDOC in the North on Saturday 14 July, which will run from 11 am to 3 pm at Kingsford Smith School in Holt and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through art & craft workshops, songs, stories, dance and ceremony. There will be plenty for the kids to do and even if it’s characteristically middle-of-July chilly, you’ll be able to warm yourself by the bonfire with free hot damper! For those who simply can’t make it, however, the photo exhibition will be available to view online at belconnenartscentre.com.au after the close of the event.
To be part of this wonderful exhibition, please submit your photos of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have made a difference in your life via the Belconnen Arts Centre website by4 pm Friday 6 July 2018, along with a caption stating why “Because of Her, We Can…!”
Which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from the Canberra community do you want to see featured in this exhibition?