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29 June — 13 October 2019 PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS

Francis Greenway High Hunter Valley Grammar Maitland High Metford Public Tarro Public Telarah Public Woodberry Public

Stories FROM Wonnarua Country

29 June — 13 October 2019 Stories from Wonnarua Country consists of artworks created by students from 7 local Maitland schools about what it means to them to be living on Wonnarua Country today. Each school’s response has been led by students from their Junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group as they explored ideas in workshops at school, Maitland Regional Art Gallery and at other special places on Wonnarua Country.


Woodberry Dreaming We were inspired by the Wonnarua Dreaming story of Baiame and Kawal after Aunty Dawn and our Junior AECG leaders went to see Baiame’s Cave with Uncle Warren Taggart. We noticed the peacefulness and how beautiful the valley looked. Aunty Dawn discussed with Uncle Warren the idea of building our own cave and our own Kawal looking down. We shared our ideas with the rest of our school and Wonarrua Elder Aunty Lorraine and everyone in our school has had some part in creating our artworks.




In this artwork we are representing the land of Wonnarua as our home and what that represents to us in a symbolic and historical sense. The painting we chose to do is on natural timber logs to engage with the land which is further explored as it is set out showing the boundaries and landmarks of traditional Wonnarua country. To show a connection on an individual level we have incorporated digital imagery of members of our Junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (JAECG) telling us their story.

Many people in the school came together in the making of this artwork; as the stories of Wonnarua connect us to this land and each other. The rocks symbolise the land that takes care of all of us, additionally the natural ornaments have been incorporated into this artwork to appeal to all the senses. Our intention for this artwork is to illustrate a sensory experience - as living on country is not just sitting back, it involves deep connection and interactions between living things.



Home from us to you

Michelle Ryan, Kalari Bietsch, Natasha Honnery, Ruby Dyson


Carrie Lindsay

Minimbah (teaching place)

Woodberry Dreaming was a whole school community inclusive project involving our 2018 and 2019 Junior AECG leaders including Darnel Silva, Brayden Skuthorpe, Emily Longworth, Chloe Storey and Crystal Storey along with Aunty Dawn, our school Aboriginal Education Officer, and Craig Manhood, our school gardener, who worked collaboratively with all students across K-6 in creation of the artworks


Lindsey Philip, Dawn Field, Emily Punu Craig Manhood (Community Garden Co-ordinator)


A collaboration by students too numerous to name under the guidance of the school Junior AECG. JAECG members include: Jaimie-Lee Beavan, Takara Delmedge, Jayeirra Dixon, Gindah Griffiths, Emma Merritt, Tahneal Simmons, Summer Singh, Natalie Smith, Taneisha Wells, Judd Allen, Kyana Patten, Meg Pearson, Taylor Torrens, Hayley Griffiths, Maineikia-Lei Harris, Shianne Hawksworth, Ronnie Swain, Warrali Griffiths, Ashleigh Heywood, Kaleb Trugett, Killara Drew



Chantal Tanna, Christina Wright


Tarro’s Tree of Knowledge We all have our own knowledge to share and story to tell. Every student (as well as teachers, parents and school community members) at Tarro Public School has been part of collectively creating this artwork. We wanted to show how individual stories come together to tell the shared story of our amazing and diverse little community. Tarro Public School thrives through public involvement and inclusive opportunities; valuing and recognising of the stories of all. We all live, learn and grow together. Our installation depicts this through the merged representation of two locally found trees – the Spotted Gum and Ironbark. These two species of trees can be found as part of the ‘Lower Hunter Spotted Gum—Ironbark Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion’. It stretches from Sydney to Murrurundi but in particular, has a core which runs from Beresfield to Cessnock (a 65km by 35km range) – right through Wonnaruah Country.


Kawal Watching Over Us

Students at HVGS came together from the Junior and Senior School to collaborate and develop a series of works that encompass how they see Wonnarua land from their perspective. Indigenous and non-Indigenous students worked through and experimented with the blending of traditional knowledge of the land and their contemporary setting. Drawing on the beautiful grounds of HVGS and the local surrounds, students used a variety of artworks to explore features of the built and natural landscape and used both natural and man-made materials to represent this.


Ayla Griffiths, Audrey Debnath, Oliver Wallace, Anushka Vinod Raveendran, Odette Mury, Marley Yates, Isabella Groves, Claudia Bookallil, Gabriella Janse van Rensburg, Matilda Fortune, Liam Tull, Tiffany Lam, Yarran Yeend, Morgan Clyne, Emma Bilkey, Year 10 Visual Arts HVGS.


Nadine LaPalma, Carla Killen, Chris Devorcine


Our Metford

As a JAECG and friends we decided to take photos of the things that makes us Metford. With the help of Miss King and Mrs Collier we thought about what was important to us and then took photos to represent our ideas. As you can see Metford Public School encourages us to participate in a range of sports as well as musical and cultural activities. We’ve learnt more about our school, our community and ourselves through this project. We love ‘Our Metford!’

Belonging is based on a design created by parent Carl Davidson in collaboration with students and community members from Telarah Public School for a new shirt design. The work incorporates the Eagle – Kawal, the Hunter River, meeting places and the hand prints which represent the different generations who have attended our school. The schools Positive Behaviours for Learning emblem is clutched between the eagle’s talons to represent that we all value the school and belong to the community. The entire school created individual artworks in specific colours that were cut into smaller pieces and used to create the artwork, so all students helped create this work. The large work is accompanied by individual smaller works.


Students and staff of Telarah Public School


Amanda Craig


Student Project Leaders: Emma Langford, Lexzie-Ann Fraser, Estella Walla and Ryleigh Lewis All students from Tarro Public School, K-6 Special thanks to our Junior AECG, the teachers, parents and community members who supported and assisted with plaiting, weaving, sewing, painting and donating yarn.


Danielle Yeend


Aaliyah Kennedy, Angel Kennedy, Isabella Bitner, Chelsea Hunt, Harmonie Jee, Hazel Miller, Jordel Cordingly, Kyra Gregory, Lilly Webb, Ve’nay Caldwell, Xali Lowe, Erin Herrald


Samantha King, Susan Collier

Maitland Regional Art Gallery 230 High St Maitland NSW 2320 | 02 4934 9859 | MRAG is a proud service of Maitland City Council and is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW. All images are from artworks created by students from the 7 participating schools.

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