Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan | The Arts Centre Gold Coast | 7
Our partnerships/current activities We have continued our commitment to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts programs through the delivery of the performance of Djuki Mala (Chooky Dancers) and Dewayne Everettsmith on the theatre stage in March 2014. This performance coincided with the launch of Yugambeh Museum’s Write into Art education project launch which encourages schools to connect our Gallery’s Saltwater Country exhibition and associated gallery activities to their NAIDOC week programming in July. Additional activities were conducted around the Centre including a smoking ceremony, Welcome to Country, an impromptu performance by William Barton, one of Australia’s finest traditional didgeridoo players and a leading didgeridoo player in the classical world, the national anthem sung in Yugambeh language as well as various other performances on the terrace stage which made for a truly cultural and memorable experience for all those who attended. In addition, TACGC has developed a partnership with Blak Lines National Indigenous Touring Consortium to collaborate the delivery of the Blak Lines touring circuit at TACGC. TACGC was also proud to present a selection of films from the National Film and Sound Archive as part of NAIDOC Week 2014. The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is the nation’s living archive, collecting, preserving and sharing our rich audio visual heritage. As part of NAIDOC week 2014, we secured a suite of short and feature length Indigenous films through the Black Screen program which is part of the National Film and Sound Archive. Black Screen provides free on-loan access to a collection of Indigenous films for the purpose of community screening events and festivals throughout the year. In addition, we were also proud to engage with the local Yugambeh community to facilitate a community screening of the acclaimed movie Charlie’s Country in August 2014 which was widely attended. 6
As part of TACGC’s commitment to promoting First Australian People’s visual art, the South Stradbroke Emerging Indigenous Artist Camp was initiated by Gold Coast City Gallery as a significant local companion project to the development of the exhibition Saltwater Country showing from 19 July to 31 August 2014 and was delivered in partnership with the Cultural Development Unit of City of Gold Coast to support the development of local professional arts practice. Following consultation with the community and with Council, Aboriginal artists from the region were invited to apply to participate in the camp and nine where chosen to attend. They spent a week together at the northern end of South Stradbroke Island in March 2014 and undertook a rigorous program of making art that involved both historical and personal research. Under the guidance of lead artist Judy Watson, they had the confidence to experiment with unfamiliar mediums, the opportunity to share and discuss family histories and their impact on lives, and how those stories might be expressed through creative practice. 7
Most importantly, they had the time and support to look closely at the sandy island and its plants and animals on both the western calm water side and the exposed beach on the east, and made direct artistic responses to those places. The results of the camp were presented in a Foyer Gallery exhibition in July 2014. Senior Curator, Virginia Rigney, and Indigenous Officer, Jo-Anne Driessens, co-ordinated the organisation of the camp and worked with local First Australian Peoples mentors, Michael Aird and Maureen Newton, on the island to support the artists. Leading on from this will be an opportunity for students of schools whom have implemented the Write into Art education program to work with the First Australian People’s art exhibiting in Saltwater Country via The Saltwater Project Student Young Artist Immersion Day on 20 August 2014. The retaining of Dr Patrick Corrigan AM, as a member of TACGC’s Board and Chairman of the Gold Coast City Gallery Committee further supported our commitment towards reconciliation. Dr Corrigan AM is a well-known art philanthropist with a significant interest in Aboriginal art and culture. Finally, TACGC gratefully acknowledges the support of Bond University as the Presenting Partner of our Indigenous Program. We look forward to continuing to bring all members of the community together.