New artwork for Faculty

1 August 2014

On Wednesday 30th August, members of the Faculty gathered in brilliant sunshine in order to celebrate the purchase of two new Aboriginal artworks. The event marked a turning point in our awareness of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander presence on our campus.

Proceedings started with a Smoking Ceremony, performed by Elder, Uncle Max Eulo. These ceremonies are carried out partially for the purpose of cleansing, but also to symbolise new beginnings. In the words of Professor Shane Houston, who is the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Indigenous Strategy and Services, we are demonstrating a change in attitude, and a movement towards better celebrating Indigenous culture here on campus.

Uncle Max Eulo
Uncle Max Eulo

Jackson Conaty, a student of the Faculty, gave an Acknowledgement of Country, in which we paid respect to the traditional owners of the land on which the University sits. Professor Rosanne Taylor, the Dean of Veterinary Science, then talked about the two paintings and their stories. The artists are Morris Gibson Tjapaltjarri, who depicts the spring water site of Patantjanya and two pythons who live there, and Narrabri Nakamarra, whose painting speaks of Payarrnga, a place of sandhills and rocky outcrops created by a blue tongue lizard.

Professor Shane Houston spoke about the significance of the smoking ceremony as a new beginning,and what it means for the Faculty to have purchased these two paintings, before Jackson Conaty cut the ribbons to reveal the paintings. The paintings will make a welcome difference to the walls of the Webster Lecture Theatre, where they will allow students to reflect on their significance, as well as beinga pleasant place to rest their eyes during lectures.

Dr Jaime Gongora, the Faculty's Sub Dean for Indigenous Strategy, organised this initiative with thesupport of the Chancellor's Committeeas part of the Wingara Mura Strategy. This strategy hopes to be a way to expand Aboriginal education, research and engagement to become part of the core activity of the University. In future plans, Dr Gongora hopes to be able to replicate this ceremony with some artwork by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork for our rural campus in Camden.

Contact: Dr Jaime Gongora

Phone: 02 9036 9348

Email: 2316282f0d642c072a031c115772070b0e192b0c762921464a275a