Country Arts WA visits the NG Land

Country Arts WA visits the NG Land

Regional Arts WA

Written by Tegan Morey

In mid-April I headed out to the Ngaanyatjarra Lands and Spinifex region with Barb Howard (Focus Region Project Manager) and Gary Cooper (Creative Producer at Tjuma Pulka Media Aboriginal Corporation) for a week of community visits and consultations.

Landscapes of the NG Lands. Photo by Tegan Morey.

Landscapes of the NG Lands. Photo by Tegan Morey.

Our first stop was Warburton, where we visited Wilurarra Creative – an organisation which supports young locals to build skills in artistic practice, leadership, and community development. Director Silvano Giordano showed us around the organisation’s space which includes a computer lab, creative project space, social change hair salon and a recording studio for the wealth of local budding musicians. Wilurarra Creative provides a place where young people can focus on developing their interests and trying out new creative ventures, and the young people of Warburton have really taken ownership of Wilurarra.

Lex, Silvano and Barb at Wilurarra Creative in Warburton

Lex, Silvano and Barb at Wilurarra Creative in Warburton. Photo by Tegan Morey.

We then headed to Wingellina to visit NG Media and the Wingellina Community Resource Centre. NG Media’s CEO Mark Finlay showed us the working radio station where local young people are mentored to produce their own radio shows, and the short films currently being edited. NG Media pairs professional artists and technicians with local young people to develop skills and produce high-quality locally made material. We also saw the recording studio, which was full of young guys in the midst of band rehearsal. We were able to meet up with two members of the Red Sand Beat Band, who will be supported by Country Arts WA to travel to Kalgoorlie to perform at the July NAIDOC week celebrations. It was awesome to see their enthusiasm for both music and for inspiring other young people to explore their creativity and live healthy lives.

After Wingellina we drove through the beautiful sand-hilled country down to Tjuntjuntjara, one of the most remote communities in WA. We met with some local young people and the Youth Officer to chat about possible interest in a youth-led skills development project, and spent time at the amazing Tjuntjuntjara Women’s Centre, a real hub of activity in the community where women of all ages come to create art and bush medicine, run a weekly café, and cook daily meals for the community’s elderly residents. A real highlight was meeting up with Spinifex Artists and visiting the elders as they painted on country. Huge thanks to the Women’s Centre Coordinator Rachel Lattimore for letting us camp out on her lounge room floor!

I ended the trip absolutely inspired by the unique art being produced in these remote communities, and the clear investment that each community is making in supporting their local young people in developing skills in their areas of interest.

Post and images by Tegan Morey, Regional Arts Development Officer.

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