COMMUNITY RECOGNITION STATEMENT - Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland) (21:16:29): This NAIDOC Week I congratulate everyone involved with the 2019 Maitland Regional Art Gallery [MRAG] exhibition Stories from Wonnarua Country, which won the Australian Museums and Galleries Association MAGNA 2020 major award for Interpretation, Learning & Audience Engagement.
Over a period of 18 months, MRAG partnered with Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council, Maitland Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and Wonnarua Elders in a series of three‑day workshops with local Aboriginal students, including a day on country at Baiame Cave.
The students from Francis Greenway High School, Maitland High School, Hunter Valley Grammar School and Metford, Tarro, Telarah and Woodberry public schools created artworks depicting what it means to be on Wonnarua country today. They engaged their whole school community with identity, cultural awareness and knowledge in each project. The resulting exhibition was spectacular and ran for five months, attracting over 20,000 people.
I congratulate them on what was more than an exhibition, it was a powerful moment for our community.