COMMUNITY RECOGNITION STATEMENT - MRAG Winter Exhibition Launch Celebration

Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland): Just as sports fields, pools and parks are important community assets, so too are cultural activities like galleries and libraries. The outstanding Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) provides an excellent range of educational, health, community and cultural programs that enrich our lives.

On June 18, MRAG launched its Winter Season Celebration launch for 'Shadow Boxer', 'Just Not Australian' and 'Barka: The Forgotten River', a collaboration between Badger Bates, Justine Muller and the Wilcannia Community, a video tribute to the life of local Wonnarua Elder Aunty Marj and a stunning solo show 'Impressions of a Journey: Landscapes Between Walcha and Paterson' by Paula Jenkins.

The atmosphere on the night was electric, with many of the featured artists, with other artists supporting them. There was a diverse audience of people from all over Maitland and well beyond. Thanks to Gallery Director Gerry Bobsien and her team Senior Curator Kim Blunt, Exhibition Officer Linden Pomare, Gallery Coordinator, Operations & Engagement Celeste Aldahn, Learning & Audience Development Curators Michelle Maartensz and Anne McLaughlin, Collection Management Curator Cheryl Farrell, Volunteer Officer Maree Skene and all the gallery volunteers, all of whom make events such as this possible in my electorate.