MEDIA RELEASE - WAG wins funding to support Aboriginal girls in arts and entrepreneurship

Creative Cultural Journey to Boost Aboriginal Girls in South West Victoria

A Warrnambool Art Gallery initiative that supports the involvement of Aboriginal girls in arts and entrepreneurship has been awarded a $50,000 Victorian Government grant.

The Ngatook Collective, a project designed to engage and immerse young Aboriginal girls in First Nations’ culture whilst developing life-long and practical skills receivedthe grant through the Office for Women.

In announcing the grant, Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams said the government was committed to promoting and achieving gender equity across Victoria.

“The Ngatook Collective reflects a real commitment to ensuring that women and girls in Victoria have access to equal resources and opportunities, and that their voices, ideas and work are equally valued,” Minister Williams said.

“I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of this project and the difference it makes.”

WAG Director Vanessa Gerrans welcomed the funding and said the project would be delivered with the support of local Aboriginal leaders.

“Ngatook means ‘myself’ in the local Peek Wooroong language and this project seeks to reaffirm Aboriginal culture and identity while giving participants a sense of what is possible in the creative industries,” Ms Gerrans said.

“Through a range of activities and programs in partnership with professional facilitators, participants will develop their entrepreneurial and design skills to create a product.

“The design work will beinformed and inspired by learning about local design traditions.

“This program will be supported at all times by strong, female leaders from the Aboriginal community who will foster a sense of pride and ownership in traditional and local Aboriginal culture.

The grant allows us to offer the program across the South West and we’ll talk to schools, communities and organisations on how to best support interested students.”

WAG has a strong relationship with the local Aboriginal communities and has worked collaboratively with local Elders and artists to deliver exhibitions, programs and education sessions.

Building upon those relationships, WAG established the Maar Nation Gallery and Aboriginal-led legacy Initiative in 2018, the First Nations people of South West Victoria for the first time had a central place for the interpretation of history and culture through exhibition.

It also created a meeting place, for education, passing on knowledge, sharing stories and showing contemporary culture to many young people and the greater community. The Initiative has led to the Maar Nation Steering Committee of Elders and Cultural Leaders which has directed the development of the space.

Through the Committee, local Elders expressed a need for the transfer of cultural and local traditional knowledge to the younger generation, including girls.

Media contact: Nick Higgins
e:nhiggins [at] warrnambool [dot] vic [dot] gov [dot] au –t:03 5559 4934– m: 0466199511