Encouraging local artists to look up and fly

Emerging and existing artists across the Wellington district are set to be taken under the wing of Orana Arts, thanks to a new partnership made possible by the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has today announced $152,439 for Orana Arts to deliver the Maliyan Cultural Centre development program.

The program will be delivered in two parts:

  • Ngiyangarra (Look up) – six local artists attend weekend workshops with leading Aboriginal creatives in visual art, literature, digital and performance to building skills and broaden their scope
  • Barrangirra (Fly) – an installation/presentation of works developed by the six artists

“This project takes the idea of Maliyan itself, the wedge-tailed eagle, soaring above, looking at the opportunities and then taking that first flight,” Mr Saunders said.

“We know there’s plenty of talent in and around Wellington, people who maybe haven’t had the opportunity to be nurtured and have some structured training. This funding will deliver that not once but twice, supporting 12 artists in total over 2 years.

“Some of these will be emerging artists that we’ve never really seen work from before. We really want to encourage that, and I’m excited to see what they create!”

Maliyan is operated by the Wellington Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), which has previously partnered with Orana Arts on ID(hero), an exhibition running until January 26.

Wellington LALC CEO Tara Stanley said the projects show “what we can do when we come together for our community”.

“This is an awesome opportunity for the Maliyan centre and the community members themselves – for the local artists, it means so much,” Ms Stanley said.

“We already have people that are so talented in this community, that just don’t have their foot in the door, so this is an awesome opportunity for them to branch out, showcase their skills and really show everybody what they’ve got!

“I’m really looking forward to working with Orana Arts to deliver this project and I can’t wait to see the final product!”

Orana Arts’ Camilla Ward said the Maliyan Cultural Centre has an important role to play in reconnecting the community after a challenging and isolating few years.

“There’s so much talent here and I’m really excited to be working with the community to help nurture and develop, and also learn from them,” Mrs Ward said.

“It’s very much a two-way street, so Orana Arts is just so delighted and thankful to the NSW Government that we’ve been given this opportunity.

“We really encourage anyone that is hearing this and thinks ‘why not? I want to give it a go’ – we would love to support you!”

Artists can get involved by contacting Orana Arts or the Wellington Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $3.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services and community infrastructure in the regions.

For more information, visit: nsw.gov.au/sccf

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