Statement, Hedland art awards
September 30, 2014
Pilbara region of my electorate of Durack is the iron ore town of Port Hedland.
If you are travelling to the Pilbara, I urge you to view the art from the
Hedland Art Awards in the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery. As the local member,
it was a great pleasure to officially launch the awards recently, which
showcase the talents of established and emerging artists, both Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal, from the Pilbara, Kimberley, Gascoyne and Mid West regions of
about the development of the Aboriginal art industry in Durack just 10 years
ago, places like Roebourne and the Mowajum community in Derby were leading the
way. Successful models were established by them for developing the artists' talents
and then exhibiting their works in cities throughout Australia and
internationally. The Roebourne model has been supported by RIO Tinto and is
being replicated. We are seeing development of Aboriginal art as an enterprise
in communities in the Mid West, the Kimberley—who can forget those wonderfully
talented ladies in the Fitzroy?—and, of course, Port Hedland. Quite a number of
the efforts have developed into microbusinesses and are ensuring skills
development, retention of culture, personal pride and achievement, income and
development of sustainable enterprises.
Art Awards had 10 categories, with the top award going to an Aboriginal artist.
Most Outstanding Work, with a prize of $20,000, went to Daisy Japulija. Best
Work by an Indigenous Artist, with a prize of $15,000, went to Bugai Whyoulter.
Art is thriving in remote and regional Durack communities, and I am very proud.