NAIDOC Week celebrations at the Benalla Community Hub

During NAIDOC Week, clients from the Benalla Community Hub used art as a way to connect with the cultures of the Yorta Yorta and the Taungurung Peoples – the traditional owners of the land on which the Benalla Community Hub was built.

NAIDOC Week is the national celebration of the culture and history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands People and our clients and staff celebrated in many different ways.

The photography group went on a trip to see the Lotjpatj Natjan Danak sculpture walk at Lake Mokoan. This collection of sculptures was created by 15 Yorta Yorta artists and shares stories of their living culture, their ancestors, spirituality, ceremonies and connection to the land.

The clients captured many wonderful pictures of the sculptures and the lake.

The Creative Minds group explored their connection to the environment through their art.

“The Creative Minds program is designed to get the clients thinking outside of the box. The program continues to evolve weekly as clients’ confidence grows,” said Kerryn Smith, a staff member at the Benalla Community Hub.

“They are encouraged to use any types of material available to design and create different types of art.”

The group created a mosaic kangaroo for their NAIDOC Week display.

“We have discussed how plastic is damaging and destroying wildlife and their native habitat.” Kerryn said.

“We decided to use bottle tops to create our kangaroo to encourage conversation on recycling and highlight how bottle tops can impact the environment.”

After watching a documentary on Aboriginal art, the Creative Minds group then created their own artworks using dot painting to depict Australian animals.

Jenny, a client at the Hub, said it was a fun project and she “enjoyed creating a turtle on a board” and the challenge of using dot painting.

For the finishing touch on their NAIDOC Week display the group collected native foliage they identified around the hub. The display is now on show, along with pictures of the artists, as part of the Creative Minds gallery in the foyer of the Benalla Community Hub.

Yooralla hosts creative events at their Community Hubs across Victoria, providing people with disability an opportunity to meet new friends, and get involved with the local community, while learning new skills. You can find out more about Yooralla’s Community Hubs and how to join in the fun here.

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