Nara Dreaming Exhibition a celebration of reconciliation, organisers say

A CENTRAL Victorian art initiative is fostering respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-indigenous Australians. 

Friday marks the opening of the eighth annual Nara Dreaming Exhibition, a cross-cultural exhibition showcasing visual and performing arts.

Indigenous and non-indigenous artists have contributed paintings, photography, sculptures and craft work to the event, which runs until June 4. 

The exhibition coincides with National Reconciliation Week, a celebration and commitment to the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. 

Two milestones bookend reconciliation week this year.

The starting date, May 27, is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, which empowered federal parliament to make laws in relation to Indigenous people and enabled Indigenous people to be included in the census.

The week’s end, June 3, commemorates the 25th anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision, which overturned the concept of terra nullius. 

Anne Conway, of the Nara Dreaming organising committee, said those involved in the Nara Dreamning Exhibition considered it reconciliation in action. 

“Without the meetings, the lectures, the polarisation – just a group of people who are getting along just fine, working side-by-side and celebrating this wonderful country we all call home,” she said. 

The Nara Dreaming Exhibition runs from 10am – 4pm on weekends and by arrangement on weekdays. 

It will be officially opened by City of Greater Bendigo deputy mayor Rod Fyffe at 6.30pm on Friday at Bill’s Shed, also known as Avisford.

The shed is located at 1023 Calder Alternative Highway, Lockwood.

Entry is by donation to New Horizons Welfare Services.

Sausage sizzles have been planned for two Sundays during the exhibition – May 21 and May 28 – from 11am to 2pm.

Dingoes will visit the exhibition on May 28.

Representatives from the Nara Dreaming Exhibition attended the Community HART awards in 2016. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Representatives from the Nara Dreaming Exhibition attended the Community HART awards in 2016. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Central Victorian community radio program an award finalist

BENDIGO-based community broadcaster Phoenix FM has been recognised for its weekly Indigenous program. 

The Koori Shout-Out rates among the finalists of the 2017 Community HART awards.

Three other small community organisations or groups are vying to clinch the category, including the Mullagh Wills Foundation, the Tarerer Gunditj Project Association, and Warrnambool Community Garden.

Awards will also be presented in the categories of local government and large community organisation/group during a presentation ceremony in Melbourne on June 2.

Now in their fourth year, the Community Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together awards recognise local governments and community organisations that are advancing reconciliation in Victoria. 

The awards are run by Reconciliation Victoria in partnership with the Victorian Local Governance Association and Bank Australia.

The Nara Dreaming Exhibition was a finalist in the 2016 Community HART awards.