Thursday 12 October 2017
By Susan Davis

“Who am I and who is my mob?” was the question asked by a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who participated in the aptly named joint Ginninderry and Rotary sponsored project. An initiative of Ginninderry’s CREATE program, ‘Who am I and Who is my Mob?’ gave local Aboriginal students the opportunity to collaborate with artists Peter Finnegan, James Smalls, Brett Carpenter and facilitators from the Messenger Program at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, to investigate and understand their cultural backgrounds.

The purpose of the project was to mentor students through a journey of cultural self-discovery. Following the research period students assisted the artists to paint symbols specific to their heritage onto the standing poles situated in the central courtyard of Ginninderry’s multipurpose community centre, The Link. Here the poles and their culturally significant markings will not only serve as a physical reminder of the students’ heritage, but also of the region’s diverse cultural history.

Further inspiration for the project came from Ngunawal Elder Wally Bell, who pointed out that while the Ngunawal people are the custodians of the ACT region, it is important for the Ginninderry project to pay homage to the many other tribal groups now living in the ACT region.

The Ginninderry project team is very excited to host this initiative at the project’s multipurpose community centre, The Link. The poles will be officially unveiled with their markings at the Ginninderry’s Springfest community event on 14th October.

“Who Am I and Who Is My Mob’ is an initiative of the Ginninderry CREATE Program which brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students, facilitators from the Messenger Program at Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Artists Peter Finnegan,  James Smalls and Brett Carpenter.