Tuesday 18 July 2017
By Susan Davis

“Who am I and who is my mob?” is the question being asked by 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Kingsford Smith School in Holt, who are participating 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?’ is designed to give local indigenous students the opportunity to collaborate with Aboriginal artists Peter Finnegan, Lawrence Coghlan, and facilitators from the Messenger Program at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, to investigate and understand their cultural backgrounds.

The purpose of the project is to mentor students through their journey of cultural self-discovery. Following the research period, students will be assisted by Aboriginal artists to carve and burn the symbols and words 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.

Initiated through the CREATE program and developed in partnership with local Aboriginal artists, 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 and looks forward to meeting the students each week as they come to workshops at the Link. The poles will be officially unveiled with their markings at the Ginninderry Spring Festival in October.

Watch this space!