This week sees Reconciliation NSW launching the 2018 Schools Reconciliation Challenge (SRC) exhibition at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ (MAAS) Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Over 1200 students participated in this year’s Our Voices Our Future theme for the Schools Reconciliation Challenge. Art and writing entries came from Moruya to Tumblegum, from Coogee to Winmalee and each student imagined a future Australia where reconciliation had been achieved. Moruya High School's Katrina Tuckey is a finalist in this years 2018 Schools Reconciliation Challenge.
Above: Katrina Tuckey's entry The Schools Reconciliation Challenge is an annual art and writing competition for primary and high school students across NSW and the ACT, hosted by Reconciliation NSW. The 2018 theme is Our Voices, Our Future celebrating the voices of young people and empowering students to recognise that their voices matter. "Young people are our future and every young person has a unique and important role to play in contributing their voices to reconciliation." Our Voices, Our Future is also about acknowledging and valuing the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples voices and perspectives within Australia’s national story and reconciliation journey. The 2018 Schools Reconciliation Challenge Exhibition showcases young people’s visions for their futures and a reconciled Australia encouraging young people to dream big and share their visions for our future and see the power that they have to effect change within their school and local community through their listening, words and actions. In presenting her entry Katrina Tuckey offered the following in her Artist Statement "My artwork expresses the need for change and unity." The title refers to the ‘cloud’ that people speak, their ideas and plans for the future. By having two people of different gender, age and heritage speaking these words, it expresses the fact that it doesn’t matter if you’re different, together we can bring change. This relates to both reconciliation and the theme Our Voices, Our Future. In the work I also included Aboriginal symbols, this represents meeting of ideas and collaboration. The border signifies a connection to the land, and our need to protect it. Reconciliation means… Coming together or uniting for change. It can also mean reuniting or restoring something that was lost. The Challenge is facilitated through the Schools Reconciliation Challenge website to find out more visit schoolsreconciliationchallenge.org.au
Next year the Schools Reconciliation Challenge celebrates it’s 10 year anniversary and would welcome more schools in the Eurobodalla/Moruya area to participate - register at www.schoolsreconciliationchallenge.org.au
MAAS Head of Indigenous Engagement & Strategy Marcus Hughes said “MAAS has worked with Reconciliation NSW for the past three years and in that time has seen the program engage students in positive models of reconciliation that they will take into their adult lives. We look forward to continuing this important work with the SRC.”
Through the SRC, Reconciliation NSW provided resources and web-based lessons to support students’ understanding and desire for a better future for all Australians. Many schools also connected with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and experts who inspired students with bush medicine, astrology, artistic techniques and cultural explorations.
“It is a privilege to be able to offer this educational and cultural experience to so many NSW school children". Reconciliation NSW Co-Chair Professor Lindon Coombes stated, and the results clearly show that teachers and students are willing and excited to connect to culture and truth telling.
The Schools Reconciliation Challenge exhibition is at the MAAS Powerhouse Museum until Friday 9 November. The exhibition then moves to the ACT for a launch hosted by the National Gallery of Australia, followed by a travelling exhibition throughout NSW sponsored by the National Trust and Lendlease
Above: Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School First Prize, High School Art 2017 The Beagle sends its best wishes to Katrina Tuckey and her teacher is Jo Best-McMahon in the competition.