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Indigenous group celebrates fifth birthday with art exhibition


City of Casey Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon and Cr Rosalie Crestani joined Casey’s indigenous group, Yarn and Art, yesterday afternoon to celebrate the group’s fifth birthday. The celebration also included the unveiling of the group’s Bunjil Place Studio exhibition Gathering of the Tribes, which will be open for the public as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations and run until 11 July.

Yarn and Art, Casey’s first seniors’ group for Indigenous Elders and their community connected through kinship, supports group members to explore their creative side with various art mediums such as painting, knitting, and mosaic, all while ‘having a yarn’. It commenced in 2014 as one of Casey’s Community Care Social Support programs and has proved to be integral in keeping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders connected to one another and the wider community. The group also supports members in accessing information and referrals to relevant health support services.

The Mayor thanked the Elders for sharing their stories and for teaching others about the City of Casey’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

“Since its inception, Yarn and Art group members have generously showcased their rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage through their artworks and by displaying these works at various Casey venues under the exhibition title, ‘Gathering of the Tribes’. We are fortunate to have this exhibition here at the Bunjil Place Studio during NAIDOC week,” she said.

“We hope you continue coming together at Yarn and Art and displaying your artworks for many more years to come. I am proud to have the opportunity to be here with you today, to celebrate the fifth year of Casey’s Yarn and Art program.”

Casey's Community Care Social Support service is supported by the Australian Government Department of Health, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and by Council itself. The Yarn and Art program was the first Casey program specifically developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and their communities connected through kinship.

The group originally met at Casey’s Narre Warren Social Support Centre, and officially moved to their new home at Casey's Aboriginal Gathering Place when it opened in 2016. Yarn and Art was one of the first groups to run from this site.

Gathering of the Tribes exhibition

Pictured Top: (left to right) Cr Rosalie Crestani, Uncle Doug Smith, Natasha Smith and Cr Amanda Stapledon.
Above: 'Gathering of the Tribes', an arts and cultural exhibition dedicated to honour the arts created by indigenous group, 'Yarn and Art'.