An inspiring exhibition is being presented by the University of Tasmania in partnership with Reconciliation Tasmania at Burnie’s Makers’ Workshop.
Youth Speakout features the artwork of students who have creatively interpreted their feelings about the issues affecting Tasmania’s Aboriginal communities, in response to the theme of ‘In this Together’.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, around 80 submissions were received for the exhibition from 14 primary and secondary schools across Tasmania.
These included striking posters, thoughtful prose, paintings on canvas, linocut prints, photography, mixed media pieces and digital collage.
Cradle Coast campus Arts and Public Programs Coordinator Joanna Gair said the University was proud to be sharing the resulting works as part of its NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations.
“The themes expressed in this exhibition speak volumes about the way our young people are connecting with Tasmanian Aboriginal issues,” Ms Gair said.
“Titles like ‘Stronger Together’ and ‘Same Difference’ demonstrate that young Tasmanians see equality as a key message this year.
“We are delighted to present this thought-provoking exhibition in the context of this important, national celebration.”
Vicki Dewsbury from Reconciliation Tasmania said the students’ response to the National Reconciliation Week theme of ‘In this Together’ had been inspiring.
“Reconciliation Tasmania is aiming for Youth Speakout to become a fantastic opportunity and a highly visible event on the education calendar for all Tasmanian youth to have their say on past and current issues around reconciliation,” Ms Dewsbury said.
“We hope the event attracts further interest, gains momentum, and secures continued support and exhibition space again next year.”
Aboriginal Student Success Officer, at the Riawunna Centre at the University, Brendan Murray said, “the artworks in the exhibition give children a deeper understanding of the issues facing Tasmanian Aboriginal people and the knowledges they will gain will help them learn more about my people and our culture.”
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership at the University, Professor Greg Lehman said, “This exhibition is a genuine window into the empathy that exists amongst future generations for the challenges that Aboriginal people live with.
“Young Tasmanians from all walks of life appreciate the value of Aboriginal culture and knowledge.”
Youth Speakout will continue in the Makers’ Space, Makers’ Workshop until 6 December.
This year’s entries will be shared at https://rectas.com.au.
Image: An Open Letter to Australia 2020 - collaborative work by students at St. Patrick's College