Visitors to Tully exploring opportunities for women

Visitors to Tully exploring opportunities for women

Yesterday CRACA,  Tully’s local arts centre, hosted an afternoon tea for some women visiting from Papua New Guinea.

They have been building ties with the local community and the plan is to make it possible for them to return here for seasonal work which will help support their families and projects back home.

All of the women were very accomplished, and within the group there was a farmer, business studies student, and a woman with a background of politics, as well as this they all had traditional handicraft skills.

They visited the arts centre to share some bags they made, and make connections with local artists.  They have also visited local schools and a banana farm.

The afternoon tea was attended by writers, artists, gardeners, potters, weavers, the ladies’ hosts, and members of CRACA, the local Tully Arts Centre.

The women were given a warm reception and invitations to dinners and exchange handicraft skills were made for their return.

A fabulous afternoon tea was put on by CRACA, and some friendships forged.

There will no doubt by a write up in the local paper, as a local retired reporter who often writes for the paper was busy talking to the host and to the ladies.

It was a beautiful day, especially for me,  as I come from Mekeo background (PNG Indigenous group.)

The women, although I have never travelled to my mother’s homeland were very kind and want to make me a bilum with Australian flag on one side and Papua New Guinea flag on the other.

As for me I am working on a photo book in return, as I am no good at handicrafts.

I joked that this skill has skipped a generation and made it into the hands of my daughter.

There was a lot of laughter and some skill sharing.

A memorable afternoon, and everyone looks forward to their return.

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Local artist learns some new techniques

Murray Upper Cultural Day: A Photo Essay

Recently my son’s school went for a cultural day with some local Elders.

The day began with a Welcome to Country.

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Welcome to Country – June Perkins

The children broke into smaller groups and some went for a rainforest walk to learn about the plants.

It rained on the way so some of the students made hats out of leaves.

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Elder Talking about Plants – June Perkins

The children learnt about weaving.  They had to watch carefully.

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Weaving Elder – June Perkins

Some made a very good attempt at it.  A few managed, with some assistance, to nearly finish small baskets.

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Weaving – by June Perkins

Then a yummy damper, made by the Elders for lunch, was enjoyed by all. It was topped with syrup.

Every single piece went.

Cutting up Damper - June Perkins
Cutting up Damper – June Perkins

The children shared their fruit with the Elders and also teacher aides made the Elder’s warm cuppas as they worked with the children.

Reciprocity is important!

Elder Weaving & Cuppa - June Perkins

The children  attempted to make smoke, traditional style, and mainly made their hands warm!  No chance of any fire in the forest.  Lots of rain around too.

Making Smoke - June Perkins
Making Smoke – June Perkins

The children did some painting on bark and paper.  One of the teacher aides put a dot for every child who came on the excursion onto some bark.

She hopes this event happens with even more organisation and participation from community next year.

Bark Painting - June Perkins
Bark Painting – June Perkins

On the way home we all visited the information centre to view some artifacts.   We had to go in, in small groups as it was a small building.

There were some examples of baskets and shields within.

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Information Centre- June Perkins
Information Centre- June Perkins

The day ended with a bus trip back to school and time for everyone to reflect on what they had learnt.

A slide show of the trip was shared at school that evening.

A copy of all the photographs, including some not featured here or on the public flickr link is with the school

and parents can ask for them care of the school.

You can see more pictures here  at:  Murray Upper Culture Day