My People, Culture and Country (short)



Wally Cooper: The important part of our smoking ceremony here is part of a cleansing of the soul, is part of our spiritual way. When we go through the smoke, our spirit is carried and is taken up and nurtured in our spirit world - because remember that our spirit world is what we gain knowledge from and that's part of how and what we believe in very strongly here.

Liz Suda: Museum Victoria initiated a program through its education section called Indigenous Pathways and the idea was to support young Aboriginal people in Victoria in thinking more broadly about their career opportunities, and we came up with the title My People, My, Culture, My Country which would be represented in a museum kind of way. These young people have taken that idea and they've produced that.

Kimberly Moulton: What you see here is a very powerful exhibition celebrating and honouring the continuation of a strong living Victorian Aboriginal culture.

Lyn Thorpe: I think the beautiful thing is that we all come from different backgrounds and experiences but the pride and the integrity and everything that we might hope to think about in the future is something that will strengthen us.

Blade Larkin: We declare My People, Country and Culture open.


Chanoa Cooper: Each of these pictures represent a part of me. So I've got my Nan and my Pop up there, I was very close to my Nan, and my Pop as well. Then I've got my brother and my sister and they are everything to me so I'm very close to them. This particular picture here shows my musical side, so that's my Nan and my Great-Pop there. I love singing, I've got my own group called One Love and I'm in a choir that performed a production called Pecan Summer so that was really good and this is my Mum and she's my rock, I love my Mum very much and she supports me through everything so I just wanted to show that part of me.

I've got my slate here. I've got a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. It's just saying to bring peace to everything and to come together as one and I've got little symbols of that from my own perspective. It's also got the river where we all come from, the Dhungala River.

I've got a few other objects. I've painted this one picture, it shows the mystery side of the bush. I've also got a piece from my dad, he created a belt and a headband, so traditionally made and everything.

It's a big experience for me, an amazing opportunity for me. Meeting people from the museum who helped me find out more about my family, collecting artefacts that we've got here. It's such a great experience for me, and really emotional for me, to see all my family like that - I got really teary. It was very emotional, but it was very good.

George Atkinson: My exhibition is about family and where I come from. I chose these pictures because they're my ancestors and family means heaps to me.

The top photo is my Mum and Dad and this photo is my Nan's dad Alfred Bamblett. This photo's of my Great-Nan Lulla Bamblett (nee Morgan). The local childcare centre is named after her where my Mum works as a cook and I do one day a week office work there.

This is what I made at school. The design I put on it, the big one, is my Mum. The other two are me and my sister. The turtle is my totem. I put that on there, because it represents my family through all my artwork. Mum will take it home and put it in the lounge room.

The box is also about family. It's called my culture box. I put photos of my Nan and family in there. My Mum put a whole heap of photos together to make a collage of me when I was a baby.

It's been good because I got to express through my artwork where I'm from, my family. The family means a heap to me because if we didn't have family, I don't know what I would be doing.

Blade Larkin: They're my people, my family. That's my Aunty and Uncle and my Mum and Dad. The culture is probably to do with this spear and our fishing hole. I've been fishing there once, caught a catfish - that was pretty cool, had a lot of fun there. We had a family reunion, camped overnight there.

The spear was made at Melbourne Museum with John Duggan. Had a lot of fun. He knapped a spearhead for me because I was shocking at that.

Over there I've got drums, a spearhead, resin, a picture of a cod, a flintstone, I've got a kangaroo tooth necklace. Just seeing all different things about Aboriginal people and their culture is awesome, I loved it.

About this Video

This video documents the launch of the My People, Culture and Country exhibition at the Benalla Art Gallery in December 2010.
Length: 11:03