Public art panels installed in Parkes CBD ahead of 2019 NAIDOC Week

NEW HOME: Parkes Shire Council's Destination Development Manager Kelly Hendry and Wilcannia Forbes Central Council Executive Officer of the St Vincent de Paul Society Kelly Morgan are delighted to see the artwork repurposed ahead of NAIDOC Week 2019. Photo: Submitted
NEW HOME: Parkes Shire Council's Destination Development Manager Kelly Hendry and Wilcannia Forbes Central Council Executive Officer of the St Vincent de Paul Society Kelly Morgan are delighted to see the artwork repurposed ahead of NAIDOC Week 2019. Photo: Submitted

A series of public art panels in Parkes have been given a new home in the town's CBD as part of this year's NAIDOC celebrations.

Parkes Shire Council has partnered with the St Vincent de Paul Society to have the 'Erratic Symbiosis, Unearthing Past Voices - Sowing Future Visions' panels installed on the exterior wall of the Vinnies shop in Welcome Street, facing the Parkes Post Office carpark.

The artwork was part of a temporary exhibition in 2017, formerly located on the corner of Church and Clarinda streets, as part of the NAIDOC celebrations that year.

"By repurposing the panels, we are extending the life of the artwork, brightening the CBD, giving exposure to the local artists, but more importantly, promoting the message of reconciliation and working together as a community for a shared future," council's Destination Development Manager, Kelly Hendry said.

"A big thank you to the St Vincent de Paul Society for supporting the public art program and offering their wall to display the artwork."

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The paintings were a collaborative project between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups and individuals, including local artists Scott Turnbull, Sean Cassidy and Scott 'Sauce' Towney, as well as Parkes Painters and Parkes Potters groups, and Craft Corner members.

The panels have been installed at their new location just in time for this year's NAIDOC Week (July 7-14 ).

The theme for this year's NAIDOC Week is 'Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let's work together for a shared future'.

"We are honoured to have this artwork displayed on the wall of our Vinnies store in such a prominent position [for] NAIDOC Week," Wilcannia Forbes Central Council Executive Officer of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Kelly Morgan said.

"This is an opportunity for the Society to reaffirm our commitment to reconciliation between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

"Vinnies has had a long and strong presence in urban and regional centres around NSW, with our people working and serving on the traditional land of many Aboriginal nations and clan groups."

In 2018, the St Vincent de Paul Society published a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which articulates the organisation's commitment to being guided by Traditional Owners, Elders, organisations and communities on how best to advance reconciliation and to deliver actions aimed at closing social and economic gaps.

"Through our RAP, the Society pledges to make a substantial difference in the lives of the people we engage, employ or assist," Mrs Morgan said.

"Displaying this artwork on our shop wall, is an opportunity to publicly display this pledge.

"We are also working on displaying a specially designed Acknowledgement of Country plaque in all our Vinnies facilities. The plaques will carry messages about the importance of coming together and building relationships in the journey towards reconciliation."

NAIDOC Week is held nationally in July and is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements, and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions Indigenous Australians make to the country and society.

For those interested in learning more about the Parkes Shire Public Art Trail can visit www.parkes.nsw.gov.au/things-to- do/arts-culture/public-art/.