History lessons for children in NAIDOC Week event

By Shepparton News

Kaiela Arts was a hive of activity yesterday as families took part in a craft workshop to commemorate the Cummeragunja Walk-off.

The workshop was part of NAIDOC Week celebrations and children had the opportunity to make their very own boomerang, learn the unique skill of sand painting cardboard animals and create leaf paintings.

Gallery’s education and engagement co-ordinator Rhonda Chrisanthou said the 1939 walk-off was an important event for the region and should not be underestimated.

‘‘It was a really significant event for local Aboriginal communities, much of their history stems back from that walk-off and why they came to Shepparton, so I think it’s important for young children to understand that and to know about that history,’’ she said.

The craft activities replicated many of the techniques used in the centre’s current display, called Foot Prints in the Sand.

The current works have been created by a range of local indigenous artists who have connections to the walk-off.

Ms Chrisanthou said the workshop brought people from the community into the gallery to take part in NAIDOC Week.

‘‘It brings people into the gallery, so they can also look at the exhibition that is on display which includes sand painting and stories from the Cummeragunja walk-off,’’ she said.

A second free craft session will take place at the gallery on Friday, July 12, and the artworks will be on display until Wednesday, July 31.

For more information, go to