Muswellbrook High, Muswellbrook Public, Denman Public and St James’ Primary join forces with Upper Hunter Youth Service and Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Lands Council for Muswellbrook Resurgence project

FOUR local schools are among those behind Muswellbrook Resurgence, a powerful cultural program, which will be unveiled on Thursday evening.

Students from Muswellbrook High, Muswellbrook Public, Denman Public and St James’ Primary have joined forces with the Upper Hunter Youth Service and Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Lands Council for the project that brings together traditional Aboriginal weaving with a twist of Dr Seuss style and colour to create a series of contemporary woven art forms.   

Aboriginal dancers, speeches and a community barbecue for all residents will help launch Muswellbrook Resurgence at the Muswellbrook Library between 6pm and 8pm.

The nine sculptures will then be on exhibit in the front area of the library until early February.

Upper Hunter Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) president Raylene Price said the initiative had given the youngsters a “wonderful experience and look into their culture”.

“The work of Speaking in Colour has been very inspirational to our children here in the community,” she explained.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have seen this Aboriginal Education program in the Muswellbrook area.

“We’re looking very forward to celebrating everyone’s success.”

Facilitator Cherie Johnson said the project went beyond an art or craft initiative.

“It is a resilience, cultural and self-empowerment program, which outcomes are both tangible and intangible,” the managing director of Speaking in Colour added.

“I am often amazed at how programs like this can build relationships, strengthen and unite communities. 

“We are thrilled with the outcome and look forward to the opening where we can share our experiences and learning with the wider communities.

“I would like to thank Rosslyn ‘Roz’ Thomson from the Wanaruah LALC for her invaluable assistance during this project. 

“Roz helped one day a week over the 10 weeks to support both Denman Public and St James’ Primary in teaching, supporting and completing their sculptures. 

“She has also assisted in the finalisation of all of the sculptures.

“Without her help, we would not have the quality and quantity of sculptures we have on display in this exhibition. 

“I would also like to thank Linda from the Upper Hunter Youth Serve for her assistance with Muswellbrook High and Muswellbrook Primary schools, it’s much appreciated.

“This program does not end here.

“Rather, it’s a chapter within the Speaking in Colour series of programs called Resurgence. 

“The first was ‘Water’ based in the Newcastle region, with 10 groups participating.”