CAN’s popular Bush Babies project, now in its fifth phase, is currently focussed on the Perth Eastern suburb of Midland – a region that has one of the highest Aboriginal populations in the metropolitan area.
Babies of the Swan explores the untold stories of the Noongar babies who were born in the bush, reserves or outskirts of towns. Many of these bush babies were born during a time when Aboriginal people were subjected to harsh government policies and denied basic human rights.
By collecting and celebrating these Bush Babies stories, CAN hopes to highlight a chapter in our state’s history that often goes unrecognised.
Some of the Babies of the Swan participants, like local Elder Albert Corunna were born on the banks of the Swan River in Midland. He and his family have ancestral ties to the region, reaching as far back as Noongar freedom fighter Yagan.
Other project participants were born on country elsewhere, but they have made Midland their home and feel strongly connected to the area.
Community Arts Network has been working closely with the Midland community to deliver a variety of community arts workshops, including storytelling, oral history recordings, cultural mapping and story sharing through printmaking techniques.
The workshop will continue throughout 2016 and it’s hoped the project will culminate in an exhibition of artworks and stories.
These photos were taken at a recent workshop where participants explored birthing stories through the medium of printmaking.