Rekindling Stories on Country is a platform where Noongar culture and language are acknowledged and celebrated in Western Australia and recognised nationally and internationally for their contribution to Australia’s cultural identity. Through the production of authentic and inspiring artistic work CAN facilitates Noongar cultural expression, significantly impacting the lives of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of the region and beyond.
Over the next four years CAN’s creative program is guided by four key initiatives that underpin projects across Noongar Country. These interwoven strands will become greater than the sum of their parts through an integrated program that produces inspiring art, develops artists and builds the capacity of communities.
By delivering inspiring art through RSoC, we are able to not only achieve excellent artistic outcomes with participating communities, but also enhance our development of creative and professional pathways for artists, increase the profile and understanding of our communities, thereby opening up more platforms for artists and allowing stories to be shared more widely.
CAN has three Arts Production Goals specific to delivering Rekindling Stories on Country:
- Produce excellent art by, with, and for Noongar communities and share the work/s locally, nationally and internationally.
- Create opportunities for cultural dialogue between Noongar Elders and young people, which ensures intergenerational cultural transmissions beyond the life of individual projects.
- Develop the capacity and resilience of established and emerging artists to work in complex community contexts.
- CAN’s key strategy to realise these goals is to facilitate a space for Noongar communities to come together with skilled artists to create authentic and contemporary expression of culture. This space is founded on trust, strong relationships with participating communities and a commitment to engaging artists and arts workers who can produce excellent artistic outcomes.
- The Noongar Nation represents the single biggest language and cultural bloc in Aboriginal Australia and Noongar people are the Traditional Owners of the southwest region of WA (190,000 square kilometres of land). Extending our work across Noongar country builds on CAN’s successful work with Noongar Elders and young people in the Wheatbelt region of WA and responds to a growing demand from other communities to facilitate the creative sharing of untold stories and the production of art. The work seeks to improve cultural knowledge and understanding among Noongar people, particularly for young people under 18 years of age who, in the Wheatbelt, make up almost half of the Aboriginal population.
- This strategy aims also to work in collaboration with state, national and eventually international cultural agencies, to share the outcomes of the work and weave stories of Noongar culture through new presentation avenues. This work is unique, as many Noongar stories remain largely invisible or unknown in WA, across Australia and beyond.
- The Noongar Nation has successfully negotiated a land settlement with the Western Australian state government. This claim is cited as the single biggest native title claim in Australia’s history and the details are currently being finalised. It is anticipated that settlement will include resources for a wide range of community cultural initiatives and programs initiated by the Noongar community. In this context, CAN foresees new opportunities for collaborative work that furthers best practice CACD engagement.
- We will focus on particular regions of the Noongar Nation each year – and over the course of the four years move across Noongar country to produce work in all six native title areas by 2020.
CAN’s arts production program 2017-2020:
- Builds on successful projects and partnerships developed as part of RSoC 2014-2016 (such as Bush Babies and Noongar Dolls) as well as introduces a number of fresh creative concepts.
- Allows projects to be scaled – geographically and in terms of size and breadth so that we can build on successful outcomes, share our processes more effectively and create greater impact where there is energy and traction with communities.
- Gives opportunities for the creative outcomes to connect nationally and internationally AND feed into our capacity building and strategic advocacy functions.