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The proud, strong faces of more than 150 Aboriginal women have taken pride of place in the heart of Perth during NAIDOC week.

The portraits were screened on a 45 metre high digital tower in Yagan Square. The month leading up to NAIDOC week, Community Arts Network, in partnership with Camera Story collected the photos at a series of community photography workshops across Perth. The photos were then compiled with quotes inspired by this year’s NAIDOC theme, Because of her, we can.

The portraits subjects were all ages, from newborn to nineties.

Hundreds of people turned up to the square on Monday July 9 to see the portraits broadcast for the first time.

“It was just so incredible and empowering to see those women shining on the giant tower and to see their Because of her, we can quotes. Some of the photos had words the portrait subjects had written themselves, others contained tributes and dedications from loved ones.” Said CAN project manager Michelle White.

Noongar Elder and traditional custodian Elizabeth Hayden welcomed the large crowd to the screening and delivered most of her speech in language, paying tribute to all the moorditj yorgas on Wadjuk boodja.

The middar yorgas, which is a family run, all female traditional dance group performed for the audience and local Noongar singer Natasha Eldridge performed a song especially written for this year’s NAIDOC theme.

Community Arts Network is a not for profit arts organisation based in Perth which is dedicated to delivering arts and cultural projects that create change.

The Middar Yorgas family dance group will perform and then extend an open invitation for all women to join them in song and dance.

Noongar singer/songwriter Natasha Eldridge will perform her original song Because of her, we can and guests will be treated to light lunch and refreshments.

CAN hopes the empowering stories of First Nation women will encourage everyone to pay tribute to the special women in their life. They can do so by joining the project through the social media tags @canwa #CANBecauseOfHer.

More information about the project and women featured can be found on the CAN Facebook page

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