Projecting women’s roles

Local Kurnai Elder Aunty Eileen Harrison will be display her artwork titled Men taking guidance from women on Loy Yang's cooling tower for NAIDOC Week. photograph hayley mills

Local Kurnai Elder Aunty Eileen Harrison will be display her artwork titled Men taking guidance from women on Loy Yang's cooling tower for NAIDOC Week. photograph hayley mills

An Indigenous painting by local Kurnai Elder Aunty Eileen Harrison will be displayed on one of Loy Yang's iconic cooling towers until Sunday to coincide with NAIDOC Week.

Titled Men taking guidance from women, the painting will be projected onto the 110-metre cooling tower to highlight this year's theme 'Because of Her, We Can!'.

The annual celebration is held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aunty Eileen, who completed a doctorate in arts at Federation University, said the artwork recognised the historically important role women played in her community.

"It is about men taking guidance from women. The circles represent the women and the diamonds represent the men," Aunty Eileen said.

"The painting took approximately four days to a week to complete and was done using small brushes.

"[It is] about women taking control, it complements NAIDOC week by recognising their role in history."

AGL Loy Yang general manager Steve Rieniets said the artwork acknowledged the region's Indigenous culture and paid respect to women past and present.

"I'm very proud to see this magnificent piece by a local artist which is representative of the significant role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played in our community," Mr Rieniets said.

It is the third time AGL has used its cooling towers to raise awareness about a community issue, previously displaying the LGBTIQ flag on two separate occasions in the lead up to the North Gippsland Football and Netball League’s Gippsland Pride Cup.

However, it is the first time the company has lit its tower with Indigenous artwork.

An event will be held at the power station tomorrow in conjunction with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation to celebrate NAIDOC Week and in an attempt to strengthen AGL’s Indigenous engagement and awareness.

The event will include a smoking and flag raising ceremony and cultural awareness speech by GLaWAC cultural hub manager Grattan Mullett.

Aunty Eileen will exhibit her artwork during an exhibition in September at the Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale.

The cooling towers will be lit at night during NAIDOC Week.

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