Around 240 primary school children from 12 schools in the Northern Rivers Region were treated with a tour of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Aboriginal Art Award at Lismore Regional Gallery as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations. 

NPWS Neighbour and Community Relations Ranger Kerrie Battese said NAIDOC celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. 

The 2010 National NAIDOC theme is ‘Unsung Heroes – Closing the Gap by Leading Their Way’. Many unsung Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made huge contributions to Australian society.

‘Unsung heroes’ recognises the part played by the quiet achievers in the Indigenous community, both now and in the past.

Visiting the NPWS Aboriginal Art Award, the kids got to meet talented local artist Lorraine Brown who talked to them about the paintings on show and discussed general principles and techniques involved in Aboriginal art.

“One of this year’s NPWS Aboriginal Art Award winners, Lorraine shared her in depth knowledge of Aboriginal art and culture with the children,” Mrs Battese said.

“The children had fun creating a cultural style artwork of their own and voted for their favourite painting as part of the People’s Choice award to be announced next week.”

Mrs Battese said the six-day program proved to be a huge success, with positive feedback from all groups which attended.

“The exhibition closes on Saturday 10th July, so if you want to see it you’d better be quick.”

PICTURE: Lorraine Brown discussing Indigenous art with children from Woodburn Primary School at the Lismore Regional Gallery.