Autumn 2012 Arts Yarn Up
The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. For comments or submissions to
Arts Yarn Up
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Arts Yarn Up
AustraliaCouncil for the Arts, 372 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02 9215 9000. © Australia Council 2012 This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the
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, all rights are expressly reserved. ISSN 1442-5351. The Australia Council respects Indigenous communities andculture. Readers should be aware that this publication may contain images or references to members of the Indigenous community who have passed away.
Warren H Williams.
Photo: Karen Steains.
P h o t o: S t u S p en c e.
SHAPING THE FUTURETO KEEP CULTURE STRONG
To all arts workers, practitioners and cultural keepers –I wish you a positive future and hope that the Aboriginaland Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and Division continuethe great legacy of providing support, career paths andacknowledgments of all our creative endeavours.Sadly, my term as Chair has now expired. I hope that Ihave left something that future Board members, staff andthe Australia Council, and the Federal Government, canaspire to continue. One important achievement to note isthe inherited legacy, from all previous Chairs and Boardmembers, that has delivered a fair and accountablefunding process since the Board’s inception in 1973. Ourcountry is much the richer when we see the significantrole that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts rightfullyclaim in the Australian landscape.One of my passions has been the elevation and profilingof the role of our Law and Cultural Bosses. They haveassisted all of us in our identity, our wellbeing, ourspirituality and our place within Australia. Theirempowerment is vital to our future concrete existence –if we fail to recognise and understand this, we are lost. The old assimilation policies will have won over ourculture, resulting in the loss of the pure form of our ancientexistence forever. Our art, in whatever medium or form,has its Dreaming, its roots and its spirit wrapped in ouressence of being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Wemust remain united, strong, and carry forward into thefuture the quality and soul of who we are. We do thisthrough the arts, including law and culture, for thebetterment and enrichment of ourselves, our inheritance,our future and our country. To those non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoplewho engage with, work with, and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and practitioners inadministrative, creative and reconciliatory roles – I thank you on behalf of all our people. Your support, contributionand guidance assist us all collectively to be so muchricher. Your genuine love of our country and its ancientcultures – along with your own diversity, history, originsand cultures – makes our country a greater place inwhich to live.With my wife Tania, I send a big thank you to everyonewho has supported me, believed in me and trustedme. I look forward to bumping into you somewherethroughout Australia as I assist Mary G with her luggagein continuous journeys.I am honoured to have served as Chair, in the footsteps of a long line of decision-makers since the 1970s whoshaped the national landscape for Indigenous arts. I knowthat we in turn have shaped the future landscape for thenext generation.Ihope our identity, cultures, languages, dances andceremonies will not be neglected like the ancient rock artsof the Pilbara.I am excited for the next generation of leadership for the Board. In closing, I would like to thank our entire arts community for their vision, passion andcommitment to keeping culture strong.
Dr Mark Bin Bakar Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board
‘I am honoured to haveserved as Chair, in thefootsteps of a long lineof decision-makers sincethe 1970s who shapedthe national landscapefor Indigenous arts.’