The back of the Dreamtime Drive car looks much more exciting since Monday, thanks to the Roebourne Art Group and to the two painters that have participated in the project: Rosaline Diamond, young emerging artist, and Loreen Samson, a senior and recently awarded artist from the Art Group. They have proudly represented the Pilbara region through a Burrup rock art style of painting!
Head off to our Artist section to learn about them and about the meaning of the painting, or simply look through our pictures!
It has occurred to us, with force, the impact that reduced health is having in remote communities. This has manifested itself most prominently by the words ‘sorry business’, which has been a recurring phrase and without doubt the number one reason for non-participation in the DD Project. A suicide and alcohol related death are the only ‘sorry business’ that have been disclosed to us, so we can not postulate on the causes in other communities we’ve visited, but these are enough to strike the wrong chords and drive home the terms ‘Closing the Gap’, a phrase that one can’t avoid when involved in some way with Indigenous health. While the phrase is a catchy and novel one, it would sit easier on the mind if it weren’t for these constant reminders out in the bush – so in your face and so in stark contrast with city living. Statistics tell us a grave story about life expectancy in Australia with an Indigenous man and woman, born between 2005 and 2007, expected to live 11.5 years and 10 years less than non-Indigenous respectively. But these numbers, while totally inappropriate and unacceptable in a developed country, are not enough to uncover the desperate need inherent in the Closing the Gap campaign. Nonetheless, all is not lost! Organisations like Red Dust are doing something about it, something practical. The health promotion, school-based programs funded by Red Dust work, and what’s the best thing about them? They cater for the uniqueness of each partner community, which as we have now inevitably learnt along the way are very distinct between communities. Why not get involved?
Long John Dewar working at Mimi Arts
We’ve clocked up 10,863km and finally reached the WA border! A lot has happened to get here, and it would not be an understatement to say the last couple of days at Mimi Arts in Katherine will be with us for the countless kms and years ahead. We are indebted to this art centre, not only for the gift of Long John’s incredible talent, contributing the 5th painting of Dreamtime Drive, but we were particularly moved during the time we spent here. The warm generosity of Barbara, the Manager, and her enthusiasm towards the project as well as the funny, wise and benevolently open nature of Long John has been a welcome motivation and warmed the journey ahead. Find out more about this incredible artist and his fine attention to detail here and don’t forget to check out the latest photos, don’t miss out!