FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has congratulated the Short Black Opera group on its successful application for a grant of $70,000 for a project that will be rolled out in Gunnedah and Shepparton, Victoria .
“$70,000 will be provided to the Short Black Opera for a proposed project that will strengthen and re?establish the ancient songlines between communities the length and breadth of Australia and equip Indigenous children with the confidence and skills to create their own songs using ancestral language,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Short Black Opera project will provide important support for Indigenous languages and art in the Gunnedah community.
“Art is essential to any culture, creating a sense of cultural identity and pride. These projects play an important role in helping to sustain and strengthen our Indigenous communities,” he said.
He said the funding is designed to increase audience engagement with a diverse range of Indigenous art forms, contribute to a strong sense of cultural identity and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and support new forms of Indigenous cultural expression through art.
Short Black Opera’s Toni Lalich described the news of the grant as “fantastic” and said the project would link Gunnedah’s Indigenous language Gamilaroi with the Yorta Yorta heritage from the Shepparton district.
She said the not-for-profit Short Black Opera’s Artistic Director is Deborah Cheetham who is from Yorta Yorta heritage.
Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield said the Short Black Opera announcement was part of more than $3 million for 59 projects that help keep Indigenous languages alive and showcase Australia’s traditional and contemporary Indigenous cultural and artistic expressions.
More information about the Indigenous Languages and Arts program can be found at: http://arts.gov.au/topics/indigenous-arts-languages-and-culture/indigenous-languages-and-arts.