Creativity flows in Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation Women’s Group
You don’t have to be creative to enjoy art! This was something we learned through meeting some of the women in the Gunida Gunyah Women’s group!
Not only is art a creative outlet, but it is a social, emotional, and supportive movement! Based in Gunnedah NSW, the Gunida Gunyah Women’s Group is a group committed to providing opportunities for Indigenous women over the age of 50. The group’s aim is to reduce the risk associate with social isolation through reoccurring social activities, programs, and events.
Some of the ladies within the Gunida Gunyah group recently participated in the North Arts West Panorama Project. Not only did the project allow for artists of all ages within the region to explore their creative interests, but it has proven to bring small moments of delight to community groups like the Gunida Gunyah women.
Panorama Project leader Michèle Jedlicka connected us with some of the women from the Gunida Gunyah group, and we were in such awe of their stories that we just had to share it with you!
So, let us introduce you to some of these awesome ladies!
Gunnedah local Elva Cameron enjoys gardening and doing work around her house. She is also a cook at Yalambee, a place for the elderly to live and still be independent. “I had worked at Yalambee for years, but now only do a day here and there,” Elva told us.
Elva found her creative flare through the Panorama Project, “At first I wasn’t interested in participating in the project as I am not very artistic, but it turned out to be an activity I really enjoyed doing. I learned that you don’t have to be too artistic to be part of the project! I cannot wait to see other books from all the different communities!”
Minnie Matthews has been a member of the Gunida Gunyah’s Women’s Group since 2017 and says the group has allowed her to come out of her shell, “I am known to a be a hermit as they say, and since being in this group I have been able to socialise with other women in the community, as well as spend time with my mother who is also a member, and my daughter who runs the group.”
Minnie found the Panorama Project to be an enjoyable experience that also documented her experiences living through the pandemic, “The Panorama Project has been interesting. I had days where I had no clue what to create, but then there were days where inspiration would come. It was a project I really enjoyed doing and I hope to keep the sketchbook as a reminder of my time during COVID-19. A special thanks to Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation for allowing us to be part of it.”
Sue Sutherland has a huge heart. Sue has thirteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who she adores dearly. Sue is a retired Aboriginal Educator who spent twenty years working at a primary school in Gunnedah. She is always willing to help people and provide a home for children when they need somewhere to go. Sue enjoyed the challenge of the Panorama Project, “the Panorama Project was challenging, but I really enjoyed it! The project got me out of the house for a few hours a week and I loved the fact it motivated me to go out and socialise!”
Katherine Bridgett Roberts is on the Board of Directors with the Gunida Gunyah and is a happy natured, and caring woman who like many grandmothers – is dedicated to her grandchildren! Katherine enjoys doing crafts, making old original quilts, and travelling around with the ex-army husbands and wife’s society. The Panorama Project has been an inspiring movement for Katherine, “I thought the Panorama Project was a great idea and I really enjoyed it. I actually got my book photocopied when I completed it so I could continue to work on it. This project has inspired me to write more stories for my grandchildren to read when they are older.”
Vicki Wortley describes herself as happy and relaxed. She enjoys fishing, seeing her grandkids, going to bingo, and the weekly raffles at her local club. Vicki saw the Panorama Project as a wonderful opportunity to mix a creative endeavour with her social activities, “I found this project very enjoyable. I love being able to mix and socialise with people and this project did just that for me. My favourite thing about the project is that it allowed me to explore my past through the writing and drawing.”
We’re so delighted that Arts North West arranges this project and keep finding delight in the community that has come together with the Panorama Project – well done all! Connect with the Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation on Facebook.