We have committed $5 million to create 7 works of national significance by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to celebrate the First Peoples of Australia in our global city.
Ahead of the Anzac centenary in 2015, we unveiled a major artwork in Hyde Park to honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women.
Yininmadyemi (pronounced yinn-in-madj-amee), Thou didst let fall, by Aboriginal artist Tony Albert, features 4 1.5t bullets standing 7m tall and 3 fallen shells to represent the diggers who returned to Australia and the ones who lost their lives. The artwork was the third to be commissioned under the Eora Journey.
The first artwork was Reko Rennie’s Welcome to Redfern, which he created with the help of local young Aboriginal peoples. And in 2013, Nicole Foreshew’s Born in darkness before dawn was projected onto the Australian Museum for 4 months.
Judy Watson’s proposal, bara, will be the fourth Eora Journey public artwork. Located on the Tarpeian Precinct Lawn above Dubbagullee (Bennelong Point), it will be a major new permanent artwork to celebrate the traditional custodians of Gadigal Country. The artwork is expected to be completed by early 2021.
In 2019, we engaged Aboriginal curator Emily McDaniel to provide recommendations for a storytelling harbour walk. A series of interconnected stories and artworks will enliven the 9km Sydney harbour foreshore, from Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour to Woolloomooloo.
‘Eora’ means ‘the people’ in the Gadigal language, so the Eora Journey is ‘the people’s journey’, which is made up of 4 of our projects.
1. Recognition in the public domain
We‘re working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to create 7 major public art projects symbolising the Eora Journey.
The projects are overseen by curatorial advisor Hetti Perkins and are part of the broader City Art public art program.
2. A significant event
A signature event will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage.
We currently provide support for a range of events that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture, from the Yabun festival held on 26 January in Victoria Park each year to local NAIDOC Week events.
3. An economic development plan
We have developed our first economic action plan to focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the Eora Journey economic development plan. We developed this plan in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The plan outlines how we can work with communities and businesses over the next 10 years to achieve prosperity. It includes steps to support business owners, entrepreneurs and jobseekers.
4. An Aboriginal knowledge and culture centre
In 2018 we purchased the former Redfern Post Office for use as a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and knowledge centre. The details around the use and operating model for the building will be developed with our communities.
We’re also advocating for a First Nations centre of national significance in the heart of Sydney.