Griffith City Council took home the inaugural Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award at the Local Government Week Awards held last Thursday in Sydney, for the Centenary of Spears project.
This prestigious award is to honour the life and legacy of the late Leo Kelly OAM a long standing Councillor and champion of the arts at Blacktown City Council.
The Centenary of Spears project was a joint initiative of Council’s Community Development team, Griffith Regional Art Gallery and the outreach program with Griffith’s Youth Off The Street.
Council’s Community Development Coordinator, Peta Dummett said the project focused on the importance art, culture and cultural learning through social inclusion/cohesion, while fostering a sense of place and belonging and cultural pride.
“Jo Southorn who was working with Aboriginal Youth through the outreach program was the creative genius behind Centenary of Spears, which then culminated in the immersive art installation exhibited ...” Ms Dummett said.
Representing Council at the Awards last Thursday was Ms Dummett and Ray Wholohan, Regional Art Gallery Coordinator.
Ms Dummett who procured the funds via a grant to sustain the project said she was delighted that a simple idea kept growing and developing into this striking artwork.
“I’m also appreciative of the acknowledgment we have received as an organisation that values empowering properties of arts and culture can have with a community, especially with demographics such as young people.”
Mr Wholohan added, “the Centenary of Spears is an exemplary example of how simple idea can often be the best.
“The message the artwork conveys is clear and simple: young people celebrating the achievements of our collective history via their own culture in our Centenary year.
“The artwork is bold and articulate.”
Griffith Mayor, Councillor John Dal Broi congratulated everyone involved in the Centenary of Spears, particularly the young people who put their artistic talents to work to demonstrate their culture and connection to Griffith.
“Council is pleased to see this project receive the recognition it deserved through the Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award,” Councillor Dal Broi said.
“This bold and striking collection is now proudly on display at Griffith City Council’s administration building to be enjoyed by all.”