Local centre given top spot at statewide awards
ABORIGINAL community-controlled IWC has taken out the top award in the state's 2020 Queensland Reconciliation Awards for its groundbreaking pictorial screens project at its Bundaberg Health & Wellbeing Complex.
The awards are held as part of National Reconciliation Week and the region took out two awards with IWC winning the Premier's Reconciliation Award and Eidsvold P - 12 State School was the winner of the Education category.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the IWC's initiative "showcases the benefits of approaching reconciliation as a community".
"It focused on the First Nations Peoples and the trauma experienced in their lifetime, a platform for true reconciliation and a healing process for the community," she said.
IWC CEO Ara Harathunian said the pictorial screens showcased the Sacred Places of the Traditional Owners, and also brought into the community arena the trauma of the horrific massacres which took place in this region in the mid-19th century.
"There are 11 screens in total, with two focusing on the massacres that continue to resonate in the region today. The title of the award entry was: "Screens share Aboriginal history to support Reconciliation."
For Mr Harathunian "true reconciliation requires truth".
"And by working with traditional owners and elders in this region to capture the oral histories of the ancestors and share this information with the community, the truth has been put out there for all to see - and to understand," he said.
IWC general manager Wayne Mulvany said the process had been long and harrowing for the elders involved.
"Over the many months of the process, many tears were shed and old wounds revealed," he said.
"We worked with a local artist, Jacky Poulter, to create a mainstream interpretation of the oral histories, which were then turned into the 11 3m-high screens now wrapping the streetscape of the IWC Complex.
"We also captured the stories, and these are on plaques which sit under the original artworks on permanent display in the complex."
Mr Harathunian thanked the traditional owners and elders who worked with them on this project, which he believes is an Australian first. "We are honouring the past while looking to a brighter future together, as one community, that has respect of our Aboriginal history," he said.
For further information, visit: www.qld.gov.au/reconciliation.