Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch
An emerging Indigenous Art Centre in Coen will be supported as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s priority to elevate First Nations arts, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch announced today.
“The Palaszczuk Government will invest more than $200,000 over two years towards the Indigenous Art Centre in Coen to help support the community in realising their local priorities of enhancing arts practice, skills development for local artists and arts workers, sustainability and realising growth ambition,” Minister Enoch said.
“Our investment in Indigenous Arts Centres (IAC) through the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package will strengthen the IAC network and its capacity to build artist and arts worker skills and increase the supply of quality First Nations artwork.
“This approach to a new tailored and flexible funding model is an outcome of Sustain 2020-2022, the first action plan of the Palaszczuk Government’s Creative Together: 10-Year Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity, and will be further bolstered by the recent 2022-2023 budget announcement of $50 million to underpin Grow 2022- 2026.”
Treasurer and Ministerial Champion for Coen Cameron Dick said the proposed flexible funding approach for Coen reflects a commitment by the Palaszczuk Government to work closely with First Nations communities to ensure locally-led investment in priorities that will make a positive and long term impact.
“The support model in Coen is driven by close consultation with the Coen Regional Aboriginal Corporation and the support of internationally acclaimed First Nations artist Naomi Hobson, a southern Kaantju and Umpila woman from the Lockhart River region,” Mr Dick said.
“Ms Hobson has made a strong commitment to the emerging Coen Arts Centre, with the aim to consult, plan and develop arts activities and skills to ensure the community is best positioned to embrace the potential of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic games.”
Naomi Hobson said, ““The funding means freedom, to be able to share stories from home and to enable us to come together as one community and preserve culture,”
“Holding onto our stories is important to us.”
“We are telling stories in our way. We are sharing them through film, painting, ceramics. People are reading our stories through our art, so everyone can connect to our stories.”
“We are telling our stories as people from Coen in Cape York, for future generations so they can continue our stories. Our stories unite us to our ancestors and to the future,” Ms Hobson said
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said communities across the Cape and Torres Strait have strong arts practice traditions, and this funding will support the Coen community to share local stories and art nationally and globally.
“The art centre is about bringing people together as one community and moving forward. Art is culture and culture is life. It’s important to practice this as a community.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Bill Walker 0437 859 987