On Tuesday 8th October, Wesley Brighter Futures gathered friends and colleagues to unveil two Aboriginal pieces of bespoke artwork that were especially commissioned by Aboriginal artists to depict the journey of the Wesley Brighter Futures program within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Ever since 2014, the Wesley Brighter Futures program has been working to incorporate Aboriginal identified positions within the program. This was due to the over representation of Aboriginal children and families within the child protection system and how, at the time, there were not enough Aboriginal workers employed within the program to work with these children and families.
Since then, Wesley Brighter Futures now have an Aboriginal identified team of five caseworkers, led by an Aboriginal Team Leader and a further four other Aboriginal workers supporting the children and families in need.
This group of Aboriginal staff identified the need for some authentic Aboriginal artwork to be displayed at each of the Wesley Brighter Futures offices. This is what led the program to engage with the three local Aboriginal artists to create the two pieces of artwork with their interpretation of the wonderful work that is done by all those at Wesley Brighter Futures.
Leanne Tobin, a well-known local artist from the Blue Mountains area and a proud Darug woman created artwork which depicts Wesley Brighter Futures’ commitment to helping families in need. Leanne incorporated her interpretation of the Wesley Mission Dove, which was painted as a sun – symbolising life and hope.
Josh Sly and Jory Darrigo are two young emerging artists that painted the second piece of art. Josh’s tribal groups are Biripi, Worimi & Wiradjuri and Jory is from the Baarkindji tribe.
They incorporated the winding rivers and mountains that surround the areas that Wesley Brighter Futures operates in and placed the children at the centre of their painting, representing the importance of supporting children and how family is always priority in the hearts of those at Wesley Brighter Futures.
The launch event for this artwork brought together these wonderful artists and many of those who work at Wesley Brighter Futures, to celebrate what this art symbolises for the program and for the communities this program works with. A traditional smoking ceremony was conducted by Josh, one of the artists, to cleanse the artwork and all those attending the event and pave a pathway for a brighter future.