Inmates from Wellington Correctional Centre use artistic skills to raise money for OSHC
Paintings created by Aboriginal artists who are also inmates at Wellington Correctional Centre will be sold this month to raise funds for a before and after school educational program that assists disadvantaged children.
Based on themes of Country and totem, the works will be exhibited in Wellington, with all funds going to the Yalmambirra Indigenous Learning Centre, which runs before and after school care for Aboriginal children aged between five and twelve years of age, providing a targeted early-education program to help break the cycle of disadvantage, social exclusion and disengagement with the community.
Member for Dubbo, Dugald Saunders, congratulated staff and inmates on the program.
“By encouraging inmates to build on their talent, it gives them a sense of pride, and with the artworks going on to raise money for valuable services, it is their way of giving back.”
Wellington’s manager of offender services and programs, Jennifer Ryan, said the paintings were created during workshops with Elder and artist Tom Sloane at the prison’s High Intensity Programs Unit.
“Tom teaches the men about their culture and guides them on how to express that cultural journey through art,” Ms Ryan said.
“The men were keen to donate their artworks because they wanted to make a positive contribution and give the community another perspective on what happens behind the walls of a correctional centre.”
Wiradjuri artist, John, painted a kangaroo and goanna, his family and tribal totems.
“A lot of us like doing our artwork because it reconnects us to who we were and where we were from, and it takes us back to that place, rather than being in here,” John said.
“Painting gives us peace of mind, so if by donating them we can help one little bit, one little person, that’s a bonus.”
The Yalmambirra Art Exhibition ‘Children are our future’ is on show from 5.30pm-8pm on Friday 27 November, at 49 Gisborne Street, Wellington.