THE Ngaardi Women’s Group are using art to boost morale in the Wallaga Lake Koori Village and also revive the nearby Umburra Cultural Centre that has sat unused for many years.
The women from the village have been meeting at the centre every Wednesday for the last 16 months, working on their artwork.
Now they are keen to show off their creations with the Ngaardi Umbarra Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the Umbarra Cultural Centre this weekend May 23-24.
The exhibition will be open from 10am to 4pm and entry is by gold coin donation.
There will be Aboriginal paintings, textiles, carvings, jewellery and mosaics on display, and also bush tucker delights.
The women are hoping everyone from the wider community comes and visits to show their support for the Wallaga Ngaardi women’s textile group.
The work is by the women themselves but also by artists of all ages and skills from the Wallaga Lake village.
Helping the women along the way have been Bermagui café owner Sue Staines and Eurobodalla Shire Council economic development officer Sarah Cooper, who said the exhibition was the first time that the Umbarra Cultural Centre will be open to the public for many years.
The centre is located just south of the Koori village entrance on the Wallaga Lake Bermagui road and will be well signposted.
Group members Deanna Campbell and Julie Parsons said they were really excited about the exhibition on the weekend and the women’s group had boosted morale and even provided potential income.
There is also scope to open the Umburra Cultural Centre on a more permanent basis and even have a coffee shop in the centre.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” Deanna said.
“It’s very good to have our business and it’s something to look forward to.”
The women have also started a flag making business creating Aboriginal flags featuring the local totems of various Koori and Aboriginal communities.
“At Wallaga Lake our totem is the black duck and we’re very proud of it,” Julie said.
The women also have started an op shop on the last Friday of the month at the Wallaga Lake Koori Village community hall, where everyone is welcome.