Wodonga TAFE and Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service creative collaboration brings mums and bubs together
Monday, 5 July 2021
An upcoming exhibition at The Eddie Kneebone Gallery will showcase the creativity of participants in the ‘Mubal and Bali Photography Program’ from Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS). The exhibition will be held on Thursday 8 July, from 10.30am to 2.30pm at Wodonga TAFE’s McKoy Street campus, as part of NAIDOC Week.
The 15-week ‘Mubal & Bali’ (mums and bubs) Photography Program was a creative partnership between Wodonga TAFE’s Creative Industries department and Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS). This project brought mothers and babies from AWAHS together to learn skills in digital photography and editing whilst also capturing images of the bubs and mums of 2020/21.
Wodonga TAFE’s Koorie Liaison Officer, Katrice May, worked closely with Brittany Wright, Health Promotion Officer at AWAHS, to ensure the program ran smoothly for all involved. Classes commenced in the familiar setting at AWAHS in Albury, then progressed to participants being ‘on Country’ at Wonga Wetlands for location shoots, with final editing of images in the photography classroom at Wodonga TAFE.
Through their involvement in the Program, mothers were able to come together to continue the tradition of sharing stories, as well as creating images to be shared with their families and broader community. Photos taken include many in traditional clothing and body and face painting. Participants will also gain a certificate of attainment for the accredited Design and Visual Arts units they completed through the program.
Program participants spoke of the confidence they gained throughout the program, along with the extra cultural knowledge and understanding from coming together with others in their extended community. Photography teacher, Tania Martini, said it was wonderful to be involved in the program, and to see everyone grow in confidence as they developed their skills in using the equipment and taking photos.
Participant, Teanne Reith, spoke of the program as a positive experience and said she had learned a lot. “I am a quiet, shy person usually, and this has been much easier than I thought it would be. It has been great to be able to do all this in outdoor settings at the Wetlands, and to meet new people and learn more about Aboriginality. I would definitely say to others to ‘go for it – you’ll learn so much’. And I would be keen to take on more opportunities if they are offered.”
Participant, Brittany Wright, said she had learned so much from a cultural perspective, from getting together and connecting with other Aboriginal women. “There have been so many positives, from gaining the certificate to connection with culture and conversation within the group. Photography is something I have always had a passion for, and I will be able to apply these new skills in my work role with AWAHS.”
“Tania has been so open to learning about our culture”, said Brittany, “And Katrice has worked alongside us to make sure everyone felt comfortable about each step in the program – from being at AWAHS and learning about the cameras, to then coming on campus at Wodonga TAFE and being in class in the photography room – it has been a very positive and rewarding partnership.”