Final week to see Unfinished Business

The statement ‘without stories there is silence’ powerfully captures the essence of this exhibition.

Unfinished Business brings to focus the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are affected by disability through photographs by Belinda Mason and film by Knierim Brothers.

Historically the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples, and the voices of people with disability have been misrepresented, silenced or excluded from documentary histories.

The images and words of this exhibition convey the reality of lives affected by the ongoing historical, social and political impacts of colonialism. The stories represented in the exhibition are not sugar coated. They are raw and honest, attesting to the strength, resilience and power of all participants, and all people with experiences of disability.

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Yamatji man, Marlon Noble with his photograph titled ‘Noble Cause’, Unfinished Business exhibition launch, State Library of Western Australia 12 May 2016.

Photography is a creative expression which is capable of commanding the viewer’s attention. Each photograph has power to open the eyes of the audience, conveying personal stories in an autobiographical way. We have seen this in action, where visitors stop, take time to experience and are visibly moved by the images.

Accessibility is a the core of this exhibition. The Open Access Tours app provides access to additional audio and video material.

Unfinished Business closes 3 June 2016. For more information visit the State Library website.

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North Metropolitan Health Services Kambarang Day, Midland 9th October

Yellow Everlastings

Yellow Everlastings road to Carnarvon

Kambarang – Wildflower season (season of birth) October – November

North Metropolitan Health Services Kambarang Day,  Midland  9th October

Family History Subject Specialists Tricia Fairweather and Leonie Hayes recently attended Kambarang Day at Midland. Appropriately, it was a typical balmy spring day that attracted a good crowd.
The purpose of Kambarang Day is to create awareness in Indigenous communities of health and allied services available and to promote healthy living. There was live music, a petting zoo (very cute piglet), cooking demonstrations, fresh fruit, free health checks and all manner of advice available.
We were attending to support our Indigenous Specialist Damien Webb to promote Storylines the State Library website that has been developed to make our digitised indigenous heritage material available online to Aboriginal people.

Bessie Flower

Anne Camfield (seated) and Bessie Flower, 1860s

Storylines is a growing database of photographs and documents relating to Aboriginal people. So many photographs from our collections have only the original captions: “group of natives at…” or “aboriginal man with spear”. Making them available online is not only a way of returning them but is also helping us to identify many of the individuals in the photographs .

Carol and Max, Warburton Mission, 1958-1961

Carol and Max, Warburton Mission, 1958-1961

We have found demonstrating Storylines to be very rewarding and it has given us a great sense of how close knit the community is. Our experience has encompassed the excitement of a young boy on being shown a delightful photograph of his auntie as a young girl and an elderly gentleman identifying his grandfather and other relatives in a family group.

Domestic science class

Karalundi Mission, September 1960, domestic science class.

Violinist, Derby 1948.

Violinist, Derby 1948.

As well as promoting Storylines we were able to assist many people with general and specific enquiries about family history. The day also provided us a welcome opportunity to network with other stallholders and exchange information about the various services we all have to offer.
As Librarians, we were particularly delighted with the stall for Ngala, a provider of early childhood services, that had a selection of some of the most popular picture books as giveaways. We swapped information about our Better Beginnings early literacy programs and left brochures detailing these as well as our eresources for family history.
We were also able to demonstrate our children’s eresources to some youngsters, their older siblings, parents and grandparents. They were particularly taken with Busythings  a fun online suite of games and activities that help children to develop literacy and numeracy while having great fun.
It was a very productive day for us with the added benefit of having an excellent time – although I did have to reluctantly relinquish my freebie yo-yo to a very appealing (and pleading) child.

Nyungar culture website

The Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association has created a website you can look at which provides information about aboriginal activities and culture in Western Australia.

Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association is an Australian Indigenous Organisation, made up of members of the Nyungar people who are the traditional, recognised people of the south west of Western Australia.

The Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association is named after William Thomas Bennell, whose Nyungar name was Yelakitj – “Man of Good Hearing”. Yelakitj was the story teller – he was the minder of the Nyungar story. His stories are recorded in oral history (available in the State Library of Western Australia), video and book.