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South Australian artist Ngarrindjeri man Thomas Readett in front of the mural he painted of David Gulpilil in Adelaide. Picture:  Razan Fakhoury

Mural pays tribute to legend

A STRIKING new mural celebrating the life and legacy of Yolŋu actor, dancer, singer and painter David Gulpilil has been painted on the east wall of Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, on Kaurna country, Adelaide.

Designed by South Australian artist, Ngarrindjeri man Thomas Readett and approved by Gulpilil personally, the hand-painted mural was commissioned by ABCG Film in collaboration with Tandanya, and supported by Arts South Australia, Department of Premier and Cabinet, and Screen Australia’s P&A Plus program.

The mural acknowledges the extraordinary life and career of Gulpilil, referencing both his Yolŋu culture and country, as well as his current chosen home of Murray Bridge in South Australia. The mural was hand-painted over three days by Readett together with Apparition Media artist Laura Jackson.

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Shyeisha Lorraine, Leeara Chong and Tennisha Walden model some of the donated gowns in the Facebook post which has since been viewed by more than two million people.

A show of generosity gets the Ball rolling

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 12:23 pm

DOOMADGEE is set to host the most magical ball the world has ever seen. But to make the dream a reality, extra financial support is desperately needed. 

Set beside the picturesque Nicholson River, Doomadgee Under the Stars NAIDOC Ball will be held on July 8 in outback north-west Queensland for the very first time.

More than 1000 ball gowns have been donated from across the country so far, and shipments of shoes, purses, make-up, formal wear and accessories are still flooding in from around the globe.

Ganggalidda Garrwa Waanyi man and Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire councillor Elijah Douglas told the Koori Mail that he is blown away by the amount of support the Doomadgee community have received so far to make this special evening of glitz and glamour come alive.

He said that Empowering Women Empowering Communities (EWEC) have been engaged by the Ball committee to stage the event, and the pressure is on to raise the remaining funds necessary to create a spectacular night for a special community.

“On a recent visit to community, EWEC founder and director Yolonde Entsch took some pictures of local Doomadgee women modelling donated ballgowns,” Cr Douglas said.

“Then, back in Cairns, EWEC created a post on Facebook seeking donations of formal wear for our proposed NAIDOC Ball idea…

Immigration Policy, 2017, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, by Richard Bell. Picture: courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.

Retrospective: artist courting controversy

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 12:22 pm

ACTIVISM is fundamental to Richard Bell’s art practice and although some of his work might be seen as controversial Bell said that’s exactly what defines his art and why he got into art in the first place.

Bell is a proud Kamilaroi Kooma Jiman Gurang Gurang man and one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists. 

This month, his somewhat unsettling new exhibition titled You Can Go Now opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) in Sydney, Bell’s largest ever Australian solo exhibition. 

“The title of the exhibition in itself seems quite an innocuous sort of name,” Bell told the Koori Mail. 

“By that I mean, after an exhibition, for example, when its about time for people to leave, as someone’s about halfway to the door, I’ll say, “Hey!” and call out to them as if I know them, and when they turn around, and they might even take a couple of steps back toward me, I’ll say, ‘Oh nothing. It’s OK. You can go now,’” Bell says with a chuckle.

Drawing together nearly 40 artworks created across a range of mediums, including painting, installation and video, from major public and private collections, as well as key early works from the artist’s own collection, the exhibition brings together over 30 years of the Bell’s practice from the 1980s through to today. 

Featured in the exhibition is Bell’s 2017 Immigration Policy, a synthetic polymer paint on canvas which depicts a black background, and as Bell describes “a white map of Australia” along with the words written in bold orange ‘YOU CAN GO NOW!’ 

“It just screams out to the viewer, ‘Hello? Emergency! This is an emergency!’” Bell said.

“And you know, in this way, I’m not telling people to f..k off to their faces, and to go back to where they came from, but what I am saying is, ‘Yeah, you can go now,’” he says endearingly.

“So I guess that makes the whole thing a bit…

‘My son had a right to live. He had a right to be safe from harm.’ – Leetona Dungay

Dungay death to be raised at UN

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 12:21 pm

HIGH-profile human rights lawyers Geoffrey Robertson QC and Jennifer Robinson want to bring the death of Indigenous man David Dungay Jnr in NSW custody in 2015 to the attention of the United Nations.

Mr Robertson and Ms Robinson stood beside Mr Dungay’s mother Leetona on Thursday as they addressed the media about his death.

They aim to bring Mr Dungay’s case “to the international community” in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, galvanised by the 2020 death of George Floyd Jr at police hands in Minneapolis in the US.

Mr Floyd’s death at the time sparked global protests.

The lawyers accused the NSW Government of failing to hold those responsible for Mr Dungay’s death to account.

Ms Dungay will make a complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, arguing the NSW Government failed to protect her son’s right to life.

She will also raise the failure of successive Australian governments to implement all the recommendations from the 1991 Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. 

“My son had a right to live. He had the right to be safe from harm,” Ms Dungay said in a…

Goodes rejects Hall of Fame

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 12:19 pm

SYDNEY Swans AFL legend and Indigenous icon Adam Goodes has rejected an offer to be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

The AFL issued a second public apology to Adam Goodes after the former Sydney champion rejected the offer.

Goodes, the AFL’s most decorated Indigenous player, cut ties with everything to do with football as soon as he retired in 2015, after prolonged booing during games.

The 41-year-old’s on-field feats made him a walk-up start to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, now he is eligible.

AFL commission chair Richard Goyder confirmed on Tuesday that the dual Brownlow medallist had knocked back the nomination and Goodes had asked for the reasons not to be detailed.

“Adam was clear he did not want his decision to detract from the moment for the 2021 inductees,” Goyder said.

“Adam remains a great champion and leader of our game who has given more to our sport than he received in return.”

Goodes’ final three seasons, particularly his last, were marred by ugly booing from crowds, and he also became a target for controversial figures in the media…

‘RACIST violence: the hidden facts’

Wednesday, 2 June 2021 12:26 pm

THAT was the first main headline on the first edition of the Koori Mail, published on May 23, 1991.

Thirty years on, the Koori Mail remains proudly and staunchly situated on Bundjalung country, in Lismore, north-east NSW, and is still committed to telling the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.

The Koori Mail publishes fortnightly and is the only 100%-Aboriginal owned and managed independent national newspaper, and is also a certified Supply Nation business.

Proudly 100% Aboriginal owned and managed. The outer ring represents the natural landscape, from the mountain ranges, to rainforest country, Big Scrub and swamp country through to river country and out to the beaches and saltwater country.

The four large circles represent the four corners of the nation, Australia, and the world, where the Koori Mail is sent to be read and where stories are discovered and uncovered.

The Koori Mail – where knowledge is exchanged, culture is shared, the country comes together and is connected keeping the voice of Indigenous Australia strong, proud and relevant.

Knowledge, Culture, Country, Connection by artist Riki Salem.

Representing a strong, proud Indigenous voice

Wednesday, 2 June 2021 12:24 pm

THIS artwork is based on the concentric circles of a bora ring (Casino having one of the biggest bora rings on country), where people come together for ceremony, initiation and important business. 

Each layer represents different aspects of the overall story, whether it be cultural, natural, representational or technological. 

The Koori Mail brings many people together allowing them to share culture and exchange knowledge.

The central circle represents two creation stories. 

The first story begins with three brothers and the birth of the Bundjalung and Yaegl nations. 

This story parallels with the three Elders who initiated the push to gain interest to start (or birth) the Koori Mail: Frank Roberts, Charlie Harris and Charlie Moran. 

The middle figure has been outlined more heavily, representing another pivotal person in the Koori Mail story: Owen Carriage.

The canoe that the brothers stand in is also a message stick – a visual metaphor for the Koori Mail.

The three series of wavy lines represent the three major rivers of the region: the Richmond, Clarence and Wilson rivers. 

The dots represent the descendants of the brothers and their wives (the Bundjalung…