Visit by Ben Franklin
Minister For Arts And Aboriginal Affairs
MUSEUM’S YAEGL GARDEN PLAYS HOST FOR FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT
Last Tuesday 17 January Yamba Museum hosted a visit by the NSW Minister for the Arts, Aboriginal Affairs, Regional Youth and Tourism, Ben Franklin and local State MP Chris Gulaptis, local indigenous leaders Uncle Billy Walker, Dianne Chapman from the Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Clare Murray and Dianne Randall from Birrigan Gargle LALC, State Candidates, prominent local artists and Museum members.
The visiting party had the opportunity to view the newly updated Yaegl Timeline display with Yaegl representatives explaining much of the
exhibit to Ben Franklin and Chris Gulaptis. This display has formed a powerful partnership between Yamba Museum and the Yaegl community.
The purpose of the visit was to announce $800,000 in funding for six solutions-focused projects proposed by local Indigenous groups, including four new community buses. A total of $450,000 will be invested in projects in the Yamba area: the Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation will buy a bus to help locals get around and will also receive funding for an exciting cultural education and employment training initiative on Country, while the Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council has been awarded funding for a bus to support transport its members to functions ranging from medical appointments to funerals.
Two other buses will be bought for the Gurehlgam Corporation in Grafton and the Jana Ngalee Local Aboriginal Land Council, solving a multitude of transport issues in the community, in particular for the two remote communities of Malabugulmah and Baryulgil. The Baryulgil Cemetery is a special place for local Indigenous people and $85,000 will be invested to build a shelter and storytelling place there.
Dr John Jackson fascinated the visiting party with a brief tour of his exhibition Scottish Geology, presently in The Old Kirk. Dr Jackson explained his artwork depicting the formation of the earth's surface in various parts of the world. Also having Scottish heritage, Ben Franklin was mesmerised by the graphic paintings and their geological significance. Dr Jackson’s Exhibition closes Sunday 29th January.
Although the visit was brief it was beneficial to our local community for the Minister to ‘touch base’ with locals and have face to face interaction.