Lotterywest has committed $1.76 million to support the Carrolup Centre for Truth-Telling, as part of a three-year funding agreement to help build the capacity of Indigenous storytelling.
The money will go towards developing educational resources and audience outreach for the centre, which is based at the John Curtin Gallery at Curtin University.
Carrolup manager Kathleen Toomath says the aspirational project will form an important vessel for sharing Indigenous truths.
“The Carrolup children’s artwork is what I would call a soft entry point for telling a very challenging and troublesome story,” Ms Toomath says.
“We are doing something right in WA. We could become the leaders in the truth and healing space.”
The Carrolup project hopes to provide a permanent home for 120 Indigenous artworks created by children of the Stolen Generation.
The collection spent several decades overseas before being repatriated to Curtin University in 2013 with the consultation of Noongar elders.
Victoria Park MLA Hannah Beazley welcomed the funding announcement.
“This support from Lotterywest will help facilitate meaningful reconciliation by engaging collaboratively in truth-telling, healing and community activities through the Carrolup collection,” Ms Beazley says.
“It’s important for the wider community to have access to this information and the Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork will be instrumental in broadening community understanding.”
The news comes amid increased focus on co-creation and collaboration in Indigenous art and storytelling practices, something Curtin masters student Stuart Andrews has come to appreciate as part of his photographic practice.
“It’s been fantastic to learn some of the cultural protocols in our First Nations culture, because you can’t just tell someone’s story. You might get it wrong,” Mr Andrews says.
“Truth-telling is integral for this country to heal. You can’t really have reconciliation without truth. They go hand in hand.”
His exhibition called ‘Wardandi Boodjar: Truth-Telling’ launches today as part of a co-exploration of the 1841 Minninup Massacre with Wardandi elders.
The Carrolup funding announcement comes ahead of National Reconciliation Week, taking place from May 27 to June 3 next week.