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New Aboriginal artwork for the Midland Jobs and Skills Centre

2 February 2022

Last year we hosted our NAIDOC week celebrations at our Midland campus. It was here we had the opportunity to engage with local Aboriginal Artist, Wayne Ryder, and purchase a piece of his artwork to put on display at the Midland Jobs and Skills Centre (JSC).

We have recently added the piece to the NMTAFE Art Collection and are incredibly grateful that Wayne has allowed us to share his artwork, his culture and the meaningful story behind the piece with students, JSC clients and staff.

Wayne, who works at Palmerston as a Community Aboriginal worker, began painting when he started up a yarning group to bring his clients together to engage and do something creative.

“That is when I started to paint myself and found that I had a real knack of telling stories through my painting. Most of the painting I do is in my spare time and on weekends. I find it soothing, it’s my way of relaxing and winding down,” Wayne said.

Wayne spoke about the way his art can allow others to reflect and be transported back to fond memories of growing up, surrounded by culture.

“I know a lot of people that come through Midland that would reflect or feel a connection to the painting, especially when they read the story behind it. That makes me happy you know. If Aboriginal people, Noongar people, come through and look at the painting and it brings them joy to remember happy times back in the day, then that is what the painting is all about.“

“We were always taught about the Waagal and before we swim to throw the sand in the water. The main waterhole we swam in in Northam was named Burlong, which is what I have named the painting. The beauty of the painting is remembering that happy time swimming in the waterholes and having the whole family together.”

If you are looking to find a job, upskill or switch careers, the Jobs and Skills Centre is your first step. With tonnes of free advice and resources, the friendly team at the JSC will help put you on the path towards reaching your goals.

Photo: Liam from the Jobs and Skills Centre with artist Wayne Ryder.