Adding a constitutional flavour to the Vibe Alive Festival on this week in Townsville will be the unveiling of the Preamble School’s Art Project by Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Curtis Pitt.
Vibe Alive is a fun, two-day festival for all school-aged Australians that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures which will be held at the Townsville Showgrounds, 72 Ingham Rd (Entry via Kings Rd), West End, Townsville this Wednesday and Thursday, June 1 and 2.
The art project celebrates the anniversary of the Preamble to the Queensland Constitution recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the traditional owners “of the lands, winds and waters we all now share” and 10 schools across the Townsville area have been engaged to create artworks centred on excerpts from the Preamble.
The Bill to insert the preamble to the Constitution of Queensland was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 23 February 2010 and came into effect on 25 February 2010.
The Preamble states: “The people of Queensland, free and equal citizens of Australia … honour the Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Australians, whose lands, winds and waters we all now share; and pay tribute to their unique values, and their ancient and enduring cultures, which deepen and enrich the life of our community…”
Each of the 10 schools chosen to participate in the project was allocated an excerpt from the Preamble to create their artwork.
Brooke Calahorra, an art teacher from one of the chosen schools – Thuringowa State High School – says her school had to brainstorm an artwork based around the “we share” phrase from the Preamble.
“The students thought the main thing was sharing the land and locally that meant the earth, the river and the ground,” Brooke says.
“In the middle was a montage of faces from all the different cultures of Australia – then we localised it with the Ross River, national parks and the Great Barrier Reef, which is on our doorstep.”
She says the canvass is 2m high by 1m wide and was completed by about 20 students in Grades 8 and 9.
“The students loved it. It was a community work. They went home and spoke about it with their families who had input. They are excited that it will be on display,” she says.
The festival offers two days of extreme fun with dancing, rapping, singing, painting and sport and will feature guest artists including Luke Carroll, Nathan Foley, Casey Donovan and Gail Mabo.
Students compete in teams of 8-12 people at Vibe Alive. There are activities to compete in including indigenous games, performance, painting, and sports, with each activity scoring points for the team. There is also heaps on hand about careers and health, as well as fascinating story-telling sessions.
Vibe Alive is funded by the Australian Government’s Community Festivals for Education Engagement program, designed to encourage school attendance, retention and healthy lifestyles for all young Australians, in particular, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
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