FaFT Family Portraits On Display
A photo exhibition featuring 29 beautiful portraits that capture Yolngu families living in North-East Arnhem Land was on display at the Live DARWIN Hub in Smith St Mall last month.
The project - Gurrutu'mi Mala Wungili - Family on Country Portrait Project – is an initiative of the Yirrkala Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program and showcases the communities pride in country culture and family.
Yirrkala FaFT educator and project coordinator Belinda Moreton worked with Nhulunbuy photographer Leicolhn McKellar to capture the images of families on country.
“During the portrait sessions, stories were told and precious memories were shared,” she said.
“We walked on ground where babies were birthed, where young people fell in love, and where people lived before a mission, a mine and a town came to change life and Country forever.
“We saw tears fall – for people and ways of the past that are now gone, but also tears of pride and love for babies in arms that are the future.”
Yirrkala School Council Chairperson and Senior Yolngu woman Yananymul Mununggurr, said that for her the exhibition was about the strong connection between family and country and the deep love that Yolngu parents have for their children.
“We had to choose a particular place we knew. For my family, it was at Shady Beach because we have connections to Shady Beach; it was my mother’s country,” she said.
“Family coming together on country. I think that’s the story these pictures tell.”