Strengthening Indigenous culture a fine art

Evangeline at Djilpin Arts (Caritas/Sascha Costigan)

Caritas Australia's Project Compassion campaign is helping youth in Indigenous communities to strengthen their culture and create opportunities for their communities.

Evangeline is a senior arts worker at Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation, supported by Caritas Australia and based in Beswick (Wugularr) in the Northern Territory.

Featured in the 2016 Project Compassion campaign. Today, Evangeline is strengthening Aboriginal culture, while making a living for herself – and creating opportunities for her community of around 450 people.

The community faces a range of challenges, including limited employment opportunities, crowded housing, a lack of access to services, alcohol and health problems and financial hardship.

Her work at Djilpin Arts has supported the organisation’s growth from a multimedia project to a multi-level contemporary arts and culture centre. An example of excellence in Indigenous tourism, it’s now a major employer for young people in the remote community.

In 2018, Evangeline is busy guiding tourists, coordinating cultural activities and helping community members to practise and market their arts, such as weaving and jewellery-making.

“Now we have a new gallery up. And we have our new kitchens, we look after these and we now maintain this to make sure it’s running okay and in good condition. We’re also trying to open up another tour for tourists to go around the waterfall, we’re just planning that now,” Evangeline said.

She believes that Caritas Australia’s support for Djilpin Arts, through Project Compassion, is vital for all Wugularr’s young people.

Although their families do their best to pass on knowledge, Elders are dying and she is keen to spearhead the preservation of culture and lore for future generations.

“It’s good for them to learn and to keep their culture strong,” Evangeline said.

Details: Project Compassion


A Just Future Starts with Culture - Evangeline (Caritas Australia)

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