Indigenate is a not-for profit organisation established for a sole purpose: -
“To ensure there is at least one piece of Australian Aboriginal Artwork prominently displayed in every Primary and Secondary School in Australia. (Private and Public)”
The intention behind the creation of Indigenous Art is not only to preserve culture but also to educate future observers on culturally important teachings. One cannot help but associate the educational intention of these artworks and the activities and physical architecture of our schools grounds and buildings.
School hallways and pathways lead to class rooms or meeting places, important areas of specific learning, activities and celebrations, just as sacred and ceremonial sites are linked by journey lines in many Aboriginal artworks.
Play and rest areas that symbolize the occurrence of sitting down together or meeting places, similar locations are depicted in the narratives of almost all Indigenous Artworks. The process of a learned elder or teacher is a direct representation of the process of further learning’s in Aboriginal cultural traditions by elders to the aboriginal youth throughout there initiation journey.
The accomplishment of completing primary or secondary school can also be associated with an early stage of Aboriginal initiation, each progression of academic achievement is a further initiation advancement. Therefore, it can be suggested that in Western terms, our schools facilitate the “initiation” of our future leaders. Through eeducation, students are able to prepare, adapt and make a more positive contribution to our complex society.
The displaying of Indigenous artworks generates interest and discussion; viewers can contemplate, question, learn, admire or simply enjoy the visual aspect of Australian Indigenous art.
Exposing these works to the youth of Australia is a continuation of the artist’s initial motive and can play a vital role in cultural understanding and the continuation of the worlds oldest living culture.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) the number of schools in Australia is 9,427 categorised as follows:
6,697 government schools, 1,713 Catholic Schools and 1,017 Independent Schools.
The total number of students in Australian Schools exceeded 3.5 million, with 2.3 million of those attending Government schools, compared with 700,000 at Catholic schools and 500,000 at independent schools.
Cultural exposure through these artworks to 3.5million students, families and the wider school community presents an irresistible opportunity to play a small roll in the process of reconciliation, closing the gap and a general improvement in culture understanding of our first Australians.
The founder of Indigenate, Adam Knight believes the key focus for improving the standard of living of Australia’s Indigenous people is via a focus on health care and education. Indigenate does not directly influence these priorities immediately in Indigenous Communities; however, it is a long-term platform to influence our future leaders, decision makers, doctors, social workers and others. There is 13 years of primary and secondary education. That is a significant period to have with an interested audience and a valuable opportunity to introduce and to educate. Current and past decision makers have a poor track record with Indigenous Policy, through early introduction and education we believe better understanding and familiarity will produce more intelligent and positive outcomes. We don’t believe in reducing the Gap, we believe in NO – GAP.
The program is open to schools that will not only present the Indigenous work in a prominent location but will also commit to using the presence of the work as a catalyst for enhancing their Indigenous learning’s. This can be achieved through various avenues of curriculum, the arts, geography, history, social studies and others. Schools are encouraged to discover more about the Indigenous people of the area in which the school is located and consider identifying local Indigenous Elders and Leaders to participate in appropriate school functions or occasions.
Indigenate is here to assist in this process, through an extended network of Indigenous relationships we are in a position to provide further information and introductions.
Artworks can be donated by Indigenate but can also be donated by student parents or members of the local community. Indigenate can assist in the sourcing of appropriate artworks for donation. Artworks for such purpose are available from Art Centre’s, artists and galleries at discounted prices, often at wholesale and even below cost as the purpose of donation is highly respected.
Although this should not be a key motivator but there are likely to be significant taxation deduction benefits for individuals or entity’s that do choose to donate to your school.
9 IN 10 AUSTRALIANS THINK INDIGENOUS ARTS ARE IMPORTANT
Australian attitudes to the arts are increasingly positive with 92 percent of people in agreement that ‘Indigenous arts are an important part of Australia’s culture’ in 2013. This is up from 89 percent in 2009.
This attitude is also reflected in a growing interest in Indigenous arts with almost a quarter of Australians having a strong interest, a significant increase from 2009, and a further 42 percent of Australians saying their interest in Indigenous arts is growing.
9 IN 10 AUSTRALIANS THINK THE ARTS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF EDUCATION
Australian attitudes to the arts are increasingly positive with 89 percent of people in agreement that ‘The arts should be an important part of the education of every Australian’ in 2013.
Over eight in ten agreed that the arts make for a richer and more meaningful life (85 percent) and it is exciting to see new styles and types of art (84 percent), significant increases from 2009.