I have been living at Shalom College for four years. It has been a life-changing experience for me. I have had time to work hard at uni, in a racism-free environment in which Indigenous students can live proudly. Without this scholarship it would be impossible for me to study medicine as there is no way my family could afford for me to live in Sydney.— Josef McDonald, 5th Year Medicine, University of New South Wales, Shalom Gamarada Scholarship Recipient
The Shalom Gamarada scholarship program is funded both by the sale of work by Aboriginal artists at the annual, week-long Shalom Gamarada Ngiyani Yana exhibition and by the provision of scholarships by private donors and corporate sponsors. The name of the program comes from the term “gamarada ngiyani yana” in the Eora language and translates to “we walk together as friends.” “Shalom” is a Hebrew word, meaning peace and is part of the name of the Shalom College at the University of NSW. The program was founded in 2005. In 2010, the sixth exhibition and sale will run from 27th June to 4th July.
This year's contributors include the internationally renowned contemporary Indigenous artist, Judy Watson. Other artists include Regina Wilson, Weaver Jack, Jan Billycan and Shorty Jangala Robertson. There will be much sought after ceramic works from the Bagu community from Girringun in Queensland. This year, we will be displaying specially commissioned walls which will include works from Utopia and commissioned installations from Yuendumu and Peppimenarti. For the first time, the exhibition will present new work from the community of Martumili from the Pilbara.
Exhibition audiences will be offered a unique opportunity to experience an incredible and diverse range of Indigenous art practice from across Australia. Shalom Gamarada will showcase an extensive range of more than 120 stretched artworks hanging and many more unstretched works, some of which can be seen in this issue of the Journal (Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, Box 4, Box 5, Box 6, Box 7, Box 8, Box 9, Box 10), with a total value of over one million dollars. All artworks will be available for purchase, with prices ranging from a modest $150 to more than $25,000. Commissions from all art sales go to residential scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical students at Shalom College.
The Shalom Gamarada scholarship program was set up in 2005 to boost the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students attending the University of NSW and runs in partnership with the UNSW’s Shalom College and the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit.
Since its inception, the Shalom Gamarada Aboriginal art exhibition has been able to assist 24 students to study medicine, optometry and medical science, covering board and lodging expenses so students are able to focus solely on excelling in their studies. Each scholarship is valued at over $15 000 per year for the duration of the degree.
We graduated our first Shalom Gamarada doctor in December 2009, Dr Beth Kervan. This year, another scholarship recipient and UNSW’s first Aboriginal optometry student, Jenna Owen — who was the top student in 4th Year Optometry in 2009 — will graduate.
Details of the Exhibition and show
More information: visit http://www.shalomgamarada.org/ or call Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver on 0404 859 989.
The dance of life (cover image)
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