Mural to encourage students to “dream big” thanks to RADF grant

Published: 24 Nov 2022

Bidyiri Woorwaya means “to dream big” in the YUWI language.

It’s fitting that this is the name given to the cultural gardens and yarning circle at CQUniversity's Mackay Ooralea Campus.

To dream big is also set to be the theme of a wall mural at the site thanks to $8000 in funding approved in the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) round one of grants.

RADF Committee chair Cr Fran Mann said the grant would be used to source and employ a local Indigenous artist to complete the mural, who was also ideally a Traditional Owner.

“The committee was very supportive of the theme of the mural and hoped it would inspire students, staff and the community ‘to dream big’ and achieve their dreams,” Cr Mann said.

“The committee was also very pleased to see the collaboration with YUWI to ensure this site complimented and respected the culture of our region,” she said.

The applicant, Mellisa Taggart, CQUniversity’s Indigenous student wellbeing project officer, said research showed that establishing culturally appropriate spaces and places to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students had wide ranging benefits.

She said it helped them to feel welcome and encouraged them to participate in tertiary education and achieve positive outcomes.

“Our vision is to develop cultural safe spaces at each campus to welcome, engage, support and promote the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous students and staff,” Ms Taggart said.

Also receiving funding to the tune of $3211 was a project by Shelley Engwirda that looks at how the "ordinary", everyday experiences of women are recorded so that their contributions to society can be recognised, valued and not forgotten.

Also funded in this RADF round were:

  • Nature Clay and the Things Inbetween by Fiona Flohr - $4320 to allow two interregional artists to investigate and explore ideas for new artworks to be exhibited in June 2023
  • Georgina Baira EP Debut - $5500 for the recording of a five track EP, with release and management to streaming services, artist development and a launch event in Mackay
  • Mackay Art Society 2023 Workshop Program - $5900 to deliver Artist Development Workshops across a variety of mediums to both society members and artists from the local community.

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Mackay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said as part of this successful, long-term collaboration, the Queensland Government will provide $2.13 million for RADF 2022–2023 to a total of 59 local councils, who will contribute a co-investment amount of over $1.9 million

“Established in 1991, RADF is a long-standing success story between the Queensland Government and regional councils, enabling local artists and arts workers to tell their rich and unique stories, boosting regional employment opportunities and other positive economic outcomes,” Minister Enoch said.

“For 31 years RADF has provided a legacy of creating new art and cultural experiences for Queensland audiences and communities, and a platform for professional development and growth across the regional arts sector,” she said.