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17 May 2010

New Clayton Utz community partnership to showcase artistic talents of Groote Eylandt community

Sydney, 17 May 2010: Clayton Utz is proud to be a part of an exciting new partnership with long-time community partner Australian Red Cross and the Anindilyakwa Arts & Cultural Centre (and Artists)[1] to bring the artistic talents of the Indigenous peoples of Groote Eylandt in Australia's far north to a wider Australian audience.

Last Thursday evening Clayton Utz Chief Executive Partner David Fagan and Clayton Utz Darwin Managing Partner Mark Spain attended the launch of the very first Anindilyakwa Art Exhibition held at the Dugong Resort on Groote Eylandt ― located more than 1,300 kilometres from Darwin, in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Over 250 people attended the launch, one of the largest community events in Groote Eylandt's history. The Vice- Chairman of Anindilyakwa Land Council, Tony Wurramarrba, spoke on behalf of the local community, and guests enjoyed performances by local musicians and dancers.

The Anindilyakwa Art Exhibition will remain on Groote Eylandt this week before being packed and transported to Clayton Utz' Sydney offices for exhibition during NAIDOC week in July. It will be the first time the artwork will leave Groote Eylandt for exhibition in any part of Australia. The Exhibition will then return to Darwin where it will on display in the Smith Street Mall outside the Australian Red Cross office.

All proceeds from the sale of the artwork will go to the artists and the Groote Eylandt community, which will in turn donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Red Cross Angurugu Remote Communities Holiday Program ― a new Red Cross initiative aimed at engaging youth at Angurugu in meaningful activities during school holidays and giving them an opportunity to develop skills, increase their self-confidence and boost pride in themselves and their community. The Clayton Utz Foundation is an existing and proud supporter of the Red Cross Angurugu Remote Communities Holiday Program.

Clayton Utz Darwin Managing Partner Mark Spain said the new partnership was a different and practical way Clayton Utz could support one of the most remote Indigenous communities in Australia.

"We have built a strong partnership with the Red Cross in the Northern Territory over the last nine years, providing pro bono legal assistance and volunteer and financial support for disadvantaged young people. We are delighted to work with the Red Cross and the Anindilyakwa Arts & Cultural Centre in this initiative."

Reiterating Mr Spain's comments, Clayton Utz Chief Executive Partner David Fagan said: "Groote Eylandt is a remote community and the wonderful works on display at the Anindilyakwa Arts & Cultural Centre are not readily accessible to, and able to be appreciated by, a wider Australian audience. Through our partnership with the Centre and with Australian Red Cross, we hope to not only showcase the artistic talents of the Indigenous peoples of Groote but support them in supporting themselves through sales of their work."

He added: "The partnership is consistent with our commitment to helping address the inequality that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through our Reconciliation Action Plan launched earlier this year, and through our Pro Bono and Community Connect programs."

 

[1] The Anindilyakwa Arts & Cultural Centre aims to promote the region's Indigenous art by supporting local Indigenous artists and providing them with a channel through which to sell their artwork.

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