Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D7 -  4 July 2003

Launch of Kickin’ up dust Photo Exhibition

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will launch its latest travelling exhibition, Kickin’ up dust, in Canberra on Monday before the exhibition heads overseas on a three-year tour. 

The atrium of the R.G. Casey Building will feature 40 striking photographs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural festivals held across Australia between August 2002 and February 2003.

Four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderfestivals were chosen to showcase the richness and diversity of Australia’s Indigenous peoples: the Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory; the Torres Strait Cultural Festival, Thursday Island, Queensland; Stompem Ground in Broome, Western Australia; and the larapuna Festival in Tasmania.

Mandawuy Yunupingu, lead singer of the rock band Yothu Yindi, will also speak at the launch on behalf of the Garma Festival and Yothu Yindi Foundation - one of the contributors to the exhibition. Mandawuy was named 1992 Australian of the Year.

The departmentobserved Indigenous protocols closely in developing the exhibition. Appropriate permissions were obtained to reproduce images and information and respect for cultural and intellectual property was central to our working relationships with Indigenous communities and organisations.

The exhibition’s world tour will start in Seoul in August. Kickin’ up dust continues the department’s proud record ofpromoting a positive contemporary image of Australia’s Indigenous peoples and cultures overseas. There is strong interest internationally in Australia’s Aboriginal people but less is known about the Torres Strait Islander peoples. This exhibition aims to raise the profile of both groups.

The exhibition was initiated by the department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program, located within the Images of the Australia Branch. Two Canberra-based companies joined forces to form ‘Liquid SPA’, to develop and deliver the exhibition. The company provided project management and curatorial expertise but most importantly, specialist Indigenous services which were invaluable in assembling this exhibition.

Open to the public until 18 July, Kickin’ up dust will be a highlight of the department’s 2003 NAIDOC Week celebrations.

A flag raising event will be held at 12.40pm followed by the launch of Kickin’ up dust at 1pm on Monday 7 July 2003 in the Atrium, R.G. Casey Building, John McEwen Crescent, Barton. The media are invited to attend.

Contacts: Tracey Haines (DFAT) 02-6261 3942; Benita Tunks, Liquid Design Development Team 02-6262 6669; Sharon Payne (SPA) Indigenous services, spayne@apex.net.au