Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New Jilamara facilities celebrate Tiwi culture, art and learning

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health Member for Lingiari

A new development to showcase Tiwi culture and the work of established and emerging artists was officially opened in Milikapiti today, with support from an Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) grant of nearly $1.5 million.

The complex, managed by Jilamara Arts and Craft Association, includes a new gallery and office, renovations to house the Muluwurri Museum, an art preparation and packaging area and new kitchen and training facilities.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs congratulated everyone involved in the Jilamara construction and redevelopment.

“I know this means so much to the people of Milikapiti,” Ms Macklin said.

“The new gallery and museum means the rich and internationally renowned culture and artistry of Tiwi people will be appropriately displayed and celebrated. It will also help the Milikapiti community to meet its aim of encouraging more visitors and further develop economic and tourism opportunities.”

The museum showcases the history of Tiwi art and culture and holds important footage of ceremony will be used as a cultural education hub for the Milikapiti school, Tiwi College and other visiting schools.

The redevelopment means the extensive collection of Tiwi artefacts and artworks, which have been documented, digitized and entered into a database, can be properly preserved and displayed. The museum’s new audio-visual room screens footage of past Tiwi ceremonies and exhibitions and allows visitors to listen to audio recordings and stories of past and present artists.

The Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, commended Jilmara for the relationship it was developing with the local school, that has seen regular classes being held at the museum and art gallery.

“This initiative involves elders and has proved very popular. It ensures local history and culture is appropriately handed down the generations and has helped to improve school attendance,” Mr Snowdon said.

The Jilamara Art and Craft Association supports emerging Tiwi artists and provides employment to Milikapiti residents as well as retailing the work of their many established artists.

The ABA provides mining royalty equivalent monies to be used for the benefit of Indigenous people living in the Northern Territory.