17806 Annual Report 2021.indd

The Pathways Connecting Community When Momentum Collective put out a call across the Northern Rivers region for local Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander people to create an original artwork for their upcoming Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) the response was overwhelming. The winning submission, titled Safe Connections, by Lismore based artist Patricia McGurgan captured the spirit of community and connectedness that Momentum Collective aspires to achieve through a broad range of services and programs to assist people in need at a local level. “I’m a Ngemba woman from Brewarrina in NSW and I have lived in Bundjalung country since 1972 from a very early age,” Patricia says. “I have always been an artist but I didn’t continue with my art once I had children to care for. I joined an Aboriginal Women’s group through the YWCA in Lismore a couple of years ago and that encouraged me to get back into my art.” Patricia, who is a Momentum Collective Community Housing tenant, says she found out about the art competition from one of the Elders at the YWCA group. “Aunty Jacqui Williams is part of the group and a mentor for me - she let everyone know about the competition. I thought, ‘I can do this’. “I thought, I can do this. I already had a connection with Momentum Collective so I felt like I understood what the organisation stood for,” she says. “I’ve been with Momentum Collective for a while as a tenant in Lismore. I’ve always had a good rapport with my tenancy manager. I’m working on moving into a new place that is more suitable for my youngest son. I have been in this house for about eight years; Momentum Collective has always been good to me.” Patricia called the artwork ‘Safe Connections’ because Momentum Collective assists people to navigate different options and makes sure they stay safe and connected. “Momentum Collective is the helping hands reaching out in the artwork. They provide different programs in local communities that need their support. It is my visual interpretation of what the organisation does in the community.”

Patricia says she was excited and shocked to hear that she had won the Reconciliation Action Plan artwork competition. “I was blown away when I found out I had won. I enjoyed the process and I was excited to work on a project that was connected to Reconciliation. I don’t recognise colour in people – I am very supportive of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. The main thing is to be respectful of each other and treat each other well – that is how I was raised.” With her artwork gaining recognition, Patricia is keen to continue to work on projects for individuals and community organisations. “I really enjoy the process. Art is a kind of therapy for me. I like to work with a brief – if people tell me what they want it helps. I have created some artwork for Social Futures and for the Far North Regional Land Council. Some of my artwork has also gone overseas. I had an American lady interested in my Bundjalung Dancing Sisters picture – she said it reminded her of her own sisters.” “I was blown away when I found out I had won.” ~ Patricia

20 | Momentum Collective

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