Highly Commended in MAGNA Awards 2016

We are delighted to announce that ‘Seeing the Land from an Aboriginal Canoe’ was Highly Commended in its category at the Museums and Galleries National Awards, the MAGNA 2016 Awards, announced on the 18th May 2016 in Auckland.

The short documentary film and multimedia gallery about Aboriginal navigators and canoe builders in colonial Victoria was produced by Wind & Sky Productions for the online portal Culture Victoria.

The project features interviews with the historian Associate Professor Fred Cahir and Traditional Owners Uncle Bryon Powell, Jamie Lowe and Rick Nelson, and includes artwork, maps and photographs from the regional and metropolitan collections of the State Library of Victoria, the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Public Record Office Victoria, Museum Victoria and the Ballarat Gold Museum. Three short historical essays written by Fred Cahir and Lucinda Horrocks were also specially produced for the project.

‘Seeing the Land from an Aboriginal Canoe’ won Highly Commended for Indigenous Project or Keeping Place in the Level 2 Category for projects with a budget of $20,000 – $150,000. The Award winners were announced on Wednesday 18 May at the Museums Australasia Joint Conference in Auckland. The judging panel of Margo Neale (National Museum of Australia) and Djon Mundine (Curator and historian) had this to say about ‘Seeing the Land from an Aboriginal Canoe’:

Waggoners Fording a Stream, Illustrated Australian News, engraver FW Sleap, 1883, courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

Waggoners Fording a Stream, Illustrated Australian News, engraver FW Sleap, 1883, courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

A highly original metaphor that is consistent with the mature and positive way in which the topic of colonisation is narrated. Instead of focussing on the standard view of Aboriginal people as victims it takes on a more innovative approach by celebrating heroism, esteem, collaboration and cooperation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous settlers as well as Aboriginal generosity and entrepreneurship in the face of crisis. It also celebrates the unexpected stories of non-violent interactions and acknowledges a shared history. Recasts archival material with a strong narrative offering multiple entry points for audiences to dip into the story to different depths.

It was a particularly strong field with the excellent winner in the category Lore & Order , Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, justifiably taking the limelight. At Wind & Sky Productions we congratulate the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and our fellow high commendee the City Gallery, as well as all the winners and all those shortlisted in this great national celebration of excellence in the Museums and Galleries sector.

To read the full MAGNA 2016 awards list visit http://www.museumsaustralia.org.au/site/magna-2016.php

Seeing the Land from an Aboriginal Canoe is online on the Culture Victoria web portal at http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/aboriginal-culture/seeing-the-land-from-an-aboriginal-canoe/


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