Although not all Bush Babies on the River participants were born in Midland, they all felt a deep connection with the region. Like many other Bush Babies projects, the community gatherings started with family history research and story recordings, evolving into workshops that best suited the talents of participants. With many aspiring and practicing artists in the group, visual arts was chosen as a vehicle for sharing personal birthing stories and connection to country. Professional artists facilitated painting and printmaking workshops, as well as a cultural mapping exercise to record important birthing locations on Swan River country.
The Midland participants each created an individual artwork to accompany a professional oral history recording of their personal bush baby story. One of the participants, Swan River traditional custodian Albert Corunna, spoke of his ancestral ties to the region that reach as far back as Noongar freedom fighters Yagan and Midgegooroo. Copies of their artworks and story recordings were collated into a CD/booklet publication to pass on to future generations.
“The Midland Bush Babies project is important because it acknowledges the Aboriginal people who were born on Swan River country and all the bush babies born in other areas that now call Midland home.”
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