The Newman Health Service is set to become home to a series of artworks by local Martumili artists when the brand new hospital and health service is completed in 2023.
The $61.4 million McGowan Government redevelopment project, which includes a $15 million contribution from BHP Iron Ore (BHP), will provide Newman and the surrounding communities with a modern, fit-for-purpose facility delivering care closer to home and on Country.
The incorporation of artwork by local Aboriginal artists is part of the State’s commitment to ensuring Aboriginal people can receive care in a culturally safe and welcoming facility that meets the needs of the community.
Part of the McGowan Government’s Percent for Art Scheme, the artwork will focus on the concept of storytelling incorporating the themes of culture, mining and pastoralism through both internal and external installations reflecting local art practices and culture.
The themes have been developed in consultation with Traditional Owners and the wider Newman community to acknowledge Aboriginal practices related to healing and medicine as well as embed and honour traditional knowledge systems of Nyiyaparli and Martu culture.
Stage One of the art program encompasses the works of Warnman sisters Lily Long and Amy French who have been awarded a contract to collaborate on a work for the main foyer depicting Karlamilyi, also known as Rudall River National Park, painting what Country means to them and the connection between self, place, country and culture, highlighting the concept of care.
Artwork for the main entry screen has been awarded to Manyjilyjarra woman Mulyatingki Marney whose piece tells the story of Minyipuru, or the Seven Sisters, and embodies Aboriginal notions of interconnectedness between spirituality, land and self.
Construction on the site is progressing well with the roof recently erected on the building.
The first stage of the works is on track to be finalised in the third quarter of 2022, and the subsequent stages expected to be completed and fully operational by mid-2023.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“I’m pleased the McGowan Government’s Percent for Art Scheme is supporting investment in local Western Australian artists to deliver exciting artwork for the Pilbara’s newest hospital in Newman.
“It is great to see this infrastructure project is on track to deliver a new, modern healthcare facility to the Pilbara region.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“Incorporating the culture and stories of local Pilbara people and their communities into this new healthcare hub through art will help us provide a culturally safe and secure place to access care.
“This is another example of the commitment by the McGowan Government to provide considerable opportunities to local people and businesses during the Newman Health Service redevelopment program of works.”