Photographic exhibition, Serving Country, has opened at Manningham Art Gallery.
Serving Country recognises and acknowledges the valuable contribution of First Nations servicemen and servicewomen who have served, or are serving, in the Australian Defence Force.
Serving Country is the collaborative work of Sydney-based human rights social documentarian and Creative Director of Blur Projects, Belinda Mason, and videographer, Dieter Knierim. There are currently over 200 photographed portraits printed on brushed aluminium panels in the collection. Of the collection, 52 of portraits are included in the Manningham Art Gallery exhibition.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Michelle Kleinert said that she is proud that Manningham can share this important exhibition.
“I encourage everyone in the Manningham community to visit the gallery to see these moving photographs and learn more about the First Nations servicemen and servicewomen who are shown in them.”
“We are particularly pleased to be able to offer this exhibition as part of our National Reconciliation Week program. We all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation. Learning about the experiences and achievements of some of these First Nations servicepeople can be an important step in our journey to reconciliation.”
The Serving Country photographic exhibition shares the lived experiences of First Nations families and individuals who have proudly served and continue to serve in Australia’s Defence Force. Many returning veterans are still living with the trauma of their experiences in the battlefield. Serving Country serves as a platform for sharing stories, both inspiring and devastating, of courage and mateship. Sharing these stories plays a vital role in healing in Australian First Nations culture.
Two of the participants, Aunty Lorraine and Uncle Col shared some of their thoughts.
“To serve in the Australian Regular Army for one’s country is an honour and it has been a privilege and one that I am extremely proud of. My Journey although long and challenging has been extremely rewarding. You never know how strong you are until you are faced with challenges through adversity.”
“Never let the fear of failure prevent you from succeeding.”
Manningham Art Gallery
Until 18 June 2022
687 Doncaster Road, Doncaster
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm
Entry is free