A unique new partnership has been formed between Clayton Utz, the Australian Red Cross and the Anindilyakwa Arts & Cultural Centre aimed at bringing the artistic talents of Groote Eylandt's Indigenous peoples to a wider audience.
Marking the launch of the partnership, the very first Anindilyakwa Art Exhibition was held last week at the Dugong Resort on Groote Eylandt, located in the remote Gulf of Carpentaria.
Over 250 people attended the launch, which was effectively one of the largest community events in Groote Eylandt's history.
Vice-Chairman of Anindilyakwa Land Council, Tony Wurramarrba, spoke on behalf of the local community, and guests - including Clayton Utz chief executive partner David Fagan and Darwin managing partner Mark Spain - enjoyed performances by local musicians and dancers.
The Exhibition will remain on Groote Eylandt this week before being transferred to Clayton Utz' Sydney offices for show during July's NAIDOC week and this will be the first time the artwork has left Groote Eylandt.
Under the partnership, all proceeds from the sale of the artwork will go to the artists and the Groote Eylandt community, which will donate a percentage of the sale proceeds to the Red Cross Angurugu Remote Communities Holiday Program - a new Red Cross initiative created to engage youth at Angurugu in meaningful activities and giving them the chance to develop skills, increase their self-confidence and boost pride in themselves and their community.
Spain said the new partnership was a unique and practical way in which Clayton Utz could support one of Australia's most remote Indigenous communities.
"We have built a strong partnership with the Red Cross in the Northern Territory over the last nine years, providing pro bono legal assistance and volunteer and financial support for disadvantaged young people. We are delighted to work with the Red Cross and the Anindilyakwa Arts & Cultural Centre in this initiative," he said.
Fagan added: "Groote Eylandt is a remote community and the wonderful works on display at the Anindilyakwa Arts & Cultural Centre are not readily accessible to, and able to be appreciated by, a wider Australian audience. Through our partnership with the Centre and with Australian Red Cross, we hope to not only showcase the artistic talents of the Indigenous peoples of Groote but support them in supporting themselves through sales of their work."