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Community & Business

2 October, 2021

Joy Trudgett Indigenous oral history project

As a proud representation of first nations people and culture signifying the Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay and Wailwan Nations, the Joy Trudgett Gallery has been underway for some time.

By Emily Middleton

The result was to design a new museum/gallery representing local Aboriginal culture and history at the Coo-ee Heritage Centre.

After community consultation, storytelling from local Aboriginal Elders through spoken narrations was a priority, and so the indigenous oral history project began.

Kylie Moppett, Museums and Galleries of NSW (MGNSW) museum advisor for Gilgandra Shire Council, found the opportunity to work on the Joy Trudgett Gallery project of great interest, to learn and understand local Aboriginal history.

“Developing a new museum/gallery is very exciting, especially when it gives a voice to our local community,” said Ms Moppett.

“I have conducted four interviews to date with local Aboriginal Elders June Carr, Fran Dunn, Kathy Bird and Phyllis Morgan.”

Once transcribed and presented to the interviewees, they will be available on the library network and available for research.

“We envisage taking short stories from the interviews to be included in the gallery. I’m not wanting to give too much away! But in the short-term I’m hoping to complete two more interviews once the public health orders lift and we can meet again,” said Ms Moppett.

Ms Moppett has said that meeting and working with the local Aboriginal community has been the most rewarding experience, receiving extensive support and friendship through the project.

“One story that really hit home was the lack of inclusion and acknowledgement of Aboriginal men and women who served in the armed forces in local ANZAC day marches and remembrance services.”

“These stories collectively reflect the spirit of our community. Stories relate to our own family values and culture. They reflect our past and shape our future. Stories are one of the main forms of communication between generations, without stories and sharing our life experiences I think we would be lost,” said Ms Moppett.

“I envisage the project will continue to evolve long after the doors open. Joy Trudgett Gallery will be a living museum that will continue to represent local Aboriginal culture and stories.”

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