10 May 2023

Coen art centre given a helping hand from state government

| Cape York Weekly
Start the conversation

Coen artist Naomi Hobson, centre, with Cook MP Cynthia Lui and Treasurer Cameron Dick earlier this year.

AN emerging Indigenous Art Centre in Coen will be supported as part of the state government’s priority to elevate First Nations arts, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch announced.

“The Palaszczuk government will invest more than $200,000 over two years towards the Indigenous Art Centre in Coen to help support the community in realising their local priorities of enhancing arts practice, skills development for local artists and arts workers, sustainability and realising growth ambition,” she said.

Treasurer and Ministerial Champion for Coen Cameron Dick said the proposed flexible funding approach for Coen reflects a commitment by the government to work closely with First Nations communities to ensure locally-led investment in priorities that will make a positive and long-term impact.

“The support model in Coen is driven by close consultation with the Coen Regional Aboriginal Corporation and the support of internationally acclaimed First Nations artist Naomi Hobson, a southern Kaantju and Umpila woman,” Mr Dick said.

“Ms Hobson has made a strong commitment to the emerging Coen Arts Centre, with the aim to consult, plan and develop arts activities and skills to ensure the community is best positioned to embrace the potential of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic games.”

Ms Hobson said she was rapt with the support.

“The funding means freedom, to be able to share stories from home and to enable us to come together as one community and preserve culture,” she said.

“Holding onto our stories is important to us. We are telling stories in our way. We are sharing them through film, painting and ceramics.

“People are reading our stories through our art, so everyone can connect to our stories.”

“We are telling our stories as people from Coen in Cape York, for future generations so they can continue our stories.

“Our stories unite us to our ancestors and to the future.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said communities across the Cape had strong arts practice traditions and the funding would support the Coen community to share local stories and art nationally and globally.

“The art centre is about bringing people together as one community and moving forward,” the MP said.

“Art is culture and culture is life. It’s important to practice this as a community.”

Start the conversation

Cape York Weekly

Subscribe to get the latest edition of Cape York Weekly in your inbox each Monday.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Cape York Weekly's terms and conditions and privacy policy.