On Country: Baraparapa Elder Esther Kirby
On Country: Baraparapa Elder Esther Kirby,
silver gelatin print, 60x60cm,
Koorie Heritage Trust, 2011
Not to be reproduced without permission from the artist.Copyright
Esther Kirby uses her art to bridge the cultural divide between traditional and contemporary life and is passionate about keeping her culture alive. She consults on Koorie culture and heritage for native title and works closely with young people in her community.
After shaking Prince William’s hand with pride on March 22, 2011, Esther said: “I think he is fantastic … He is his mother’s son. I think – a new generation”. The young royal was visiting Kerang after the devasting floods.
Born in Balranald to a family of 13 children, Esther and her sister Phoebe Nicholson grew up on a mission and later moved along the Murray River to Kerang, near Swan Hill.
In her role as a Baraparapa Elder, Aunty Esther worked with her community to decide what stories would be told on the cloak about their Country. As the artist, she was responsible for expressing those stories through her own designs. The community was given permission to make the cloak by Elders: Damien Murray, Lillian Murray and John Charles.
Esther’s sister, Phoebe Nicholson, made the Wadi Wadi cloak for the opening ceremony of the Games.
Click here to watch Interview: Baraparapa Elder Esther Kirby