Miliwanga has since written to me asking whether I would help her peoples through my Sharing Culture work. Of course I will!
Mel is one of my main collaborators - along with Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann and Pip Gordon - in the Voices of the Rivers project I am developing. I can’t wait to meet her in person in late-May. Here is Miliwanga’s interesting bio:
‘Miliwanga Wurrben is a traditional Rembarrnga women from the Mirratja clan group, originally from the Central Arnhem region. Miliwanga lives in Wugularr, her skin group is Galijan of the Duwa moity. Miliwanga comes from a family line of traditional healers and is an advocate for sharing the importance of traditional Indigenous healing modalities.
Miliwanga is a traditional artist, weaver, and healer. She has overcome adversity in her own life, coming from the remote regions of the Northern Territory. She stands now as a leader and Elder in her community and an advocate for the rights of Indigenous People.
Miliwanga currently works as a Cultural Advisor and language interpreter, facilitating Cultural Awareness workshops with medical students and mainstream health providers, educating about traditional bush medicine and other traditional health therapies. Miliwanga is the Chairperson for Banatjarl Strongbala Women Association from Jarwoyn Nation in the Northern Territory.
Miliwanga is a gifted public speaker and is often asked to travel interstate and speak at diverse forums about the importance of strong cultural identity, spiritual well-being and true reconciliation as found through the core cultural values of Unity, Belongingship, Identity and Connection towards achieving Universal Balance.
Miliwanga has facilitated workshops with the Amnesty International and Oxfam Organisation relating to the United Nations Declarations for Indigenous Peoples of the World. Miliwanga often uses her art works to share the depth and wisdom of her ancient culture so as to bring about understanding and support for Indigenous People.
“It’s taken me many years to find the words and ways to give meaning to an intricate, complex culture. To be able to explain so that people understand the depth and uniqueness of Aboriginal Spirituality expressed through culture. So many times we talk about it and people would not really get the grip of what we are saying. I am hoping a painting such as this will help.
A design such as this, helps the person to see and understand where we are coming from and the story that is being told of our culture and how we live in it.
This is our Universal Balance, as we are connected to all things.”