Council has been gifted with a special artwork by the family of the late Mabel Edmund which was officially unveiled at the launch of NAIDOC Week 2019.
Mayor Bill Ludwig and Councillors were honoured to receive the generous donation for Livingstone Shire Council, where Mabel served two terms as Councillor from 1970 – 1976.
Mayor Ludwig said Mabel made an incredible contribution to not only Council but to many aspects of our community, including her title as elder for both the Darumbal and South Sea Islander people.
“Mabel was an accomplished author, artist and champion for the Indigenous and South Sea Islander communities; and as a Livingstone Shire Councillor Mabel (AM, JP) was the first indigenous person elected to public office in Australia,” Mayor Ludwig said.
“Mabel was the second woman in the history of Livingstone Shire Council to be elected as Councillor; she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia, and was also a Justice of the Peace.
“Council is thrilled to have received this artwork titled, “The Yam People”, which has been hung proudly in Council Chambers. Council would like to sincerely thank Mabel’s loving family including her daughter Darumbal Elder Aunty Sally Vea Vea for presenting this wonderful gift to Council.”
Deputy Mayor Nigel Hutton said to have this exceptional art piece from Mable Edmund, who was such a high achiever for both the indigenous community as well as the overall community, taking pride of place in the Council Chambers will be an inspiration for future generations to strive for high achievement.
“The artwork will also be an ongoing reminder of the contribution that the Indigenous community has made and will continue to make into the future, as well as the importance for us to respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners and ongoing custodians of the land – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Cr Hutton said.
Aunty Sally said the artwork; a lino print, was made of leather by her mother in the late 1980s, and was inspired by her time spent in the Cairns region.
“The print is of a rainforest in Cape York, near the small town of Laura which she visited during her time living in Cairns for two years,” Aunty Sally said.
“She made art with many different mediums including lino printing, oils, watercolours, Batik and even shells. Art was a form of healing to her. We wanted to present Mayor Ludwig and Council with something special that belonged to her and that she made herself, because she remained friends with a lot of the Councillors over the years.”