‘Dressmaker exhibition’ at the ACT’s Victoria Museum opens to the public
The dressmaker exhibit at the Victoria Museum in Canberra is being opened to the general public on Saturday.
The exhibit features work by a range of designers including Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Stella, Louise Fletcher, and Vivienne Westwood.
It is part of a series of exhibitions that will also feature work by artists from Australia, the United States, Italy, France, China, South Africa, Canada and Japan.
ACT Chief Executive Officer Steve Pinder said the exhibition was a “must-see” for the ACT and the ACT Government.
“It’s important to remember that the ACT is a very diverse and multicultural state, with more than 50 different languages spoken in the ACT, and the vast majority of the population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians live here,” he said.
“The ACT is the only state in Australia where the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders are not included in the official language of the ACT.”
He said this meant the exhibition offered a rare opportunity to see some of the work of Indigenous artists in Canberra.
“The exhibition is a chance for us to celebrate our diverse history in Canberra,” Mr Pinder told ABC Radio Canberra.
“There’s a strong cultural connection between Indigenous Australians and the Australian people, and it’s great to see this show that celebrates our history and our diversity in Canberra.”
The exhibition is part-funded by the Commonwealth and will be open to the community on Saturday from 11am to 3pm.
Mr Pinders also confirmed that the museum was open to anyone with a passport, but would have to secure the permission of the local council for the exhibition.
Mr Hines said the exhibit was designed to “celebrate the diversity of our communities”.
“There’s no doubt there are many Indigenous Australians who are interested in being a part of this exhibition, and we’re all working together to make sure they get access to it,” he told ABC radio Canberra.
ACT Government says ACT is ‘a country of immigrants’ Mr Hine said the display was about celebrating the diversity in the country and about the fact that Canberra is “a country that has always been a place of immigrants”.
“We have people of many different cultures and languages and we all come together to create a country of people that is multicultural and multicultural is what we’re trying to celebrate,” he added.
ACT Mayor and Deputy Premier Adrian Piccoli said the project was a great way to “show support” for Aboriginal and Aboriginal-owned businesses.
“There is a real need for people to be able to come and work in Canberra and it is great to have these artists who are showing us what is possible,” he commented.
ACT Indigenous Development Minister David McRae said the ACT had been the “nation’s capital of multiculturalism” for many years.
“This exhibition is an example of how we can be a nation of immigrants,” he noted.
“It is a good reminder of the important role the ACT plays in supporting the Aboriginal community and the many businesses that have thrived in the city.”
ACT Premier Adrian Porritt said the Government was proud of the support it had received from Indigenous businesses.
Mr Porrits comments came as the ACT government announced a $500,000 grant to support the “resilience” of businesses in the local community.
ACT Premier Brad Hazzard said the grant was part of his Government’s $2.4 billion economic stimulus package.
ACT Minister of State for Finance Mark Bailey said the initiative was aimed at “building and sustaining a strong local economy that reflects ACT’s diversity”.
“The government’s commitment to building resilience and prosperity is a key component to the recovery strategy and a key part of our economic plan for the future,” Mr Bailey said.
“As a result, our commitment to this initiative will see an extra $1.7 million allocated for businesses that need support to stay in the region.”
The Minister said the grants would help “develop and support the resilience of the regional economy”.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the government would “continue to invest in local businesses” and the community.
He said ACT would continue to develop a “business culture” and “work to promote the development of a vibrant local economy”.
“As the region continues to grow, and as we are a nation that has an enormous number of immigrants and indigenous people living here, we will continue to invest to support our people and their businesses,” Mr Barr said.
ACT’s ‘biggest ever’ Indigenous economic boom in 25 years: ABC Canberra reporter James Rennie