Artis­tic project aids peo­ple in their re­cov­ery

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing

LIL­LIAN Bal­lan­garry and Nu­men Yar­rie are leav­ing their al­co­hol ad­dic­tions be­hind one paint stroke at a time.

Through art, they are find­ing a pur­pose through the Punyu Project, which trans­lated means Abo­rig­i­nal well­be­ing.

The works they and many oth­ers have cre­ated have been on dis­play dur­ing the sec­ond An­nual Men­tal Health Month Art Ex­hi­bi­tion for Western Syd­ney at Bun­gar­ribee Doonside Com­mu­nity Hub.

Ev­ery Wed­nes­day, Ms Bal­lan­garry and Mr Yar­rie take part in well­be­ing work­shops at the Abo­rig­i­nal Ser­vice Cen­tre at Emerton.

“This fa­cil­ity has done won­ders for me, it has changed my whole way of ap­pre­ci­at­ing and deal­ing with stuff,” Ms Bal­lan­garry said.

“I come here and my mind is clear. I can leave all that other stuff be­hind.”

Mr Yar­rie has volun- teered at the cen­tre for 10 years.

“I have al­ways strug­gled with my al­co­holism but I come here and it takes my mind away from that. I come here and it’s not in my sys­tem or in my head,” he said.

The project’s sup­port fa­cil­i­ta­tor, Julie Web­ster, said she had been “blown away” by the pro­gram’s im­pact.

“I’ve been away on hol­i­days but they sent me pho­tos of the works be­ing cre­ated and I was over­whelmed by how much beauty has been cre­ated,” Ms Web­ster said.

The ex­hi­bi­tion aims to des­tig­ma­tise men­tal ill­ness, pro­vid­ing hope and re­as­sur­ance to peo­ple strug­gling with it and con­nect­ing peo­ple in need with re­cov­ery ori­ented sup­port.

De­tails: 8822 2222.

I come here and my mind is clear. I can leave all that other stuff be­hind.

– LIL­LIAN BALLANDARRY

Pic­ture: JUSTIN SAN­SON

Lil­lian Bal­lan­garry is learn­ing to deal with is­sues through art.

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