Gorge artists path­way

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE $16 mil­lion Moss­man Gorge Gate­way due to open next month is not just good news for up to 70 peo­ple who will gain di­rect em­ploy­ment as a re­sult.

Im­por­tantly the new in­ter­pre­tive cen­tre also al­lows a plat­form for the Moss­man gorge indige­nous com­mu­nity to pro­mote their cul­ture, pro­vid­ing a tremen­dous show­case for lo­cal artists who will be show­cased in the art cen­tre.

Con­struc­tion of the new vis­i­tor cen­tre is com­plete and re­fur­bish­ing un­der­way and the elec­tric shut­tle sys­tem is due in the next few weeks with the aim of pro­vid­ing eco­nomic, en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and cul­tural ben­e­fits to the indige­nous com­mu­nity.

With up to 500,000 tourists ex­pected to visit the cen­tre ev­ery year, the com­mu­nity is ex­cited about the op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Lo­cal artist Karen Gib­son said the ex­po­sure was un­prece­dented for Moss­man Gorge’s creative side.

“The gate­way is the cor­rect name for the de­vel­op­ment as it pro­vides a gate­way for the com­mu­nity,” she said.

“It pro­vides an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity for artists in our com­mu­nity.

“It also pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for the world to see our cul­ture, our tal­ents and our very unique art.

“Peo­ple of­ten have a pre­con­cep­tion of Abo­rig­i­nal art - but it is so dif­fer­ent tribe to tribe and gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion.

“The art­work from this com­mu­nity is re­ally in­spired by the rain­for­est.”

Ms Gib­son said the added ex­po­sure would en­cour­age more Kuku Yalanji peo­ple to tap into their creative side and pro­vided long-term pro­tec­tion for their land and cul­ture.

“There are so many artists in this com­mu­nity, many peo­ple do not even re­alise that they are artists,” she said.

“The Gate­way project means our com­mu­nity can be­come self-suf­fi­cient, and that our land is pro­tected.”

En­cour­aged: artist Karen Gib­son (right) with Vanessa Can­non and Sh­eryl Burchill

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