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Talented Noongar artist contributes to strategy

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Published 08 November 2023

Artwork by talented Noongar artist Melissa Gail Riley.
Artwork Respect Boodja by talented Noongar artist Melissa Gail Riley.

A talented Noongar artist has helped share the importance of caring for Boodja through her art.

Commissioned by the City of Bunbury, Melissa Gail Riley created her artwork, Respect Boodja, to feature in the recently adopted Sustainability and Environmental Strategy 2023-2028.

The beautiful artwork pays recognition and acknowledges the Noongar Wardandi people and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community.

Melissa said the artwork reflected her strong culture and respect for the land and that her paintings were greatly influenced by nature, the colours of nature and events that happened during her childhood.

Hunting trips, stories told by her grandparents, traveling back and forth to the country, bush walking in spring time when the wildflowers were in abundance among the memories.

“I will always continue to have a passion for Noongar art through stories, land, songlines and memories, that I will pass onto the younger generations,” she said.

“My design is to represent how meaningful and important it is to respect and care for our Boodja. When I see blossoms on the wattles and gum trees, I know that Djilba is here, and all the wildflowers too are in abundance.

“I love being able to do my part in making sure that I respect our Boodja, so that the beauty of the Boodja can always be there for our next generations to come.”

Melissa’s artwork features stunning paintings of native plants including Dangalang (pink everlastings), Mindalong (wattle), Balga (grass tree) and Yonga Maar (Kangaroo Paw) – just to name a few.

The City is incredibly grateful for Melissa sharing her artwork to help spread recognition and the importance of sustainability for Bunbury and beyond.

The see the artwork and the Sustainability and Environmental Strategy which sets out goals and strategic measures to help tackle climate change, please click the link.