Melbourne writer, reader and Managing Editor of Lip Magazine. www.lipmag.com
Published August 10th 2010
Mia Mia Aboriginal Art Gallery is unlike any other. For 15 years, it has sat against an inspiring backdrop of ancient River Red Gums and accompanying rural character at Templestowe's Westerfolds Park. It is a gallery, learning centre and Aboriginal cultural hub rolled into one. Their philosophy is "to express, through art, the richness and unique aboriginal culture of Australia."
Visitors have the pleasure of discovering the ways in which Aboriginal artists' works help share and preserve their stories and culture for future generations. The gallery features contemporary and traditional paintings, rugs, carpets and didgeridoos, which are all for sale.
But it's not just about art; it's about education.
Did you know that to have a boomerang come back after it's been thrown, the thrower must take into consideration the direction of the wind, their stance, the arm they're using to throw with and the actual force behind the throw? Students of all ages can participate in one of Mia Mia's educational programs and learn the art of boomerang throwing. It's not as easy as it looks!
Then there's the eye-opening bush walk through Westerfolds Park and the opportunity to be treated to a dreamtime story or two, and the unique sounds of the didgeridoo care of the musical talents of a professional musician.
Adults can take advantage of Mia Mia's comprehensive cultural tours. With a walk to local scar trees and discussions covering Aboriginal life and an explanation of Indigenous artifacts, it's sure to be an enriching experience.
The Mia Mia Cafe will help quash any hunger pangs. Here you can indulge on a selection of freshly baked scones served with Indigenous jams like Raspberry and Wild Rosella and Fruits of the Outback. Yum!
The best thing is, the Aboriginal Artists Development Trust runs the centre and as such, they're committed to putting any money they raise here back into the Aboriginal community.