SAHSSI is super excited to announce our first ever Aboriginal art competition for emerging and non-professional Aboriginal artists aged 14 years and over.

The competition is now open across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven and closes on the 21st June 2019. Winners will be announced just prior to NAIDOC week on the 5th July 2019.

Why is SAHSSI seeking Aboriginal artwork?

Through our Specialist Homelessness Services across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, each year Aboriginal women and children make up 20-30% of the total people supported (this number is growing as from 1st July to 31st December 2018, in the Shoalhaven, 42% of women and children supported were Aboriginal).

Through our Illawarra and Shoalhaven Domestic Violence Response Enhancement program, last financial year, 22% of women and children supported were Aboriginal and had nowhere safe to stay due to escaping domestic and family violence

Aboriginal people make up 3.5% of the Illawarra and Shoalhaven population (2016 Census Data). The number of Aboriginal women and children needing our support is disproportionate to the number of Aboriginal people who live across our local communities.

For the prevention of domestic and family violence and homelessness to be effective, it’s not what we do – it’s how we do it. Prevention work should be guided by principles such as non-indigenous services such as ourselves working in culturally safe ways and prioritising and strengthening culture.¹

SAHSSI has therefore embarked on a Reconciliation Action journey, it is an ongoing journey for continuous improvement in the relationships we have with Aboriginal people so that we can improve our services and outcomes for Aboriginal people. To commence this journey, we would like to pay respect and value the rich history, culture and ongoing connection of Aboriginal people to country through our Aboriginal art competition.

¹Prevention principles as outlined in Our Watch’s document: Changing the Picture: A national resource to support the prevention of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.

Why emerging and non-professional?

We have listened to the Aboriginal community who have recommended an art competition for young, emerging and non-professional.

What will SAHSSI do with the artwork?

SAHSSI would like to display the artwork on our final published Reconciliation Action Plan (once endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and made available on the internet). SAHSSI are also currently reviewing and redesigning our website and service information brochure and would like to pay respect to local Aboriginal culture by including the winning artwork on our website and brochure. The original copy of the winning artwork will be proudly displayed at our Head Office with a digital reimaged copy displayed at our 5 crisis accommodation sites across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. When Aboriginal women and children seek refuge at our service, we hope that they feel safe and comfortable.

How do I enter the competition?

SAHSSI has provided printable competition details and the all-important entry form on this PDF Document with complete information on how to enter and the terms and conditions. Please read the information carefully and contact Jacqui or Gianna at SAHSSI on 4229 8523 if you have questions. If you are under the age of 18, you must seek your parent or carer’s consent before entering and it is important that you share all of the information with them.

Download the PDF Entry Form

How will the competition be judged?

SAHSSI will have 5 people on our judging panel:

  • a member of our management committee,
  • our CEO, Kathy Colyer,
  • an Aboriginal staff member,
  • an Aboriginal community member (from the Illawarra), and
  • an Aboriginal community member (from the Shoalhaven).

Our judges will be critiquing the artworks based on:

  • aesthetics,
  • creativity and originality,
  • representation of SAHSSI’s vision, purpose and values, and
  • compliance with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander customary rights and law.