The Illawarra’s Yes 23 Campaign representatives launched ‘Art From Our Hearts’ in Clifton over the weekend, ahead of the upcoming Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum to show community involvement has not declined.
The exhibition was held in support of the potential advisory body being constitutionalised, with community engagement and support growing as ‘Vote Yes’ posters continue to pop up around the Northern Suburbs.
David Roach, president of the Clifton School of Arts (CSA) said that the event raised over $14000, with the silent auction collecting $4000 alone.
“On every level it was a huge success,” Mr Roach said.
“It was a way of bringing the community together …Clifton School of Arts is a hub for respectful discussion. I hope we can have some minor impact on the Yes 23 Campaign.”
Wombarra painter Vyvian Wilson said she recognised the importance of offering a space for Wollongong residents to engage with a significant issue.
“We’ve got to do something,” Ms Wilson said.
“I can’t even bear to think about how we are all going to feel living here in Dharawal Country if the Voice has been voted down.”
Ms Wilson donated her work, alongside 35 other local creatives.
Event organiser Prue Watson said she has seen growth in support of a yes vote, after attending the Yes 23 Campaign launch at the University of Wollongong.
“It is not just enough to vote yes, they have asked us to educate ourselves,” Ms Watson said.
“We will all come out of this much better informed.”
Both Ms Watson and Ms Wilson have recognised that while they have seen affirmative numbers increase in their local area, they are still aware of people in the region who disagree with the vote. However, upon the announcement of the exhibition, they received unwavering endorsements from the community.
“I did not have any doubt that this issue would be wholeheartedly supported,” Ms Wilson said.
All proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the Yes 23 campaign.