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Alice Pepper

Lake Bunga, Gunnai Kurnai Country, June 2020

The thing that's kept me sane through this isolation is listening to mother nature's music and witnessing her beauty. Going on dawn walks. Watching sunrise and sunset. I cooked a lot, hung out with my little family, fixed up the house. I worked on a possum skin painting featuring Boorun and did a little weaving with this dry grass that I forgot I had in the shed.

I was chosen to create a painting that’s going to be used for the 2020 Melbourne Vixens dresses. Due to COVID-19, the launch of the design and the Indigenous Round was postponed. It made me smile to see that its being launched now as the Vixen Season begins!

The strength and unity of family and community during the challenging and traumatic times of the bushfires across the country is embedded in this artwork. This style of artwork is traditional to the Gippsland area where line-work is used to give meaning. The landscape of East Gippsland from the mountains, bushlands, rivers and sea have been depicted.

Painting this story was healing for me. After a traumatic experience watching our country burn, the new sign of life gives a sense of calm and healing. That’s what we need to do as well after such a traumatic time is find ways to heal. We need to look after the land because in turn the land looks after us and if it’s sick, we’re sick.

Read full story here

I’ve thought about how I am saying goodbye to my role as the Local Aboriginal Network broker. It’s been my dream job. it’s been so Deadly and has brought me so much pleasure in the past five years. Being able to assist many community groups work towards fulfilling their aspirations, strengthen culture, develop and strengthen partnerships with government and the wider community, supporting Youth and many other opportunities that have come out of the East Gippsland Local Aboriginal Networks for our communities.

I will be going to work for Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Corporation in a new role of Aboriginal Community Engagement Coordinator. I am keen to join the team helping with the journey ahead on country that I think will all be taking in recovery and healing and developments on country when we return back to normal and are able to get out and about again.

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