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For the second year in a row, Dan Sultan, Children’s Ground and Fender Music Australia are partnering to raise funds and awareness. The project is kicking off in NAIDOC Week, an event to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. With the proceeds raised from 2021, Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe (Children’s Ground Central Australia) launched a new music program, led by Arrernte musicians which has had positive impacts on the learning and emotional wellbeing for First Nations children.

Mark Amory, General Manager, Fender Music Australia said, “Contributing to the creative development of First Nations people aligns with Fenders’ mission to fuel creative expression, connecting players of all ages around the world through a shared love of music. We are honoured to be partnering on this project again in 2022.”

Benefits from the 2022 auction for two one-of-a-kind pieces of art on Fender® American Acoustasonic® Stratocaster® & Jazzmaster® guitars will help further the development of the Arrernte music program at Children’s Ground in Mpartnwe/Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory (NT). In 2021, the Fender guitar art pieces created by Aboriginal artists Otis Carey and Niah McLeod raised $20,000, all of which was donated to the music program. This year’s artists include Kiya Watt, an artist and advocate from Noongar Country in Western Australia and Kirli Saunders, New South Wales Aboriginal Woman of the Year in 2020 who was recently awarded an OAM for her incredible range of work. The auction is now live and global bidding is available via Air Auctioneer for two art guitar pieces:

● Kiya Watt–– Ngalak Yira Yarkiny Kidji Mooditj Booda Kaartdijin (We Stand Up Tall and Proud/Good By Learning Our Culture), art created on an American Acoustasonic® Stratocaster® guitar valued at $3,999 RRP. This piece signifies Kiya’s cultural connections to Wardarn (ocean), Boodjah (heart/home/country), Wirrin (spirit) & Kaartidjin (learned knowledge). The movement through the circles to the dots, animals and lines encapsulates the flow of each element, demonstrating the beauty and strength of all subjects together in synchronicity.

● Kirli Saunders –– Carry On, art created on an American Acoustasonic® Jazzmaster® guitar valued at $3,999 RRP. This work was imagined whilst the artist was on country during a traditional burn with family, planting shea-oaks for the “Glossy” (Glossy Black Cockatoo), a threatened bird on Gundungurra lands. In the piece are woven-together feathers, drying Coolamons, and the threatened Glossy. It talks to a future her family is carving out and carrying together, which cares for Country and Community.

Children’s Ground believes every First Nations child born today can experience a lifetime of opportunity, entering adulthood strong in their identity and culture, connected to their local and global world and economically independent. From infants to Elders, the not-for-profit work is led by First Nations communities, delivered over a 25-year period to make real and lasting change. Children’s Ground’s approach to change is built around empowerment, and it is this philosophy that speaks to Eastern Arrernte & Gurindji man Dan Sultan.

Carol Turner, Senior Arrernte Educator, has reflected on the ways the music program has been supporting the children’s learning; “Anwerne alyelheme angkentye Arrernte-le, Anwerne angkentye nenhe lterrke atnyenetyeke. Anwerne imerneme ampe mape-ke”, we are singing in our language, we are keeping our language strong and we are teaching it to our children,” she said.

The auction will be live from 12 NOON TODAY and will close at 12 Noon, Sunday, July 24. Bid on the guitars via Air Auctioneer with all proceeds going towards Children’s Ground and its NT music program. 

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