‘Our story began long ago. The Old People sent this story to us. We heard them speak through our hearts to our spirits. They told us what to do, they are still telling us what to do. Their message, our story, is to return the cloaks to our People, to reclaim, regenerate, revitalise and remember. To remember what those cloaks mean to us and tell the stories of our People and Country’. Vicki Couzens
Banmirra Arts Incorporated was established in March 2008 by a group of committed Aboriginal artists and cultural workers with the threefold purpose to:
• assist Aboriginal artists in their development
• promote Aboriginal artworks
• to identify commercial opportunities for Aboriginal artists
Since that date Banmirra Arts has coordinated and curated the “ ng woka, woka nganin: I am the Land, the Land is me” exhibition at Melbourne Museum in 2009. A component of this project involved supporting Maree Clarke to reclaim and revive the cultural tradition of kangaroo tooth necklace and headband making.
Banmirra Arts is leading the regeneration of the cultural tradition of possum skin cloak making. The reclamation and continuity of the cultural tradition of cloak making over the past 14 years has been led by Vicki Couzens, Lee Darroch, Treahna Hamm and Maree Clarke with support from Amanda Reynolds.
Cloak renewal and reclamation is a transformational experience that heals individuals and communities. The cloak making revival in Victoria has touched every community and continues to flourish and support communities.
Since 2010 Banmirra has been delivering Possum Skin Cloak Healing Workshops throughout parts of New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Victoria.