Milllie Penny

2022 – Acrylic on canvas

Millie has depicted the vibrant communities bringing positivity and change, converging on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja for the 2023 WACOSS Conference, Resilient, Strong and Brave: Collective Power of Community.

Communities from far and wide descend on Boorloo (Perth), over the Matagarup bridge to meet and gather, sit and talk. Some sit by the river and put their feet – djenna – in the water for healing. The large circles represent people coming together to talk and yarn on the three streams of the conference: gender equity, advocacy and community resilience. Channels represent the many paths leading to Perth Stadium and the lighter blue signifies the smaller groups that we naturally gravitate toward and feel comfort within.

Derbarl Yerrigan runs through the centre of the painting, its waters strong and continuously flowing as knowledge and learning does throughout our lifetime, before it is passed on to the next generation and the next. The water is ever-changing in colour, from dark to yellow to light blue, as it winds its way through Whadjuk Boodja, ebbing and flowing over sandbars and around islands, on its journey to meet the ocean.