What reconciliation means to Claire Wildish

11 February 2019

The Living Arts program offers people from diverse cultural backgrounds the opportunity to develop a connection with their own culture, community and heritage through working with respected cultural artists.

Image: Images/Photograph: Jessica Clark

Claire Wildish, has achieved many positive outcomes since joining LWB as a Resident Artist in SA’s Living Arts Team two years ago. Please read below to hear about Claire’s journey to reconciliation.

When I came for my interview two years ago at Life Without Barriers, Malcolm Gollan asked me unavoidably, “What is Reconciliation?” In my interview panic, I didn’t know how to simply answer the question, so I started rambling. I told him about living in the desert and bringing up two small children there over five years. You see, my parents met in Gunbalanya, NT and when the opportunity came about to work on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in remote Western Australia, my mother (who was dying at the time) made me go. It will change your life she said, and it did.

Image: Image/Photograph: Jessica Clark

At the end of last year, I travelled for six days across the APY Lands to five remote schools with scientists and educators from the Museum, SA Water and Keep South Australia Beautiful. The Out of the Glass Case program is all about bringing a little bit of the museum to remote and regional communities. The difference is on this particular trip, the anangu kids were leading the way. We were in their country, learning about their land, sitting by the rock hole and learning together.

Three years later I am now incredibly privileged to be part of the Living Arts team at Life Without Barriers and to bring with me that experience. In the last twelve months it has been exciting to be writing together and facilitating new Aboriginal programs for young kids in our Out of Home Care Program. But once a year I get to go back to the only place I have ever travelled that feels like home with the SA Museum Out of the Glass Case Roadshow Tour.

So, what is Reconciliation? For me, this is where it can begin. Sitting down together and sharing stories, working side by side and learning from each other. You have to stop and listen.