06 Jul
Because of her, we can: Brooke and Millie’s story

Because of her, we can: Brooke and Millie’s story

Because of her, we can’ is the 2018 theme for NAIDOC Week, which runs from the 8th – 15th July. This is an occasion to celebrate the history and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

This year we focus on the women who’ve helped shape Australia and contribute to society in big and small ways.

This theme is especially meaningful to us as it brings to mind our talented artist Brooke Mathews and her mentor, Indigenous elder and artist Millie Penny. Today we share the wonderful achievements of both these women.

Discovering her Aboriginal heritage

Brooke began her art career in 2014 and saw great success with her bright and bold style.

After securing the Nexus Grant last year, she decided to explore her Aboriginality through art. She received Millie’s help to reach that goal.

With Millie’s guidance, Brooke was able to explore Aboriginal culture through art. She learnt about contemporary Aboriginal culture and how to tell stories through different mediums and techniques.

One of the pieces on display at Whittome Community Garden.

As a result, Brooke created many beautiful artworks, including a wall art mural to commemorate the opening of our Whittome Community Garden in January this year. This piece was inspired by the local wildflowers as well as palm trees, as these are meaningful to Brooke and her story.

With inspiration from Millie’s mentorship, Brooke made important connections with the local Nyoongar community, expanded her skills, and deepened her sense of identity. What a great achievement!

Showcasing Indigenous culture

The dance troupe rehearse against the backdrop of the Swan River.

Millie is a talented artist in her own right and respected elder in the local community.

She leads and teaches the young ladies in a Nyoongar Yorgas (women’s) dance troupe. They’ll be performing at a number of locations during NAIDOC Week, including the 2018 Chevron NAIDOC Ball.

Catch their first performance today at Murdoch University down at the Kulbardi Centre, 6pm!

They’re also the opening act at the Celebrating NAIDOC Week event at Yagan Square on Monday 9th July at 12pm.

Get involved today – check out the other events during NAIDOC Week.


We acknowledge the Nyoongar people of this nation as traditional custodians of the country and its waters. We pay our respects to Nyoongar elders past, present, and future.

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