Newman Futures and Hames Sharley, an architecture, urban design, and landscape practice in Perth, were fortunate to work with Martumili artists recently, to learn about what home looks like in East Newman.
The full day activity took place on Thursday 18 June with regular Martumili artists and other Martu community members invited along for a day of conversation and creativity that helped the team to understand what East Newman is like now and what it could be like in the future. Participants shared their thoughts and painted what East Newman means to them. Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation (WDLAC) Deputy Chairperson, Alistair Sammy also attended the day and helped to facilitate the conversation with artists in Martu language.
Twenty attendees were involved on the day, chatting, and sharing their ideas, with nine participants going on to paint pieces that depicted the area, what aspects of it make it feel like home and how it can be a stronger and more special place in the future.
Jeremy Edwards, CEO of the Shire of East Pilbara said "it was great to see so many Martumili artists involved on the day. As we, at the Shire, think about what the future of East Newman looks like, it is essential that we listen and understand what is important for Martu residents living in the area, and how together, we can plan to ensure it grows as a connected, vibrant and safe place to be".
WDLAC CEO, Tony McCrae and BHP Specialist Corporate Affairs and Community WA in Newman, Danielle Airton also participated and attended on the day.
The event was the beginning of a bigger project called "Home in East Newman" which will deliver a range of initiatives related to housing, landscaping, community services and amenity to ensure that East Newman is a safe and comfortable place to live. The project is being planned to ensure significant engagement and codesign with Nyiyaparli and Martu along with other local residents.
Danielle Airton, BHP’s Specialist for Corporate Affairs and Community in Newman, enjoyed meeting some of the artists involved in the day. "Newman Futures is all about working together to build a strong community," she explained. "It’s incredibly important that when we think about planning for what East Newman could be like in the future, that we listen and understand a diverse range of needs and experiences, of those people who call the area home."
A big thank you goes out to all the artists who were involved on the day, and of course to the amazing team at Martumili for their support in making it all happen.