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New art exhibition showcases visions of reconciliation from NSW students

[supplied by Parliament of NSW]


Visit NSW Parliament House throughout August and September and be inspired by school students' visions for reconciliation, and their artistic interpretations of the importance of culture and Country.


The new exhibition features 35 finalist artworks from the 13th Schools Reconciliation Challenge, exploring the theme From River to Sea: Our Island Home and spanning a variety of mediums including paint, water colour, drawing, digital artworks and collage.


Held each year by Reconciliation NSW, the challenge invites students from across NSW and the ACT to connect with stories and aspects of First Nations culture – and the broader theme of reconciliation – through art. Reconciliation NSW Co-Chair Joshua Gilbert says it's inspiring to see how students interpret the challenge.


"The exhibition theme encouraged students to explore First Nations connection to water, which has enabled First Nations people to thrive as the oldest continuing cultures on earth. The artworks reflect the students’ understanding of First Nations cultures and knowledges and reconciliation more broadly," Mr Gilbert says.


The exhibition is being hosted at Parliament House by Sue Higginson, who is a member of the Legislative Council.


"It’s incredible to see such creative and vibrant storytelling from young people, in works that contribute to our national dialogue on reconciliation and offer a powerful message about First Nations’ connection to the environment, particularly its rivers and coastlines. It fills me with immense hope for our reconciliation journey and understanding of Country,” Ms Higginson says.


Reconciliation NSW received more than 650 artwork and written submissions from 80 schools in 2022 for the From River to Sea: Our Island home challenge. The current challenge theme is What Stories Will You Dream?, with applications closing on 1 September. Schools and students can learn more at


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