Employees from AGL’s Loy Yang A power station will come together today as a collection of artworks by local Aboriginal youths is unveiled and displayed at the station for NAIDOC week.

In line with this year’s theme ‘Heal Country!’, the artworks were designed to reflect how country is inherent to identity and sustains all aspects of our lives; spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and culturally.

Over 40 employees will attend the event at AGL Loy Yang, which will include a Welcome to Country by Uncle Lloyd Hood a Gunaikurnai elder, smoking ceremony and flag raising.

AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Nigel Browne said NAIDOC week presents an opportunity to continue learning and understanding Australia’s national heritage.

“We hope that our activities highlight and embrace the values of First Nations’ people through art,” Mr Browne said.

“The art on show at Loy Yang highlights the theme of healing country, recognising the need to protect and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.

“We will be lighting our cooling towers with the artworks to allow the community to see these beautiful works and be part of recognising country.

“Although NAIDOC week provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, we acknowledge the importance of maintaining our engagement with these local community members throughout the rest of the year.

“We recognise the important role culture plays in our community and we are committed to strengthening our collaboration with the Traditional Owners and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation.”

The artworks were developed in partnership with Latrobe Youth Space under the guidance of Aboriginal artists Montana McStay and Ronald Edwards. 

Latrobe Youth Space Youth Co-Chair Lincoln Ingravalle said the organisation was thrilled with the involvement of so many young Aboriginal people who came to share and celebrate their culture.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to partner with AGL and to work with emerging young Koori leaders in the Gunaikurnai area,” Mr Ingravalle said.

“NAIDOC week is a great opportunity to celebrate the rich Aboriginal culture and young indigenous people. We hope the Koori Youth from the area can see the high regard we and the wider community hold them in.”

Aboriginal artist Montana McStay said it’s important to share stories through art because we as Aboriginal people have been practicing this tradition for many years. 

“It allows us to express feelings of happiness, sadness, mourning or perhaps even loss,” Ms McStay said.

The AGL Loy Yang cooling towers will display the artworks on July 8 and 9 2021.