Joanne Cassady - Winner of the 2017 National NAIDOC Poster Competition

Wiradjuri woman Joanne Cassady, is the winning artist of this year’s National NAIDOC Poster Competition.

Joanne was excited and proud when she was told that she had won this year’s competition.

“I thought they had made a mistake!” Joanne said.

Joanne has entered once before back in the 1990s but said she hadn’t had the opportunity to enter again since, until this year.

 “I have achieved a goal that I wanted to achieve. My Nan would have been so proud of me”. Joanne said

Joanne says that her grandparents were heavily involved in NAIDOC and particularly her grandmother, Louise Ingram OAM, has been great influence in her life.

“My grandmother has been a tireless worker for Aboriginal people, especially in the Redfern area and remembers the very first National Day of Mourning in Sydney.” Joanne said.

Growing up in Redfern, Joanne  spent her early years involved in NAIDOC marches and events and other community work that her grandmother was involved in. Joanne says she feels a deep personal connection to NAIDOC Week and is currently a member of her local NAIDOC Committee in Ingham.

Dedicated to her family; Joanne has five sons and one daughter. Wanting her children to grow up knowing both her and her husband’s cultures, the family moved from Redfern to Ingham 17 years ago, where her husband is one of the Native Title holders of Mungalla Station.

Their work at Mungalla Station allows her to share her knowledge and skills with locals and tourists. Joanne spends her time teaching traditional art to school groups as well as enjoying many other artistic and craft ventures. Joanne loves upcycling furniture in her spare time.

Joanne says her artistic work is still in the early stages and is self-taught.

“I started using felt pens and then after overcoming my fear of paint, began to create artworks using paints with some encouragement of my cousin.” Joanne said.

With her family and community commitments, Joanne says she finds time to paint early in the morning or late at night so that she can work uninterrupted. Joanne has exhibited in Townsville and at a local gallery and is involved in setting up the NAIDOC week art exhibitions at the Ingham Cultural Centre each year.

Joanne is passionate about language and their connection to culture. She encourages everyone to pass on their culture and language to their children.

Language means a lot to every culture. If there was one thing I could wish for, it would be to learn my language.” Joanne said.

Get your free copy of the 2017 National NAIDOC Poster containing Joanne’s artwork here.