Lani Balzan is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales (NSW) and this year’s 2016 National NAIDOC Poster Competition Winner!
Her winning artwork titled, Songlines tie all Aboriginal people together, represents all of the Songlines coming together to create our nation. You can see how they criss-cross the land as they run East, West, North, South and diagonally across the country to track the journeys of our ancestors.
“I was shocked and incredibly honoured to find out my artwork had been selected! I feel very humbled that I am able to share this with the Illawarra Indigenous community” Lani Said.
Lani’s family comes from Mudgee and she was born in Penrith but grew up all over Australia and has lived in many different places including the Illawarra. She currently lives in Figtree NSW with her husband John and their three beautiful boys Cohan, Tyla and Jett.
Lani is a recognised Indigenous artist and regularly does art therapy within her community.She works at Warrawong high school as the Aboriginal Education Officer.
“I love my job, I am committed to helping children, their families and carers and it gives me the opportunity to do this.’
‘I have a strong desire to make a positive difference in students’ lives and to teach them about our culture. This job gives me the opportunity to share our culture within the rest of the school and community.”
NAIDOC Week is an important time of year for Lani and she uses her art to help her celebrate. As part of her 2016 celebrations, Lani is excited to reveal a 20 panel mural that her Warrawong high school students have created as well presenting a piece of her own work to Elanora Uniting Care in Shellharbour.
“NAIDOC is the one time a year everyone is able to see and be involved in our culture and to recognise our talented Indigenous people. It is an important time to have and celebrate our culture and keep it alive whilst educating the wider community”
Lani will also be keeping herself busy in the lead up to NAIDOC Week helping with preparations for a NAIDOC week event with Elders and the Aboriginal community in Illawarra.