Pool Party

I received the following announcement in the mail this morning:ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES 
6.30 – 10.30PM, THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2005 
TICKETS $150 strictly limited tickets by advance booking only 

The ‘Pool Party’ event includes a live auction of 35 exceptional works of art, including specially commissioned works from the Maningrida and Walungurru communities, as well as a silent auction. Celebrity Auctioneer Tracey Moffatt will personally auction her donated work. We invite you to join special guest Ian Thorpe at this unique event, and enjoy an evening of entertainment featuring a performance by David Page, the acclaimed star of ‘Page 8’. A gourmet BBQ, all beverages and entry in the lucky door prize is included in the ticket price of $150 

CONTACT DETAILS For all enquiries, please contact: poolparty@ag.nsw.gov.au 

For tickets and event information, please contact: 
Louise Fischer (02) 9225 1804 
Bambi Blumberg (02) 9225 1601 
Krystal Perkins 0409 514 829 

For auction information, please contact: 
Hetti Perkins 0411 259 899 
Ace Bourke 0408 969 248 
Natasha Perkins 0411 722 607 


Aboriginal activist and Freedom Rider, the late Dr Charles Perkins AO, dreamt that one day all Aboriginal children would have access to the social and physical benefits of swimming pools. In 1965 Perkins and his fellow University of Sydney student activists held a demonstration in Moree, north-western New South Wales, protesting the barring of Aboriginal children from the Public Baths. This action, and others staged as part of the Freedom Ride, highlighted the plight of rural Indigenous communities on the national level. The Charlie Perkins Children’s Trust, which was established in his memory, has identified the establishment of swimming pool facilities in Aboriginal communities as its key area of advocacy and support. 

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary year of the Freedom Ride, a special fundraising event will be held in Sydney to raise money to build two swimming pools in the remote Aboriginal communities of Maningrida in Arnhem Land and Walungurru in the Western Desert. A ‘Pool Party’ and art auction will be held on Thursday 3 November 2005 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. RSVP final.pdf

I haven’t been able to spot anything posted to the Web yet regarding the auction. The invitation came (electronically) along with a nine-page PDF that goes into more detail about the health benefits (and the risks) that would come with these pools. Penny Ryan has told me that in communities where these pools exist, the improvement in children’s health is indeed noticeable. 

When I was at Papunya Tula, Paul Sweeney was more than enthusiastic about the auction, and showed us several of the eight (I believe) works by Papunya Tula artists that will be on offer. They were large and very impressive. The PDF reproduces Ningura Napurrula’s painting, a massive 9’x7′, and we saw equally large and stunning works by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, George Ward Tjungurrayi, Walangkura Napanangka (#1, not Uta Uta’s widow) and George Tjungurrayi. 

It is my understanding that in the wake of the dismantling of ATSIC, initiatives coming from the communities like this one will be increasingly important to their welfare, but more about that later. I hope that the PDF referenced above is viewable, but if it is not, please note that even if you don’t attend (or bid), you can make a donation to the Charles Perkins Children’s Trust, and donations of $2 or more will receive a receipt for tax purposes from the Trust.

For all enquiries, please contact: poolparty@ag.nsw.gov.au

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