Artworks by some of Australia’s most sought after Indigenous artists have been sold in a charity art auction which has raised more than $250,000 for research into Indigenous health.
Highlights of “Ochre – supporting Indigenous health through art” included the sale of a stunning piece by 2008 Telstra Award winner Makinti Napanangka which sold for $18,500, a stand out piece by finalist in the 2008 West Australian Premiers Award Rita Simpson which raised $24,000, and a superb work by one of the hottest Indigenous artists of recent times, Regina Wilson, which sold for $40,000.
More than $250,000 was raised from the sale of 14 artworks with all proceeds going towards Indigenous child health research at Charles Darwin University’s Menzies School of Health Research.
The evening also included a performance from multi-ARIA nominee and Indigenous singing sensation Mr Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.
Speaking after the auction, event Ambassador Mr David Smorgon described the evening as “inspirational”.
“Hearing the experts from the Menzies School of Health Research speak at the event and being able to meet some wonderful people from remote Indigenous communities certainly made the night very special,” he said.
“The art was superb, the entertainment was spectacular and the audience was extremely generous.
“We all have a responsibility to do what we can to help discover ways to break the cycle of ill-health faced by Indigenous Australians. Too many Indigenous people are dying prematurely and too many Indigenous kids face an unhealthy and uncertain future.”
Thanking all supporters and donors who contributed on the night, the Director of the Menzies School of Health Research, Professor Jonathan Carapetis, said he was “blown away” by people’s generosity and support.
“With this level of support we will really be able to make a difference to the lives of Indigenous kids,” he said.
“For example, $250,000 will allow us to visit remote communities to check young kids for debilitating scabies and skin sores and to help them learn how to treat themselves and their families.
“It will also allow us to train local people to be able to work as health workers in their communities and allow us to screen kids in remote communities for rheumatic heart disease and prevent them from dying young due to an undiagnosed heart condition.
It isn’t too late to donate to Ochre – tax deductable donations can be made at www.menzies.edu.au/ochre.