A proud Aboriginal woman from Woy Woy, Lynelle Elliott has been passionate about visual arts since childhood.
After commencing her teaching and visual arts study pathway at TAFE NSW in 2015, Ms Elliott has found great joy in teaching others to embrace culture through art and in sharing her artworks with her local community.
Today, she was announced winner of the City of Newcastle Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Scholarship. Donated by Newcastle City Council and presented by the Hunter TAFE Foundation, this provides Ms Elliott with $500 to further her education. She currently studies a Diploma of Visual Arts at TAFE NSW Newcastle.
The welcome financial boost will help enable Ms Elliott to continue passing on her knowledge to others, broadening the community’s awareness of the artistic techniques of and meaning behind Aboriginal arts.
“I find visual arts a great avenue for self-expression, culture and creative freedom,” said Ms Elliott.
“It allows me to express my connection to spirit, the land, community and my true self. It has allowed me to work with inspiring teachers, Elders and other creatives. Visual arts allows for open engagement with others, young or old, building relationships through both the learning process and the exhibition of work.
“This scholarship will enable me to travel across the Hunter, Central Coast and Sydney to engage arts institutions, communities and businesses in the cross pollination of cultures, ideas, inspiration and collaboration.
“It will also help build a body of work for a market stall to sell my works, bringing a degree of self-sufficiency.”
One opportunity for sharing her arts knowledge that Ms Elliott has taken up in the past is presenting art and painting workshops for school children. More recently, with new TAFE NSW visual arts qualifications in her toolkit, she was employed as Cultural Educator with Newcastle business Speaking In Colour. As an Educator, she uses coiling/weaving techniques to build cultural competencies within school, group and corporate settings.
This year she is also a member of the Gosford Regional Gallery’s Aboriginal Reference Group, bringing ‘collaboration, inspiration and understanding to Aboriginal cultural recognition and perspectives.’
City of Newcastle has offered the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Scholarship for four years, contributing to the studies of several influential indigenous community members.
“I’d like to extend a hearty congratulations to Lynelle on behalf of the City,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“We are delighted to provide such a great opportunity to a well-deserving student while continuing to build strong partnerships with our local community and TAFE NSW.”
Hunter TAFE Foundation president Gary Webb said, “We are delighted to work with Newcastle City Council to support and inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to advance their studies. This donation will greatly assist Ms Elliott to help realise her tremendous potential as an influential educator in her field.”
Established in 2000, the Hunter TAFE Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organisation working with business, education and community leaders committed to supporting education and training at TAFE NSW by helping students achieve their goals. Last financial year it presented over $75,000 in awards and scholarships.
TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest training provider. Many of its courses can also be studied online, when and where it suits students, via TAFE Digital. Visit www.tafensw.com.au or call 131 601.