Studying an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts course at TAFE NSW has helped proud Wiradjuri woman and Nowra local Anne-Mariee Mcintosh pursue her passion for the arts and recover from a stroke at 59 years old.
According to the Stroke, Foundation, regional Australians are 17 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke than those in metropolitan areas. By 2050, it is predicted that there will be one stroke every 10 minutes in Australia from one stroke every 19 minutes currently.[i]
Ms Mcintosh said she is now giving back and helping recognise other passionate people in the arts at the upcoming Black Cockatoo Awards on the 28th of November.
“When I had the stroke, I was working as an Aboriginal Health Clinician and enrolled at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga doing a Business course,” said Anne-Mariee.
Ms Mcintosh went on to follow her passion and study a Certificate III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts.
“Before I enrolled in the course, I was slowly withdrawing from family, friends and society,” Ms Mcintosh said.
“Studying my passion at TAFE NSW allowed me to reunite with my culture, make new friends, improve my self-esteem, and, more importantly, enable me to live again”.
In stroke recovery, physical rehabilitation through painting, drawing, and sculpting art has been shown to help cognitive issues and memory loss that may limit an individual’s ability to engage in social interactions.[ii]
“I was in situations with strangers, which scared me so much I almost did not attend anything! But, I learnt to laugh at it. My memory was ‘shot’. I thought I would not remember what the trainers taught me; however, I overcame that with minor adjustments to my study.
“My doctors, specialists and TAFE NSW teachers were amazing and helped me through these issues.”
Later this month, the 11th annual TAFE NSW Nowra Black Cockatoo Art Award will coincide with the end-of-year Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts Student Exhibition.
Fueled with a passion for learning, Anne-Mariee believes the Black Cockatoo Art Awards gave her a sense of purpose. “I have been able to give back to TAFE NSW and the staff. By being involved in this program, I have improved my social and speech skills”.
TAFE NSW Illawarra Visual Arts Teacher Warwick Keen said he is proud of Anne-Mariee and is excited that other passionate Indigenous graduates and students are being recognised.
“Anne-Mariee is a true reflection of the life-changing opportunities TAFE NSW can give students to get ahead or get started in a career they want,” Mr Keen said.
"The Certificate III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts is a great way for students to learn new skills such as communicating cultural identity through drawing, painting, sculpting and printmaking and digital as well as indigenous cultural history design processes and the Cultural arts industry.”
A range of drawings, paintings, prints, and pyrography (wood burning) will be displayed at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts Student Exhibition from Monday, 28 November through to Friday, 9 December 2022 at the Nowra TAFE NSW Library.
Media contact: Callum Darby-Linfitt, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, 02 7921 1823 email@example.com