Representatives from the National Trust were pleased to join a group of around 40 people for the official opening of the new York Courthouse Museum and Galleries on 18 February 2022.
Waiting in the shady laneway by the side of the National Trust’s historic Courthouse Complex in Avon Terrace, we watched as gallery founder Dr Edward Solomon handed a nineteenth century key to Ballardong Elder, Dr Marion Kickett (pictured above).
Dr Solomon then stepped back and invited Dr Kickett to open the door. With this simple, yet profound, gesture of reconciliation the York Courthouse Museum and Galleries was officially opened.
Dr Kickett is a descendant of the first Aboriginal tracker employed by the police in York and is Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University.
The Museum and Art Galleries are the culmination of a vision long held by Dr Solomon to establish a place where art of the dispossessed can be exhibited. Featuring the art of Aboriginal artists the York Courthouse Complex has been transformed into a series of vibrant galleries sitting within a museum context.
National Trust CEO Julian Donaldson welcomed the transformation of the site and acknowledged the enormous potential the venture offered for advancing Aboriginal art and for community understanding and reconciliation.
“The activation of this place as a showcase for Aboriginal culture and a history of colonial impact through the justice system is profound,” said Mr Donaldson.
The Museum and Art Galleries are open daily from 10am – 4pm (except Tuesdays).
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