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Menindee Arts & Design Enterprise 



In 2020, the Project Zone, presented a proposal to Menindee Central School to transform and expand its ground-breaking art program into a larger community based educational, cultural and tourism initiative. In conjunction with Menindee Central School, and with the acceptance and trust of Barkandji Elders, parents and students, the Project Zone successfully applied for funding from the Australian Government's Murray Darling Economic Development Program to help facilitate the programs expansion and development in new directions. The M.A.D.E initiative follows a cottage industry model carefully designed to provide educational, vocational, and employment opportunities.
The inaugural phase of this three-stage initiative has successfully been completed. Stage one prominently included the creation of an exceptional arts trail, consisting of 72 meticulously placed art installations throughout Menindee. 


Furthermore, as an essential component of the initiative, Project Zone crafted a 20 -minute documentary featuring students, ex-students, Barkandji Elders, and members of the community in creating this globally significant art trail featuring students’ artworks. The film not only traces the project's evolution but also highlights how a remarkable collaborative community effort, and a shared vision to converge art, culture, and education can create something truly extraordinary.


M.A.D.E: Menindee Art & Design Enterprise

The M.A.D.E initiative is founded on a rigorous and comprehensive arts education program that responds to identified needs in the community, in this case social enterprise. It provides learning experiences in authentic settings, including galleries, studios and on country. By supporting this opportunity, the Australian Government 
has contributed to the creation of pathways for Aboriginal enterprise in communities that presently lack opportunity, by developing opportunities for students to build a commercial presence, celebrate the cultural diversity of their communities, and to feel pride in their personal achievements.

Project Zone, will produce a documentary about the process undertaken by the students, ex-students, Barkindji Elders, and members of community in creating this globally significant art trail featuring students artworks. A portion of the funding financed the employment of talented ex-students to mentor the current students, and excursions to various capital cities, to better understand the context of their talent as measured by outputs of professional contemporaries currently exhibiting. The film will provide a glimpse of the incredible journey these students, teachers, school and community have undertaken.

M.A.D.E’.s further growth and development will see increased opportunities for young artists and designers of Menindee, Wilcannia and surrounding regions to engage in and contribute to the Australian fashion, design and art markets. The program will help promote Baarka student artworks and stimulate student career and vocational opportunities. Best of all, Menindee's young people will have the opportunity to remain on Country. 

Menindee Arts Trail

A world class art & design trail has been delivered as part of this innovative arts, cultural, and educational program, implemented by local teachers in Menindee and supported by galleries, artists, and local arts councils. The art being created by students and ex-student mentors (employed as part of the MDED fund) has now become the foundation of 75+ installations around Menindee which showcase the students’ talents and tell the cultural story of the Barkindji and their relationship to Country and the Baarka. These images now form the basis of the Menindee art trail, which attracts tourists and grey nomads as part of a broader outback tourism program. The installations (large billboards showcasing selected significant images) will be embedded with QR codes for visitors to watch content and interviews and gain a better understanding of the community and its artists. Artworks are licensed for printing on merchandise (art is retained to stay on Country) as souvenirs and tourist takeaways. 


“This project will provide an online retail presence and promotions, including a documentary, to promote Baarka student artworks.” - Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia.


“This program will promote Baarka student artworks to the national and international community, creating jobs to deliver the project and future career paths for students,” - Mark Coulton, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government.




Funded by: Murray Darling - Basin Economic Development Program

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